As a result of the COVID-19 shutdown, many brands with brick-and-mortar locations are left to manage an empty building. In addition to keeping everything sanitized, it is important that business owners are able to keep the building well-maintained. Read on to learn how businesses can manage their offices amidst COVID-19.
1. Update Operating Procedures to Reflect a Low Period
If your building is currently closed due to the global pandemic, it’s important that you alter your operating procedures to reflect this lower period. Fixed points like the lighting controls, hot water, HVAC controls, and the like should be adjusted during this time. By making this adjustment, you’ll be able to cut operational costs, reduce waste, and make sure that your building properly adapts to low occupancy. As you start to reopen, your building controls should match your current operating hours.
2. Keep Emergency Systems Up-to-Date
Business owners may have limited access to their buildings during the shutdown. Make sure to protect your office by updating all security systems. For example, systems for fire suppression and detection should be inspected, tested, and updated accordingly to ensure they are functional in the event of an emergency. Likewise, your security system should also be upgraded to guarantee that your business is adequately protected during your time away.
3. Repair Any Damaged Equipment
If your equipment is on the older side of things or is in need of repair, now is the perfect time to take action. During this downtime, make sure your crucial equipment is inspected and repaired to ensure that you are ready for business when it is time to open up again. Unexpected problems could further delay a business from opening up. For example, food service companies should consider commercial chiller maintenance in Lehigh Valley or their particular locale to make sure their equipment is working as it should. This way, businesses will be able to hit the ground running with newly-repaired equipment once the COVID crisis ends.
4. Check for Mold
As many businesses have been shut down for a prolonged period of time, it’s essential that they are inspected and treated for mold before reopening. Mold tends to grow on materials where there is an excess of moisture. Business owners should thoroughly inspect and sanitize their offices to ensure there is no mold contamination in the building. Likewise, any leaks from pipes, windows, or roofs should be addressed to prevent this problem from occurring again.
5. Sanitize All Surfaces
As most businesses prepare to officially reopen, COVID-19 is still a present concern. Business owners must be sure to take the necessary steps to keep their businesses clean prior to and after reopening. Likewise, offices that have remained open with fewer hours and staff should make a habit of sanitizing all surfaces in the building.
In addition to cleaning your building, it’s important to implement a cohesive plan to keep your employees, clients, and management healthy in the workplace when businesses are open again. Now is the time to develop your company’s policy for face masks, hand washing, hand sanitizer, and the like. As businesses make an effort to keep their buildings safe, this will help to safeguard their companies from a second wave of COVID-19.
6. Improve the Floor Plan
With little to no employees in the building, business owners should also take this time to improve their floor plan. Whether your building is filled with cubicles or there are tables and chairs spaced throughout the office, it’s important that the layout offers your team enough distance to remain safe while working. Make sure your employees are able to protect themselves while comfortably getting their work done.
Experts share that new working patterns should prioritize hygiene with the use of new equipment that will encourage social distancing. A sneeze guard is a popular choice for businesses that are redesigning their offices to be more socially distanced. While the physical barrier may be difficult to adjust to, businesses should always put health and safety first.
As we move past COVID-19, business owners must ensure that their buildings are well taken care of during this shutdown. Keep this guide in mind as you work to maintain your business office throughout these times.