Social distancing has now become the new norm. Here are some important tips your business should follow to maintain the new social distancing norms.
Small business owners tend to be agile and versatile. They’re quick to respond to unexpected situations. However, the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t easy on anybody. This period of uncertainty forced many businesses to reevaluate their day-to-day operations.
But thankfully, there are regulations small businesses can follow. Of course, they vary according to different states. So, make sure you keep an eye out for the latest updates. Here’s how you can reopen your small business while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Importance of Social Distancing
Social distancing, or physical distancing, advises people to minimize the number of non-essential trips. However, as things slowly reopen, it’s difficult to maintain this guideline.
There are certain things businesses can impose, though. For example, the patrons should remain six feet apart from each other. The virus spreads rapidly among people who are in close contact. It’s best to increase this distance, so fewer people get infected.
One way you can reinforce this in your store is by using social distancing tape. Some stores must stay open. So, floor markings come in handy. They not only convey the message, but they’re extremely durable too.
Benefits of Social Distancing Tape
These tapes are made from extremely durable material. They can withstand a lot of wear, tear, and foot traffic. Most importantly, you can use this to create one-way aisles or distinct lines to ensure social distancing. It’s also an excellent way to reduce overhead costs!
Here’s what you can do to ensure your clients are adhering to the rules.
1. Indicate the Distance
If you own a shop, the cash register is probably the busiest place. Place thin strips of vinyl tape to indicate where your clients should stop. It’s easy to use, and the tape comes in bright, vivid colors. Make sure the lines are six feet apart!
2. Create Distinct Boxes
Lines can confuse some visitors. You can create boxes instead. This way, they’ll know exactly where to stand.
3. Construct Floor Signs
Make creative floor signs. You can use small messages like “Wait for your turn” or “The line starts here.” Visitors will realize there are certain instructions meant to be followed.
Following Social Distancing Guidelines in Small Offices
Social distancing guidelines are undoubtedly effective in terms of restricting the spread of COVID-19. It may be the new norm, but it’s still hard to follow every single rule sometimes. Here are some simple things you can do to ensure your workers are safe.
- Organize the desks and workspaces to make more distance.
- Allow your employees to work from home.
- Create a flexible work schedule so many employees aren’t in the office at the same time.
- Minimize the number of sitting places in the common area.
- Use social distancing tape to mark safe distances.
- Limit the number of gatherings you host in your office.
- Switch to online modes of communication.
- Post signs to advise people not to enter the workplace if they have COVID-19 symptoms.
- Encourage your employees to wash their hands and wear masks often.
Pro-tip: Always set a good example for others. If you’re asking them to wear masks all the time, you should too!
Cleaning and Disinfecting the Workplace
It’s important to maintain a clean workplace. One way you can do so is by encouraging your employees to frequently wash their hands. Everyone should clean up after:
- Visiting a public place
- Sneezing, coughing, or blowing their noses
- Eating a meal
- Touching their nose or mouth
- Interacting with customers
- Working with equipment
- Visiting the restroom
Washing hands isn’t always practical. You can encourage the use of sanitizer instead. Install sanitizer dispensers for your workers and customers. Keep them near places where people interact the most.
Also, always clean the “high-traffic” areas. You should get the most-touched surfaces and equipment in your office cleaned daily. Encourage workers to clean objects they bring in from the outside too.
Effective Social Distancing Measures
Putting tape on the floor and cleaning up after others isn’t enough. It’s time to be specific. You need to know the kind of people you’re dealing with. Here are some strategies you can implement.
1. Learn Who Your Audience Is
You’ve set floor markers. Great! But will people get the message? What do you want to convey? Do you have foreigners visiting your office often? Should you have multilingual signs?
The messages you send must be delivered succinctly and clearly. If the signs aren’t easily decipherable, avoid using them. Keep things simple. Always ensure the message is easy to understand.
2. Color Code or Use Symbols
Color-coding is always a nifty trick. You can use yellow for caution or red to make people stop. If you have a light floor, use dark colors for a contrasting effect, and vice versa.
Symbols are your best friend. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Symbols deliver the message more effectively. Arrows and shapes will convey the message without words. Footprints are an excellent sign of social distancing.
3. Focus on the Size
Don’t use font sizes that are too small or too big. They should be readable, but they shouldn’t be imposing. These texts should be noticeable from a few feet apart. Also, try writing the signs in capital letters. The message is delivered better.
4. Embrace a Hybrid Workplace
Virtual offices are here to stay. Of course, this won’t work for everybody, but it’s important to allow your workers to have a flexible work schedule. Many employees worked from home during the lockdown. Some might think it’s still prudent to do so. If they get their work done, why shouldn’t you encourage it?
Develop a policy that allows workers to work in a hybrid environment. They should be able to handle the day-to-day operations from home. It’s different for retail stores. However, you can implement a roster to ensure not many people are in the store at the same time.
Nonetheless, encourage your employees to get vaccinated. Impose strict rules regarding this. People should also wear masks in crowded settings, even if they’re vaccinated. The virus constantly mutates, and you never know when it is creeping up on you!
A small business should impose social distancing measures even if all of its employees are vaccinated. Social distancing is a prerequisite as long as the virus is active. Masks should be worn, and a safe distance must be maintained for one’s good health.
Running a business isn’t easy. COVID-19 has disrupted the whole flow of businesses and brought a new set of problems that can’t be easily tackled. However, small businesses are agile and can easily counteract some of the problems swiftly. Allow this guide on how to maintain social distancing for your business to steer you through your toughest times!