The outlook is uncertain
The coronavirus situation is evolving daily. No-one can guess what actions may be necessary to take in order to ensure the wellbeing of our country. Naturally, all sensible businesses are taking precautions to ensure that they can trade as normally as possible. You can read what steps Where The Trade Buys has undertaken in order to manage the current situation here.
There is a flood of advice being issued at the moment. Here at Where The Trade Buys, we want to do something a little different: we want to focus on the human element. So here are three steps we believe all businesses that care about people should be carrying out.
Look after your staff
The number one thing everyone should be doing is to encourage people to wash their hands properly. People are far more likely to do this if instructions are right in front of them. So make sure you display as much signage as possible telling people what to do. We offer a range of handwashing signs , posters and roller banners with all the artwork laid out for you. And we can offer next working day delivery.
To go with this, make sure you have plenty of soap and antibacterial cleaning solution available. Consider offering handwashing training to your staff and reviewing your cleaning frequencies and procedures.
Ideally, you will also reduce the chance of infection to your staff by reducing contact. Try and increase the space between works. Consider zoning teams to reduce the number of people in the company that staff come into contact with. And try and reduce travel to a minimum.
Finally, be rigorous about sending staff home if they show any signs of infections, whether it is thought to be coronavirus or not.
Look after your customers
Take exactly the same steps for your customers as you do for your staff. If you have visitors to your site, ensure that you have plenty of handwashing signage. Try and increase distance between staff and customers and minimise the number of staff your customers will have contact with. You may also consider reducing the number of customers allowed on your premises at any one time.
Consider if you can deliver more to your customers. And do ensure that you disinfect both customer spaces and items being delivered to them where appropriate.
Look after others
Sadly, there has been plenty of coverage of how some people are only focusing on themselves. This is a chance for businesses to show how they care about their communities.
Firstly, consider what you can do for the families of your staff. Can you allow staff more flexible working in order to have time to shop for friends and relatives in isolation or to look after children if their partner is in isolation? If local shops are out of toilet paper, can staff access your ordering systems for this?
This is a time when we should extend our help to local communities as well. Are there any elderly people nearby who may not want to venture into crowded places at the moment in case of infection? Can your business “adopt” any people and make sure they have food and anything else they might need. You could also consider helping any single people who are self-isolating.
The outlook is brighter
We must also remember that this situation is temporary. We will come through this pandemic. China is already showing a drastic reduction in the number of new infections. Many businesses are returning to work.
In the meantime, however, it is time to be kind. These are unprecedented and uncertain times. Maybe it is time to try a new type of business? What can we do to help our communities?
P.S. Make sure you read our statement on what we are doing to safeguard our staff and keep our business sustainable here.