Is Your Business Ready to Reopen After COVID-19? 10 Questions to Ask

If your business has been in stasis for the past few months due to the COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, you probably cannot wait to get back up and running. Indeed, the survival of your business may depend on reopening as soon as possible. And while many regions have begun to allow businesses to open back up in some capacity, this doesn’t mean you can or should jump in headfirst -- rather, you must ask yourself if your business can practically, financially, and safely reopen at this time. Many factors tie into this central question, so let’s break down 10 questions to consider before reopening your business.

  1. Will You Be Able to Comply With Relevant Regulations?

The rules and guidelines regarding reopening during COVID-19 vary from place to place and from one industry to the next, but there will be some regulations relevant to your business. And if you want to remain open, avoid fines, preserve your reputation, and keep your people safe, it’s best to follow them carefully. This might mean you’ll have to increase or change your cleaning and disinfection efforts, limit hours and occupancy, adjust the layout of your workplace, etc. Make sure you’re familiar with these rules and adhere to them before opening back up.

  1. Is Your Facility Prepared for Safe Reopening?

This question follows directly from the previous one. Following the guidelines relevant to your business and community will help ensure that your facility is safe for employees and customers to enter. One way to thoroughly prepare your space is by investing in a professional coronavirus deep clean service to disinfect all surfaces, improve ventilation, and more.

  1. What Are Your Current Business Goals and Needs?

Just about every business had the rug pulled out from underneath them thanks to this pandemic. As things return to “normal,” consider what priorities have changed or need to change in order to stay on course. Larger projects and goals that were in the making prior to COVID-19 may need to be adjusted or put on hold until your business has stabilized itself, and new, smaller goals may need to be established in their place.

  1. Are Your Employees Ready to Return to Work?

In the abstract sense, your business might be ready to reopen the second it’s permitted. But you cannot truly reopen without your employees’ ability and willingness to do so. You must make sure your people feel safe and comfortable coming back to work. Those who are reluctant may need to continue working from home (if possible) until the situation has significantly improved.

  1. How Can You Maximize Health and Safety in the Workplace?

On that note, ask yourself what measures your business can take to keep employees and customers safe and healthy at all times. Perhaps you should hire in-house disinfection services to keep surfaces and high-traffic areas disinfected, and/or invest in enough PPE for your people. As mentioned earlier, you may also limit employee and customer capacity, separate desks for greater social distancing, enforce mask-wearing, and more.

  1. Is Testing on the Table?

Thorough testing can certainly help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, but the best tests are currently expensive and not readily available outside of medical settings. Testing is also time-consuming. For these reasons, don’t anticipate that you’ll be able to test your people for COVID day in and day out. In lieu of this, though, employees should report on any symptoms they may have and distance themselves from work accordingly.

  1. Are Procedures in Place to Deal With COVID Cases, Sick Employees, etc.?

Ask yourself if your business has a detailed, efficient, safe process for dealing with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in or near the workplace. Failing to have a plan in place can result in chaos and further spread of infection. Your plan should include protocols for keeping the potentially infected individual away from others for at least 14 days, cordoning off areas that may have been exposed to an individual(s) with COVID-19, and hiring teams to conduct thorough disinfecting (i.e., cleaning, spray and wipe disinfection methods along with coronavirus disinfectant spray service). The CDC has helpful information and guidance on managing these situations here and elsewhere on their website.

  1. When Should Work-Related Travel Resume?

If your business relies heavily on travel, note that much of this activity will have to be put on hold or severely limited for the time being. As such, consider other ways for communicating with employees, business partners, and customers that don’t involve long commutes and in-person meetings.

  1. How Should You Handle Customer Interactions?

Many businesses depend on direct customer interaction to stay afloat. No matter how important customers may be, though, they can also act as wild cards, potentially spreading infectious diseases inside your workplace. This is especially true if your customers fail to follow precautions such as wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance inside. Before reopening, then, ask yourself how you plan on dealing with customers, especially those who might ignore local and business guidelines accidentally or on purpose. Do you have employees who can handle these situations well and de-escalate them if necessary?

  1. What Can You Learn, Change, and Improve From This Situation?

Finally, ask yourself how you want your business to operate moving forward. This pandemic remains a present threat, but it won’t be here forever. That said, COVID-19 has revealed many weaknesses in our society and economy at large, and future pandemics and disasters may come in the future. Ask yourself how you can strengthen your business against these threats and improve your operations as a whole.

So, is your business ready to reopen? Let the experts at The Budd Group help you make this transition safely. We offer cleaning, janitorial, landscaping, facility maintenance, and disinfection services (including electrostatic disinfection services), and more.

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