With the new phased plan of unlocking the UK economy, which has been recently announced by the British government, businesses are getting into reopening mode – gradually, of course, and with the determination of doing it safely. And while some types of commercial establishments are still in queue to get allowed to reopen, others are already preparing to welcome customers, as well as invite their employees back to the workplace. Either way, all business owners are monitoring closely the latest COVID-19-prevention guidelines, issued by the authorities, in order to provide a risk-free environment for their staff, clients and visitors.

So, this article focuses on some of the key steps you may need to take before opening your facility up for business when the time comes. 

Right then, let’s get started. 

The back-to-business checklist before resuming your operations

Well, businesses operate differently, of course, based on what industry sector they belong to. You might be dealing with customers on a daily basis in outdoor settings because you’re running a nursery, for instance. Or let’s say you are a manufacturer, whose workers are about to get back to the factory. Or are you a coffee shop owner who can’t wait to reopen at some point in the near future? Whatever your business activity entails, you will definitely find some or all of the below tips helpful. If you are serious about resuming your business operations safely, that is, and in line with all the recommended control guidelines related to the novel virus. Also, we suggest you read the official government guidelines on working safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Take cleaning to a whole new level 

Yep, you should consider sprucing up your premises from top to bottom. And here, we’re talking proper deep cleaning with quality antimicrobial agents and disinfectants. Also, in order for your facility to be deemed Covid-secure, you should implement regular sanitisation and disinfection practices, that’s for sure. Regardless of whether you are running a call centre, whose employees are happy to get back to the office rather than work from home, or you intend to reopen your chain of clothes shops in a few weeks, providing a clean and risk-free environment for your staff and customers will be a must. Last but not least, customer-based businesses should also consider displaying a safety badge in a visible place, or in other words, proof of being a Covid-secure business

2. Check plumbing and electrical fixtures

You’ll also have to perform a few key maintenance checks around your premises if your facility has been closed down for several months. From testing AC units, ventilation and pressure systems, as well as electrical wiring, fixtures and lighting to ensuring that your plumbing and pipework is functioning as it should – getting your office, shop, cafe or factory up and running is of course on the list of tasks. For instance, flushing properly your plumbing system should be a priority, as it is well-known that harmful bacteria can grow in piping that has not been in use for a long period of time.  

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3. Consider a pest inspection with a specialist

Pest control companies are preparing to get busy for a reason now that lockdown restrictions are slowly easing off. Well, you can imagine the variety of bugs that might have taken a fancy to your storage space in your facility. And no, not all pests invade buildings to find “human” food and scraps. There are plenty of insects that will munch on all sorts of organic stuff, from books, and fabrics to other bugs. Last but not least, vermin, whether rats or roaches, tend to breed and seek shelter in secluded environments, protected from the outside elements. So, don’t be surprised if you stumble upon a nest of critters in the attic of your pub that’s been shut for ages. Instead, call a pest control specialist to inspect the entire property

4. Boost your business curb appeal

Well, this might sound like a luxury to business owners, who have put their business on hold during the lockdown period, but making your business property presentable and welcoming again is your best bet against competitors. From cleaning your shop-front windows, clearing overgrown vegetation and cutting the grass in your beer garden to disinfecting and sprucing up the paving or your driveway with a jet washer, enhancing the exterior spaces of your premises is something that will pay off in the long run. So, consider hiring some maintenance help, be it a window cleaner or a professional gardener to restore your business curb appeal! And guess what, this way, you’ll be helping local self-employed folks or small businesses that may not have been that lucky to get decent financial support from the government.

5.  Rethink office space with social distancing in mind

Factories, offices, contact centres and so on need to adapt by implementing social-distancing measures at the workplace. You may have to shift desks to ensure spacing up between employees, decrease the number of pieces of equipment, due to reduced capacity of operations, as well as install sneeze guards where necessary, in order to provide comfortable and safe working conditions for your staff. This could even lead to generating some income for your business if you decide to sell on excess furniture and equipment. Alternatively, you can place stuff in storage while waiting out the current period of uncertainty in the hope of brighter times to come.

6. Protect your staff, contractors and customers

Finally, before you open up for business, develop a comprehensive strategy on how you’ll protect your employees, customers or suppliers by putting additional infection control and prevention measures in place. These could include anything from installing hand-disinfectant stands and shoe-disinfectant dispensing mats near the entrance of your premises, installing protection screens at checkouts or reception desks, disinfecting your fleet of vehicles (if applicable to your business), organise secure delivery drop off and collection points for your suppliers and so on. Most importantly, you’ll need to communicate all new procedures well to all parties concerned.

So, in a nutshell, you will need to prepare well before resuming your business activity by following the authorities’ guidance on safe work environments, responsible operations and Covid-secure trading and service provision.

 Takeaways

  • Providing a safe environment for your staff and customers is a must, in order to reopen your business.
  • Don’t be afraid to get professional help to scale up infection control measures at your business premises!
  • Consider renovating key areas by applying antimicrobial paint or hygiene coating on counters or wall surfaces, especially if you are running a food business, gym, vet practice or medical facility, for instance.
  • Stay alert and updated at all times with any forthcoming guidelines from the government, related to the post-lockdown easing-off of business restrictions.

Are you an entrepreneur who needs help before reopening their commercial premises? Or maybe, you’ve already started getting ready to resume your business operations? Then, tell us more on how you’re doing in the comments below!

  • Last update: May 26, 2020

Posted in Electrical Tips, Life Under Lockdown, Plumbing Tips

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