5 steps to take when reopening your business -- transcript

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First, let's start with updating and documenting policies and procedures. Don't forget to choose someone who will be responsible as a point of contact and authority on these policies and procedures. It is very important, and in some areas of the country mandatory, to have clearly stated, distributed, and posted policies and procedures. You should check the CDC and your state and local website for these guidelines.

Some procedures that we are implementing are as follows. First, a slow well-thought-out reentry into the workplace, starting with only the most essential workers. Staggered arrival and departure times for employees and guests. Scheduling workstations and the usage of shared equipment like copiers and scanners. Designating certain equipment for specific users and departments.

Reducing the quantity of shared printers and equipment during a shift. Intentionally knocking and waiting for permission to enter someone's office to give that occupant an opportunity to put their mask on. Posting notices that light switches remain on and installing sensors to avoid extra touches wherever possible. Removing doors from frequently used cabinets to also avoid those extra touches.

Adding plexiglass to reception areas. Keep to social distancing guidelines. And enforcing a clean desk policy so that desks are clear of touchable items and housekeeping can thoroughly wipe down all areas at least at the end of each day.

Now, let's talk about some of the PPE, or personal protective equipment, you'll need to have on hand to protect employees, clients, and customers. To protect employees, clients, and customers, you're going to want to have the following in stock. Face masks, antibacterial soap, cleaning supplies, disinfectant wipes and electronic wipes, disposable gloves, special waste baskets for disposable personal protective equipment, first aid kits that contain digital thermometers, and sanitizer stations for all throughout your space.

Don't forget to designate a room as a sick room, so you can isolate any person with symptoms while decisions are being made on how to proceed with that individual's care.

Some things to consider are starting off with a soft launch of just the essential employees necessary to begin, staggered arrival and departure times, creating a schedule to avoid commuting during crowded mass transportation, and even elevator usage times. Consider alternating shifts. Consider even alternating teams. And avoid large in-person meetings by using Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, and other video conferencing software.

There are so many space considerations. Do you require more space due to distancing standards or less space, perhaps, due to remote workers, working from home, working from other locations? Consider thinning out congestion by intentionally removing chairs from conference rooms, break rooms, and lunchrooms to keep the social distancing standards. Should employees be moved out of high traffic areas? How much of your team are now work from home for remote employees? Do cubicle walls need to be extended, or should plexiglass be added to those exposed areas?

Reviewing and adjusting your business and personal financial plan. Now more than ever, we are seeing the value of great advisors. Please consider meeting with your CPA, attorney, financial advisor, broker, insurance agent, banker, and real estate professional. Now is the time to review your personal and business balance sheet, your insurance coverages, benefit plans, legal documents, and so much more.

If there is one thing that we have learned, it is that nothing helps us be prepared as much as good planning and surrounding ourselves with qualified professionals. Thank you so much. I hope that you found this information helpful, and stay safe.

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