8 Reopening Strategies Businesses Are Embracing
Updated: May 21
As businesses across the U.S. grapple with how to open again in the coronavirus era, some are making big changes to create safer environments.
With many states allowing businesses to reopen following COVID-19 shutdowns, owners have begun to implement striking changes to promote worker and customer safety and to cater to shifting preferences. These changes, designed to ease coronavirus fears, range from reducing customer contact to re configuring office spaces to running daily health checks.
Businesses report they are working to navigate the challenges of balancing health concerns while still being able to generate revenue and service customers safely.
Business owners are also striving to meet both state and local requirements while also being smart about keep their employees and customers safe and satisfied.
[See U.S. Chamber's Reopening Resource Center for Guides and State by State Info]
Here are eight strategies businesses are using to reopen in the midst of the pandemic.
Beefing up delivery, takeout and curbside
Restaurants and retail stores have been hit hard by COVID-19, so those operations are making big changes to try to survive this challenging environment.
In the restaurant world, many joints reopening are keeping dining rooms closed (even if they are allowed to open), and instead they’ve added improved delivery and takeout options to better serve wary customers.
Converting shared spaces into enclosed ones
While open-office plans have been all the rage in recent years, these types of offices often don’t offer enough separation to meet new social distancing standards. This may encourage many large office buildings to return to cubicles or add plastic dividers between desks that can create a similar separation effect.
Some businesses are predicting new dividers could be as tall as 80 inches high to isolate germs.
“You’re gonna see a lot of plexiglass,” Michael Boonshoft of real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, which is helping offices prepare for this new office reality, told Wired. “Having that divider will make people feel safer. That shield between desks will be really important.”
Health concerns remain top of mind while the threat of COVID-19 remains, so many businesses that are reopening are touting extra cleaning and sanitation. Bed Bath & Beyond, for example, has said its locations will provide cart wipes and hand sanitizer dispensers in its stores as part of its enhanced cleaning protocols.
Its employees will be also be required to wear masks and practice social distancing.
COVID-19 testing for employees
One way some large employers plan to reopen with some sense of security is by providing COVID-19 testing to employees. For example, Station Casinos in Las Vegas has announced a free testing program with the intention to test all 14,000 of its employees before they return to work. On a larger scale, Seattle-based Amazon has announced it is setting up a system for testing workers around the U.S.