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5 COVID-19 Reopening Tips: Get Your Facility Back to Business

COVID-19 has taken the world by surprise and thrown many into crisis mode, but the good news is that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. With time, the pandemic will decrease in severity, and organizations will begin to return to “business as usual” as best they can.

The COVID-19 crisis will no doubt define a “new normal” for organizations. Now is the time for leaders to take proactive steps and ensure a safe, smooth transition back to business. Follow these five tips to help your organization adjust to a post-pandemic approach to business.

Tips for Transitioning Back to Business after COVID-19

1. Adopt a “re-build” rather than “resume” attitude.

The COVID-19 pandemic has many organizations struggling to adapt, plan and deliver as they normally would. Leaders have been thrown into crisis management and forced to stabilize operations, protect employees and communicate with stakeholders in new and unprecedented ways.

The truth is that life is different now. There likely won’t be the opportunity to return to “business as usual” as operations resume. Instead, organizations should take steps to “rebuild” operations by actively planning for a different future — one that accounts for societal change and impacts from the virus (such as limiting crowds, redesigning office spaces to maintain social distancing, and shifting to a more digital approach to building management).

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2. Evolve beyond crisis management to drive transformation.

The term “crisis management” often implies a return to normal within weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed this definition, forcing businesses to strategize how they’ll make their facilities and operations most effective in the coming months (and even coming years) as they adjust to the new “normal.”

Your organization’s leadership team has the power to embrace current circumstances while also building organizational resiliency and agility. Focus efforts on the virtualization, automation and agility of facility operations to ensure the fastest, most efficient responses to facility-related challenges and opportunities.

3. Establish a COVID-19 preparedness plan.

COVID-19 is likely to produce distressing situations for leadership teams, employees and occupants. So how can your organization rebuild stakeholder confidence and make operations more resilient? If you’re unsure of where to start, consider revisiting (or creating) your organization’s business continuity plan.

Your organization’s business continuity plan should feature a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. This plan must include and describe how your business will implement (at a minimum) the following measures in compliance with CDC guidelines:

  • Infection prevention measures
  • Prompt identification and isolation of sick persons;
  • Administrative controls for social distancing
  • Cleaning, disinfecting, decontamination and ventilation
  • Employee training necessary to implement the plan
  • Provision of management to ensure effective ongoing implementation of the plan

A business continuity plan can help outline the potential impact of disaster situations and unforeseen circumstances like COVID-19. It also creates policies to respond to these situations. These protocols can help your business recover quickly and get back to functioning as it should.

4. Follow CDC recommended guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your buildings.

Cleaning procedures will remain top-of-mind for people as they look for reassurance that their schools, offices and venues are safe to be in. One of the best (and easiest) ways to rebuild community trust and relieve anxiety for parents, occupants and tenants is to ensure that your buildings are cleaned and disinfected according to CDC- and EPA- approved guidelines.

Did you know? One of the easiest ways to drive cleanliness in your buildings is to leverage a cleaning management platform like AkitaBox DeepClean Assurance. Driven by CDC- and EPA-approved disinfection guidelines, this software solution can help you track cleaning routes, create custom checklists, and gain a shareable assurance certificate that EPA-approved products were used to successfully eliminate COVID-19 and other illness-causing contaminants in your building’s spaces.

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5. Educate employees on how to safely return to work.

Employers can significantly reduce the spread of COVID-19 by implementing disease control measures in their facilities. Actively encourage sick employees to stay home, especially those who are experiencing fever, cough or shortness of breath. Instruct employees not to return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met.

Employees who appear to have symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival to work should immediately be separated from other occupants and sent home. And lastly, educate employees about how they can reduce the spread of COVID-19. It is up to leadership to implement appropriate policies and procedures to prevent the spread of the illness-causing pathogens:

  • Limit meetings to no more than 10 people.
  • Ensuring social distancing rules can be followed in meetings and in the workplace.
  • Stagger break times to limit the number of employees in any given common space.
  • Limit the use of high-touch equipment, common spaces and gathering areas
  • Set up workstations that allow for a minimum of 6’ between employees.
  • Limit traffic congestion by opening additional facility access points (while still maintaining appropriate security measures).

AKITABOX IS HERE FOR YOU

No matter what your situation is, AkitaBox is here to offer assistance and peace of mind during these unprecedented times. We have a variety of tools and resources to share to help your organization bounce back from any operations-related challenges you’ve faced due to COVID-19.

Click here to read a more in-depth view of AkitaBox DeepClean Assurance and how your custodial teams can leverage it to gain public trust and provide relief to customers and occupants. If you’d rather speak with one of our friendly team members, we’re here and ready to chat at (608) 729-9191.

Stay safe and healthy this week! Let us know how we can help.

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