Commercial operations are starting in some countries, such as: in Germany, certain cities, are already allowed to open stores smaller than 800 square meters, as long as they are not inside a shopping center or closed space. The United States, for its part, has published a list of cities that can already return to operations and which should continue with the commercial closure.
Once operations are reactivated, the challenge to overcome will be to win the trust of customers. In order not to suffer operational setbacks, the work team, as well as the clients feel safe, we must consider three basic actions: Form a Planning Team, Create Protocols and Adjustments to the Business / Work Place. This section is dedicated to the Create Protocols
Once the Planning Team that will lead the return to activities has been formed, it must create and implement the Operational Measures, which will keep the operation protected, healthy staff and calm clients.
The Planning team must create and train personnel on basic personal hygiene measures, if the use of protective equipment is required, such as: Mouthguards, antibacterial gel, gloves, as well as the frequency with which cleaning of the work area should be carried out , hand washing and replacement of face masks and gloves.
2.- Sanitization and Cleaning
It is recommended to design a sanitation schedule for the workplace and the sales floor, considering the risk and traffic exposure, which could be an emergency sanitation or a scheduled service: daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
The Planning team shall design, train and implement a periodic cleaning program that considers: elevator buttons, door handles, desks, dining tables, cashier area, service vents, photocopying area, telephones, lobby, bathrooms, Fitting Rooms as well as common areas.
Many may require hiring more people to carry out the cleaning program and comply with the program in less time, however, a self-cleaning protocol for the work area can also be designed, so each employee will keep their area
3.- Access Planning
It is necessary to create access protocols to the facilities and sales floor for: Internal Staff, Suppliers and Clients, specifying the areas where the use of face masks, gloves, antibacterial gel, sanitization of footwear will be mandatory and inform that from certain areas the Temperature taking is mandatory, as well as it is important to announce that access will be restricted to those who do not comply with these rules.
In the case of external suppliers that have personnel in the facilities, this must adapt to the access and cleaning protocol, it is important that the planning team inform the suppliers of the actions that their personnel must carry out within the facilities. It is possible that external personnel who carry out activities in the facilities, such as: demonstrators, auditors, consultants, tailors, etc., have to comply with different access rules, depending on the number of clients or visits they make.
In the case of face-to-face work meetings, guests must be informed in advance of the actions they must carry out to allow them access to the facilities, consider a boardroom according to the number of attendees and the space of 6 feet that there must be between each of the participants, once the meeting is over, the room should be left clean for the next meeting
4.- Fitting Rooms and Return Policies
It is possible that for two or three months, after the reopening, the risk of contagion remains latent and some practices should be modified, such as boutiques or department stores should think about whether the fitting room remains open to the public, if a exclusive cleaning plan for the use of fitting rooms or if an effective return plan is designed
5.- Continuity and Contingency Plan
It is good practice to design a staggered return schedule, activating operations in stages, first: a reduced schedule with few staff, until reaching the usual hours of operation with the full staff.
It is possible that a contingency plan should be considered in case of contagion within the facilities, this plan is intended to give continuity to the operation, such as: leaving a backup shift and / or protecting key personnel with actions such as: face-to-face work two or three times a week, private transport plan instead of public transport, etc.
Generating campaigns to encourage employees not to report to work if they have any symptoms of COVID19, this leads us to think about the flexibility of establishing a Home Office Plan, as well as rules to prevent absenteeism.
Establishing protocols is not an easy task and can be complicated, it is recommended not to lose focus of what really matters: maintaining the operation while safeguarding people’s health. Actions should focus on: Cleanliness and distance. Plans must be designed from the basics and scale to the complex by setting priorities and raising employee awareness.