Thanks to the vaccine roll-out, the country seems to be slowly opening up again. People are slowly and cautiously spending more time outside their homes. That could be good news for businesses like yours.
But if you’re thinking that things are going back to pre-COVID normal, then you might be a bit too naive. The truth is, the world has changed, perhaps permanently. The “normal” that we’re slowly working towards is a world that is healing. We will once again enjoy the activities that we have missed, but certain things will have permanently changed.
For businesses, this could mean that certain COVID-era protocols will remain. Depending on your type of business, your shop will need to have certain features to ensure that the good practices that we have adopted during COVID are carried on.
Customers in, customers out
We’ve known that the risk of spread of COVID is higher in enclosed spaces, which is why it was essential for restaurants to have al fresco dining or open-air spaces. Even after the pandemic, this need is something I predict would stay. After all, COVID isn’t the only virus you can easily transmit in enclosed spaces.
Having open-air spaces might be more relevant to dining establishments or the service industry, but as we’ve learned throughout this pandemic, we need more outdoor spaces in general. Even when the pandemic is over, it would be nice to have a small outdoor area in your shop. It will add value not just for your customers but also to the everyday work lives of your staff.
Keep it clean
It seems like there are more germophobes nowadays. You can’t blame them. The pandemic has called into question the poor sanitation practices that we’ve all been doing.
Throughout the pandemic, you’ve had to add certain features in your shop to assure your customers that you put their health as a priority. Maybe you’ve had to put hand sanitizers on every counter. Maybe you’ve had to do more thorough and more frequent disinfection of surfaces.
Even when this is all over, are you really going to “dial down” on cleanliness? I think some of us will carry on with the good sanitary habits that we developed throughout this pandemic, and your business should, too.
Cleanliness and sanitation should be for the long term, so stock up on cleaning supplies. Buy your soap, rubbing alcohol, and cleaning rags in bulk. Even if your business is not in the service industry, cleaning supplies are now part of your regular office supplies, not just for your customers but also for your workers.
Don’t wash your hands of handwashing
Related to the previous point is ensuring that your shop has handwashing facilities. We know that frequent handwashing is one of the key ways to fight the spread of disease, not just COVID, and it’s a habit that hopefully many of us practiced more frequently this past year.
Because it’s such an important sanitary practice even outside of this pandemic, it’s important to ensure that your staff and customers have a place to wash their hands with soap.
Even if you’re not in the restaurant business, you need to make sure that your staff has a sink and a supply of soap to do this. Say your business has shared facilities with other businesses. You still need to make sure that your staff and customers have access to these shared facilities and have a water and soap supply.
First aid shouldn’t be last
Having emergency and first aid facilities are a basic necessity. Even if the pandemic hadn’t happened, it would be something that every workplace, every shop needs.
The emergency facilities your business needs would vary depending on the size of your organization, your industry, and your location. In general, though, you should have the basics like a first aid kit and access to emergency services.
The truth is, many of the facilities mentioned in this article have always been important must-haves. It just so happens that a global pandemic made them a necessity for survival. COVID-19 has made us more conscious of our safety and sanitary practices in public and private spaces.
One thing we’ve witnessed during this pandemic is that the establishments that survived were those that went the extra mile to protect their customers’ health and make sanitation accessible. We’ve learned that creating a safe and sanitary commercial space isn’t just an act of good citizenship and charity. It’s also actually good business.