Things To Consider When Reopening Your Business

reopening-your-business

Just what is COVID-Secure? It’s up to business owners to prepare themselves for the upcoming easing of lockdown rules. So just what does that entail?

What can we do, as businesses, to ensure the safety of our workforces and help to provide confidence that our employees can return to a ‘new normal’ at work without issue?

There’s a lot to consider in the next few weeks and months. As the world begins its recovery from the unprecedented global crisis that is COVID-19, the business world faces many questions about what to expect when they can reopen. What will the ‘new normal’ look like? Can our workforces actually get to work? Is it safe to reopen the workplace, and what measures can we take to ensure productivity is as strong as possible when they do open?

For many people, going back to work is a really positive step - it means being able to take back a bit of control, and is a step closer to achieving normality once again. However, it can also be a bit daunting, even scary for some. After all, no one is going to be expected to return to a working environment where they don’t feel safe.

Let’s take a look at some measures that can be put in place to ease this transition, and a few ways that we might be able to help here at Fluid…

Perform a risk assessment

First off, and before reopening immediately, it’s always best to assess the situation to find out what (if any) changes need to take place to ensure the safety of your staff and customers.

Perform a risk assessment to make sure you cover everything you need to - including if people in your workplace will be expected to gather in groups, or if any of your workforce are particularly vulnerable. Advice on how to perform a risk assessment and other resources like downloadable templates can be found at the Health and Safety Executive website here.

Once you have performed your risk assessment, you’ll likely need to make some adjustments to mitigate the risks that you have uncovered...

Ensure social distancing measures are in place

Even when the lockdown is lifted, the chances are that we’ll still be expected to maintain social distancing for quite some time. Staying two metres apart from others in the workplace can be tricky, so it’s best to help out as much as possible where you can.

Consider using floor stickers to remind people of the minimum safe distance to keep from other individuals. These can also be used to indicate one way walkways, if it’s possible to use them in your workspace. There are a number of standard stickers that you can use - but why not inject something unique to your business, using your brand colours or a custom message?

Another possibility is installing cough and sneeze guards - these can help stop the spread of particles that could cause infection, and ensure your staff and customers feel secure in their environment. They’re also recommended by official government advice in certain workplaces.

 
 

Reusable removable whiteboards are also another item that can help with social distancing. They are made with repositionable adhesive that can be easily applied to any smooth surface, and peeled off when not in use.

You can find the above products (plus more) to help with reopening your business after lockdown here.

Provide personal protective equipment

Personal protective equipment is going to be a must for workplaces reopening after lockdown. Providing items such as face masks, gloves, and gowns for some workers is definitely something that needs consideration.

When it comes to face masks, it's possible to provide branded masks for your staff to wear when returning to the workplace. And with face masks highly likely to become a regular part of every day life for the foreseeable future, businesses can use them as a way to spread their brand message ouside of the workplace, too. By full colour printing artwork onto the mask and providing them to customers, it's a new way to ensure your branding gets seen every day.

Thanks to our dedicated sourcing and logistics experts, Fluid can provide all of the required items mentioned above. Check out what’s available by using the links below:

Foamex Social Distancing SignsStaying clean

Maintaining a clean and healthy environment should go without saying in any work scenario coming out of lockdown. Performing regular deep cleans of workstations and general areas within the workplace is a way to ensure that risk is reduced, and helps keep staff and customers confident that they are being protected.

Regular hand washing should be encouraged - consider placing signage in and around the workplace as a gentle reminder to anyone that they need to wash hands or sanitise regularly. And, of course, make sure that hand sanitisers and hand soap are provided for all staff and customers to use if necessary.

It’s best to plan ahead here - obtaining stocks of hand sanitisers can be a challenge, and demand is sure to increase as more businesses open up.

Many companies are already planning ahead, with some restaurant chains ensuring that hand sanitisers are available on every table in every restaurant across the country. Again, Fluid’s sourcing and logistics experts are able to monitor stocks and lead times of hand sanitisers, and have set up supply chains for a variety of sanitisers in different sizes. Check out what’s available below.

Implement new working practices

Have a think about what might be necessary when asking your employees to return to work. With social distancing very much still in effect, it might be that logistically asking all of your staff to return to the workplace at the same time just isn’t possible.

Potential solutions to problems such as this include considering adjustments to shift patterns, and staggering start times for some employees. Such methods can help to ensure that businesses can reopen without too much of a knock-on effect to productivity. If you have staff on furlough or working from home, then it might be worth looking into phased returns to the workplace, or bringing some employees back in stages to help alleviate pressure.

Product gift packs for your staff and clientsBoost and maintain staff morale

As I mentioned previously, a lot of people will look upon a return to work as a hugely positive step in the return to normality - but some will see it as daunting, and will have concerns about how workplaces can secure their safety - even be concerned over the value that a business places on them. A well placed morale boost can go a long way in showing your staff that you have their best interests at heart - that you value them and the work they do. A workforce that feels valued and looked after is a huge asset, and can help boost productivity and business output.

One idea to help your staff feel valued is preparing and giving out Welcome Back gifts to each returning team member. This doesn’t have to be anything huge - these gifts can be anything from a reusable coffee cup or sports bottle to a pair of wireless earbuds or even a phone charger.

Give something they’ll find useful - not just coming out of lockdown but for some time to come - and, of course, be sure to include your branding to remind them where the gift came from and that you care.

Some businesses have gone a step further and have asked us to produce Welcome Back gift packs that contain a number of varying gifts. Boosting staff morale doesn’t have to be limited to return to work packs though - if you have a team remotely working from home offices, why not send them a little something too? Check out some ideas for home themed gift packs right here.

Foamex Social Distancing SignsNew Normal - New Merchandise

Reopening a business after lockdown, although it presents a number of challenges, can also be seen as a great opportunity. It’s the start of a new chapter in your business’ story, and the savvy brand architect will take full advantage of that. Not only is a fresh approach to your brand an idea to consider, but new merchandise might be required to replace older, pre-crisis stock that may be seen as a risk to use in some cases.

Are there new messages you want to push? Have you pivoted your business in reaction to the global crisis? Are there new values or business ideals you want to instil? Some businesses have found the need for new slogans or taglines, or a complete rebrand.

Looking forward

However your business intends to reopen after lockdown measures ease, there are many things to consider - a few of which we’ve covered here. Whatever you’re considering - be sure to give your business the best possible chance in whatever the new normal becomes.

We’re here to help, too. Get in touch with one the team here at Fluid if you need help with your branded merchandise - for use in-house or as part of a re-launch campaign to increase brand exposure to your existing client base and a new, wider audience.

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