Safety & Hygiene Tips for Commencing Offline Business

Date Posted

Nov 17, 2020


SME Shop

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The COVID19 pandemic may have permanently changed the face of business, all over the world. After months spent in isolation, observing quarantine and lockdown laws, many small businesses that offer services primarily offline (for example, spas, factories, beauty parlors, etc) are primed to resume offline transactional services. It does feel like a daunting prospect, as the reality of the virile pandemic has not waned.

Now, more than ever, entrepreneurs and employers need to know how to resume profitable business while keeping their staff and environment safe and COVID-free. These tips should guide your preparations:

  • Conduct routine disinfection of surfaces: Surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) need to be wiped-down with disinfectant, regularly, because these surfaces are most often unconsciously touched by different staff. Contamination on these surfaces will likely result in high spread of COVID-19. It is also smart to have disinfectant sprays at multiple access points in the office area, so that staff can also wipe down surfaces before and after work, and after personal use; this gives your staff a sense of responsibility in keeping the environment COVID free, and will become a habit before you know it. 

  • Mandate regular hand-washing and sanitizing: Both staff and customers should be made to go through a hand-washing or sanitizing process, before interacting or transacting in the office environment. Put sanitizing hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace. Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled and accessible. 

  • Maintain Social Distancing: Encourage staff to have their own personal workspace and maintain the mandatory two-meter social distancing. The two-meter rule is important to maintain in an office environment, so that means no big meetings, canteen lunches, cozy brainstorming sessions, and definitely no handshaking. 

  • Stay Informed: Have a committee dedicated to taking trainings on healthy practices in the workplace, post- COVID. Sign up with SME Shop for relevant training, courses and updates on keeping your environment COVID free.

  • In- Office Canteens: Consider making in-office arrangements for feeding, to avoid staff interacting with people whose hygienic practices you are unsure of, during office hours. 

  • Create Awareness: Display posters promoting personal hygiene and good respiratory hygiene and stating new safety rules and regulations. Other communication measures such as offering guidance from occupational health and safety officers, briefings at meetings, and information on office internet sites to promote office hygiene and anti-COVID19 responses, are essential. 

  • Keep business primarily online: Make sure to keep the number of offline staff at the barest minimum. Some departments can easily work online -- also, put business trips on hold unless they are absolutely necessary. 

  • Keep the company clinic active and well-staffed: Now, more than ever, you need the right response team in your medical department. Have a well- staffed medical team online and offline, to conduct office trainings on hygienic practices and to respond to any emergencies in the workplace.

  • Be Alert: The health history of staff must be available to the medical team. Brief your employees, contractors, and customers that if COVID-19 starts spreading in your community anyone with even a mild cough or low-grade fever (37.3C or more) needs to stay at home. They should also stay home (or work from home) if they have had to take simple medications, such as paracetamol/ acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin, which may mask symptoms of infection “ Keep promoting the message that people need to stay at home even if they have only mild symptoms of COVID-19. If any staff is infected, do your best to isolate and test all staff that could be at risk. 

  • COVID Check Tech: Some technology have been created or modified to keep the spread of COVID19 in check, or to prevent the potential spread of the virus in the workplace. Use tech like disinfecting booths and infrared thermometer guns, where necessary. 

Stay safe!