Across the country, stores and businesses are slowly starting to reopen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. As they do, the number of cases of infected people is still growing. For facility managers, this raises a lot of questions. How can we keep our buildings as safe as possible when we get back to work?
While the goal of every facility manager is to keep their buildings safe, clean and open for business, that’s easier said than done during a global health crisis. How can you prepare your facilities to reopen them safely?
A Plan to Promote Safe Behavior for Employees and Guests
Each facility and every business is different, which is why you should examine your daily practices to create a reopening plan to meet CDC guidelines and recommendations to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Think about shared spaces and objects like photocopiers, the supplies at a coffee station, and registers or workstations. You may want to remove the coffee creamer or space the registers further apart to promote physical distancing and limit shared touchpoints.
What other things should you consider as you write your safety plan?
Here are other CDC-approved workplace safe behavior practices to implement within your facility:
- Plan to stagger work schedules so that staff members can work on opposing days to allow for more distancing. Employees who can should work from home.
- Prop open internal doors that can stay open. This limits the need to touch door handles that can spread the virus.
- Open windows as much as possible to increase ventilation.
- Frequently clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces like phones, desks, keyboards, staplers and touch screens—even if these items aren’t typically shared.
- Limit social contact opportunities like shared lunches or in-person employee meetings.
- Work with your team to create a non-punitive sick leave policy so that employees can stay home if they are feeling under the weather.
- Implement liberal work-from-home policies so that sick, high-risk or immunocompromised staff members can stay home.
Additional Considerations for Retail Stores
It’s a challenge to plan how to invite the public back into your retail spaces in a safe way, but your customers are what keep your business going!
Some stores are making their aisles one-way to promote distancing or marking out six feet for those waiting in line or in congested areas. This is a great way to remind your customers to keep their distance.
Some other suggestions to build into your retail store reopening strategies?
- Post signs at the entrance asking those who are sick or who have been exposed to the virus to respectfully stay home.
- Post signs at the entrance and throughout your store to remind guests of the need to physically distance.
- Implement curbside pickup, contactless delivery and contactless payment procedures as much as possible, and make sure your customers know about all of these options.
- Extend the space between cashiers and customers.
- Remind guests at the entrance not to use reusable bags during the pandemic.
Decide What Your Mask Policy Will Be
The CDC recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when they are in public. COVID-19 can spread through the air before an infected person ever feels sick, and masks help protect the people around you from becoming infected.
Many retail stores have requested their customers to wear face masks while they are shopping. Of course, this decision is totally up to your facility or office space. You should know in advance what your policy on face masks will be and make that information known to your customers. Will you require employees to wear masks? What about your customers?
How Long Does the Virus Last on Surfaces?
As you re-invite the public into your facility, it’s good to know how frequently things should be sanitized. While the answer is “as frequently as possible,” it’s hard to get to every surface of the building.
Here’s how long it’s believed viable parts of the virus can survive on different kinds of surfaces:
- Glass: five days
- Wood: four days
- Plastic: three days
- Stainless steel: three days
- Cardboard: 24 hours
- Fabric: 24 hours
- Copper surfaces: four hours
As time passes, fewer and fewer instances of live virus can be found on these surfaces, but these surfaces still should be regularly disinfected with a cleaner approved by the EPA to mitigate the risk of spreading infection. You should consider increasing or ramping up your janitorial services to keep up with the germs.
Make Use of Commercial Cleaning Services
All of these procedures are necessary to keep your team and your customers safe, but it also takes a lot of effort. You don’t want to leave anything to chance when it comes to sanitizing or disinfecting your space, so why not leave that to the professionals who are already knowledgeable when it comes to commercial cleaning services?
At All Building Cleaning Corp., not only are we one of the top professional Miami janitorial services, but we have been sanitizing and disinfecting our buildings for years. We have high standards and trained staff members who have the skills to sanitize your facility.
Commercial cleaning services conducted by professionals are your first line of defense against infection. We also can get your building sparkling clean as you prepare to open, so if you need commercial window cleaning or floor cleaning to get your building in shape to welcome customers, we are here to help. A well-cleaned building will instill your guests with a sense of security and let them know that you care about their health.
Choosing between office cleaning services in Miami can be hard. Why not work with a team of professionals that specializes in cleaning across an array of industries and can apply its expertise to keep your facility as safe as possible?
Request a quote today to find out more about how All Building Cleaning Corp. can help execute your reopening plan with precision and care.