The COVID-19 pandemic came crashing down on all of us, businesses included. There were forced shutdowns, restricted reopenings, forced re-closures, and so many more obstacles thrown in the way of businesses. The unpredictable impact of the pandemic on business restrictions remains. As businesses who have survived thus far continue to reopen with trepidation, they will need to strike a delicate balance between remaining flexible and putting business measures in place to set themselves up for continued success during this difficult time. Here, we discuss some tips for reopening your business after COVID-19 shutdowns.
Tips for Re-Opening Your Business After COVID-19 Shutdowns
While we are all hopeful for a vaccine being developed sooner rather than later, we must acknowledge the fact that COVID-19 will be a threat for the foreseeable future. Businesses must be prepared for this scenario. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends businesses appoint a designated coordinator to handle COVID-19 related issues. Tasking a particular individual with this can help ensure that the necessary precautions are implemented and that the rest of the staff and employees remain informed on the most recent COVID-19 developments. The designated COVID-19 coordinator should see to it that hygiene guidelines are followed in the workplace. This person, or even a team may work, should evaluate things such as ways to limit physical contact through things such as offering customers contactless ways to pay and other touchless systems.
Businesses should also consider establishing a COVID-19 sick-leave policy that provides employees with the opportunity to stay home for two weeks should they fall ill. Having employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have reported COVID-19 symptoms feel like they are risking their livelihood should they miss work is dangerous for everyone. These individuals need to feel secure and protected in staying home. This will reduce the chance of the virus spreading further. These employees should not have to return to work until they are free from symptoms for a minimum of 72 hours without the use of medicine that would mask symptoms.
Due to the risk of extended employee absence due to illness, businesses should cross-train employees on critical roles. Businesses need to be prepared for any one, or more, employee to be absent from work for an extended period of time. Business operations should be set up for continued progression even in the event that a key employee needs to stay home for two or more weeks.
Businesses reopening after COVID-19 shutdowns need to be adaptable now more than ever. This means thinking of business strategies to remain relevant should people continue to feel uncomfortable being out and about or should more shutdowns be merited. This will look different for different businesses and different industries. For example, restaurants have had to shift the focus away from in-person dining to things such as to-go orders and food delivery. Gyms have transitioned from in-person classes to virtual classes. Find options that will work for your business so that you can stay afloat throughout social distancing restrictions.
Businesses should also consider flexible work from home policies. Even with businesses opening back up, COVID-19 is still a real threat. Closures may happen once again. Employees may not feel comfortable coming back into the workplace. Offering flexible work from home options will go a long way to making employees feel protected and supporting in a time that is incredibly stressful for so many. It also allows for those with young children at home to care for children when schools and daycares may be closed.
Business Law Attorney
Unprecedented times such as these call for unprecedented and creative solutions. The Kumar Law Firm is committed to helping businesses survive and thrive even in the face of such adversity. Contact us today.