On Friday May 1st Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced the end of the Stay-at-Home order and the start of his 5-stage plan to return the stay to normal working conditions. “Back on Track Indiana” lays out the timeline of each stage with the planned end date of July 4th to mark the official end of any regulations. Although that date is roughly two months away, many retail stores have already re-opened at half capacity with more set to follow. The city of Indianapolis itself however will not see an end to the Stay-at-Home order until May 15th. Regardless of which category you fall into it is time to start planning on how your office will safely return to the workplace. It is a blessing that Hoosiers are able to return to some normalcy but if we are not mindful of the proper precautions then we might just see a return of the Stay-at-Home orders. That is why we have created this blog post to highlight some key items that will help keep your workers and customers safe as Indiana returns to normal. Instead of just listing items out like some of our other blog posts, we have broken these items up into groups. Each group represents a common area/activity of the workplace interaction that is universal to all types of businesses. As always, if you see any items that you like, feel free to reach out to your ICC Client Support Specialist or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is crucial for a business to provide its employees with the necessary protection to keep them healthy and safe while interacting with customers.
Where better to start then at your front entrance? No matter what type of business or office you work at, there has to be a front entrance. Whether welcoming new customers, serving as a drop off point for deliveries, or even a waiting area for potential visitors, the front entrance of a business is always a busy place. However, you may start to notice that a lot of companies have made some modifications to their front entrances. This is because one of the key elements to Governor Holcomb’s plan is capacity limits on the number of people allowed into a business at a given time. The “Back on Track Indiana” website has a more detailed breakdown on these regulations, but essentially all retail and restaurant locations will have a limited capacity until Stage 4. This means that stores will not only have to come up with an efficient way of counting the number of customers in their businesses, but also a social distance friendly waiting area for customers who have not made it into the business yet. A popular tactic for controlling the flow of waiting customers has been the use of temporary fencing in front of store fronts. Almost like a line for a ride at an amusement park, stores are getting creative in how they fence off standing-room for customers that still abide by the recommendations of health officials. My local hardware store used this feature as a chance to show off some of their fencing options that were conveniently sold in the store as well. This was a fun and smart idea, but we aren’t all hardware stores and thus sometimes a few stanchion posts is all you really need. What I like the most about stanchion posts is that they are extremely modular. This makes it easier to quickly adjust your line to accommodate the changing crowd size.
Speaking of crowds, it is a hard task for any mathematician to keep track of how many people are in your store at a given time. However, with a designated exit and lined off entrance you will be able to control the flow of people entering your building. Another helpful tool for this task is a tally counter. It may seem like a simple tool, but boy is it an effective one. With just the click of a button, you can keep a tally of your business current occupancy without shelling out big bucks for a fancy electronic system.
By combining the use of a tally counter and roped off entrance, you can rest easy knowing that you will have constant control over the occupancy of your business. Controlling the flow of customers is helpful, but it does not do much in the terms of sanitation. Keep in mind that COVID-19 is still spreading throughout the United States and thus we still need to keep mindful of covering our mouths and washing our hands. Some stores have gone as far as banning entrances to customers who do not have face masks from entering their business. I am not saying that you have to follow the same practice but I am urging you to keep cleanliness in mind. A nice middle ground I have noticed is offering your customers hand sanitizer upon entering your building. The best way to do this is through the implementation of a freestanding sanitizing station at your front entrance. I like this idea because it encourages cleanliness without turning away customers. Something that I’m sure no business is wanting to do during these hard times.
They say that your customer is the most important part of your business. However, without a healthy workforce, how can you expect to run your business? Even if you have customers lining up at your front door. That is why it is crucial for a business to provide its employees with the necessary protection to keep them healthy and safe while interacting with customers. This is another area where I have seen a lot of ingenuity among businesses. Some retail stores have enclosed their cashiers behind plastic barriers similar to the ticket booth at a movie theater. This may work for some of the more stationary roles in your office, but not every job is stationary. If you follow our social media accounts then you will know that our delivery drivers are equipped with gloves and face masks as a means of keeping them protected no matter where they go!It is employee safety measures like these that has allowed ICC to continue to safely deliver products to our customers even during the Stay-at-Home order.
Branding & Signage
Last and certainly not least is your branding and signage. Now that your business is open and back for business, or at least planning to be, it is important that you get the word out. Luckily for you, ICC can provide you with a vast variety of branding and signage options to help spread your message. From sidewalk signs, to window graphics, and even banners, ICC can design and create the necessary branding you need to announce your reopening.
Window Graphics are a cheap but elegant way of posting relevant information on to your businesses door. This way customers can quickly find your store’s updated COVID-19 hours or operational procedures. Even our customers who have temporarily closed their brick & mortar storefronts have used ICC’s Branding Department to help broadcast that they are still open online. Communication is the key to success for any scenario, but this is especially true during the ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Yes, the end of the Stay-at-Home lifestyle that we have come accustomed to for April through May is slowly starting to end. Luckily that marks the start of businesses returning to normal. However, if Hoosiers want to ensure that we meet the July 4th benchmark, then we all will need to do our part to ensure that we carefully follow the guidelines laid out by the “Back on Track Indiana” plan. Only by staying safe and vigilant can we successfully transition back to normal! Still in the mood for reading? Check out our blog to read other interesting lists and insights into the business world. Needing to do some work of your own? ICC’s online catalog has everything you need to run your business, even branding products!