Going back to work after a pandemic can be scary. In fact, you’re right to be nervous and you have every reason to be cautious. Protecting yourself, your employees and your customers and clients from the continuing spread of the deadliest pandemic in a hundred years isn’t just a matter of personal safety, good business practice and common sense. It’s also a matter of patriotism and national security. So if you’re getting back to work in an ongoing pandemic, here are a few things you should be prioritizing.
First and foremost, have you taken the necessary safety precautions? At the very least, this should include PPE for your employees and sufficient space to social distance. Hand sanitizer stations can go a long way towards making a working environment safer, as can acrylic sneeze guards and regular cleaning that includes disinfecting. If you have a security desk already, it’s easy enough to add an extra step like temperature checks to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to slow the spread of infection.
Prioritizing employee health is, frankly, a safety precaution in itself. Employees should, if at all possible, be able to work from home, and have all the sick time they need to make sure that they can quarantine for everyone’s safety.
All of these precautions need to be balanced with the ability to actually do business with your customers and clients. This might mean taking steps to provide contact-free delivery or making your business more easily accessible online. That said, some businesses cannot operate in a fully contact-free environment and must make compromises.
Ready for Change
All businesses must be ready for things to change, and quickly. If there is one thing we’ve learned over the course of this pandemic, it’s that things move quickly and change just as fast. A slow opening can turn back into a full shutdown at a moment’s notice. No one is immune.
For the sake of yourself, your family, your neighbors, co-workers, clients and community, make sure that you are really ready to go back to work safely before you go back to work. Like any battle, the battle against coronavirus and other pandemics takes a concerted effort from everyone. If everyone makes a few small sacrifices now, fewer people will have to make the ultimate sacrifice later. That’s the absolute least we can expect of ourselves as citizens and decent human beings.