As states slowly start to ease restrictions and open the economy back up, guidelines on opening businesses are in its early stages of formation. Be that as it may, it can be especially difficult for business owners to navigate through this “new normal” brought about by the pandemic. Since opening businesses and getting the economy up and running again is necessary, it’s the safest option to make one’s own guidelines based on what has already been established. If not handled carefully, opening a new business might worsen the situation—which is why reducing the risk in your establishment is key, especially if you want to avoid any claims related to the Coronavirus!
Here’s what to avoid when making your plan to open a small business in Charlotte:
1. Immediately Implementing Temperature-Taking Procedures
This may seem like the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your employees and others from the Coronavirus, but there are several logistical challenges you might want to consider. Temperatures taken for employees need to be kept private, and you’ll need to account for the people waiting in line and how to ensure they practice social distancing.
This may vary from state to state, so it’s best to be prepared to be safe. One way to protect your employee’s privacy is by using an infrared thermometer and showing them their temperature once taken. If you can afford it, then contact healthcare professionals to provide the proper training on temperature-taking procedures to ensure you’re following guidelines.
2. Expecting All Employees to Feel Safe with Resuming Work
You may have your business ready to go, but given the circumstances, some employees just may not feel safe about physically attending. While you can’t blame them for being wary, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a threshold for people who refuse to go to work, which is when facing a high risk of imminent death that the employer has failed to mitigate.
In many cases, you’re most likely to still experience employees who refuse to show up, even if there’s no certainty that they are at high risk. Prepare your opening plan accordingly in case many people will want to work from home. Consider how they might view treatment from one employee to the next and ensure fair treatment to avoid any unnecessary conflict.
3. Assuming Social Distancing Will Be Successfully Enforced
Local businesses all over Charlotte will be implementing a social distance policy, which is pretty straightforward, so why shouldn’t it work for your business—right? While simple, in theory, executing this policy is difficult because people are so used to moving around freely.
Think of places on the premises employees might frequent and do what you can to minimize contact. While cubicles should be moved to have six feet of space, bathrooms and elevators should also have physical distancing measures in place to avoid proximity. Hallways should follow a one-way traffic rule, and floors in canteens should have distance markers to help enforce the policy.
4. Equipping a Team Without the Proper Procedures
Many concerns surround the wearing of masks. Figuring out how to provide your employees with masks, keeping up the supply, and providing policies on mask-wearing are all things that you must consider.
Be prepared for questions about what kind of masks can be worn since some people may bring their own reusable masks or ask to wear bandanas. Anchoring it on the safety policies in place will help you enforce consistent rules for everybody.
5. Neglecting Office Visitors in Your Plans
Getting your workforce ready to enter your office or business establishment to prevent risks for COVID-19 is one thing, but it’s another to implement policies for third-party visitors who will start to come and visit your establishment as well. Make sure you have the proper screening protocols in place for any non-employees who will enter the premises!
This is an especially challenging time for opening businesses in Charlotte. With so many things unclear, it can be easy to miss a step in ensuring all employees are kept safe while following state regulations. Being prepared with this list will get you started on implementing the proper procedures and precautions to make the most out of Charlotte for you and your companies to call it home.
Here at Charlotte Open for Business, we provide a platform that provides small business owners with business tips for Charlotte to help it withstand the impact of COVID-19. We provide access to capital and other resources to help you survive and thrive. To know more about Charlotte and what it has to offer for your business, meet Charlotte today!