Thursday, May 7, 2020

To-Do Checklist Before You Reopening Your Business After the Lockdown

Ready to reopen your business after a long break during the lockdown? Prepare to change the way you operate in some ways such as customer's management, acquiring additional information, changes of floor layout, etc. to adapt to the new norm. As we are still living with the Coronavirus in our community, it is good to take extra steps to protect your staff, your customers, vendors, and even yourself. 

Here are some of the good practices which you can follow, and some are mandatory following the SOP of the Health Minister in Malaysia. Scroll to the bottom of this post to find the relevant SOP that covers the nature of your business.

Health declaration form (for Staff/Customers)

Prepare a health declaration form or survey for your staff prior to their return to the office/workplace. The form should include their whereabouts, social activities (whether they have been involved in a mass gathering), who they had contact with frequently, are they staying or been to a red zone area, etc. Take time to study the form and see if there are any warning signs that you should take action on. As such, you should also download the MySejahtera app by Malaysian Health Ministry to check on the red zones areas. 

Tips: For businesses such as hotels, salons, transportation, etc. where you need to serve the customer intimately or for a longer period, this health declaration form is good information for you whether you should welcome or reject them. 

Customer contact form (for Customers)

Part of the new norm is to know who your customers are, including those who walk into your store just for browsing. You need these contact as a precaution in the event that someone who was infected came into your store, you need to contact the other customers who came in after the infected person. Those customers then have to go for a Covid-19 test just in case.

It might be a hassle to do so, but take this opportunity to collect emails and contact information for your future email marketing purpose. Be sure to provide a disclaimer on the contact info list so that the customers know that you will be collecting their contacts for marketing purposes as well.

Body temperature checking

As a general rule, body temperature check isn't a reliable test to know whether your staff or customer is infected by a coronavirus. However, you probably have seen a lot of premises imposing a body temperature check at the entrance. Such practice is able to sieve out sick persons from entering your space.

Although we don't think it is a reliable test for virus infection, it is able to provide psychological comfort to those who are visiting your premise.

Social distancing arrangement 

Social distancing should be imposed in office seating, cash counter, restaurant tables, queue area, and common spaces in your premise. In this case, you should put an indication with tapes to ensure your staff or customers are at least 1 meter apart. In Malaysia, we practice the 1-meter distancing, however, in other countries, it is required to be 6 feet (2 meters) in between. 

If you have a small space in the office, consider bringing back half of the team. Allow another half to work from home. Otherwise, you can also rotate your team in shifts so that the office will not be too crowded.

If you have a small-scale physical shop, limit the number of customers on your premise will be good. 

Prepare Personal Protective Equipment for your staff

Examine the need for PPE for your staff. The surgical face mask is the basic PPE to have at the moment. If you are in the F&B business, you might consider a plastic face shield and gloves too. Stock up the PPE you need so that it is easily available when your staff needs them. 

You might also need to purchase hand soap and sanitizers as these are the cleaning items frequently used. 

Put up signage 

It takes time to get used to the new practices. In order to remind your staff and customers on the new practices such as social distancing, body temperature checking, hand washing, etc. you should put up signage on places where it is obvious. It might take a while for everyone to be seasoned to the new norm, so it helps to keep reminding everyone where it is necessary. 

Sanitization schedule

Depending on the nature of your business, the sanitization of your premise might be mandatory for the reopening of business. Please read the SOP below to find out if your business is required to do so. Engage a sanitization company to conduct cleaning and sanitization services on a schedule. 

Communicate your strategy to fight Covid-19 to your staff

The most crucial thing to do after implementing the above is to communicate them to your staff. Some organization takes a step further to include them as part of their Environmental, Health & Safety policy. If your organization isn't big, a memo or meeting would be enough. 

Please take a moment to read the Standard Operating Procedures below for Reopening of Business as part of the Conditional Movement Control Order:


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