With businesses across the hospitality and leisure industry preparing for the ‘new normal’, drastic changes have needed to be implemented in order to ensure both staff and customers are kept safe and risk is minimised.

In order to help business prepare for returning to work post-lockdown, Brighouse based self-storage providers My Secure has created a helpful guide on steps to take to ensure that your company is ready to open safely.

Ensure social distance measures can be enforced

With the two metre rule still enforced, it is important that enough space is created so staff and customers can move freely while still social distancing. Removing excess furniture, such as tables and chairs and retail gondolas, will allow you to space out the essential items and ensure that customers can be seated away from each other. Ensuring that non-essential stock is stored away safely will also ensure that social distancing can be carried out in staff-only areas.

Paul Halliday, director at My Secure said: “One of the most important factors of ensuring businesses can reopen safely is ensuring that the layout allows customers to be served and staff can work safely. Removing every other table or seat and putting them, along with any excess stock, into secure storage will allow social distancing to be able to upheld.

“We are helping other customers with complying with the Covid-secure requirements by providing reduced rates on our storage units. We offer round the clock access and have a security team on site at all times to keep things secure but also to allow our customers the flexibility they need in these uncertain times. We are keen to help our fellow businesses get back on their feet.”.

Add in additional safety and hygiene measures

No matter how in-depth the previous cleaning measures were, it is important that you have the correct equipment to undertake a more thorough cleaning schedule, as well as offer staff and customers PPE where appropriate. For those businesses that are customer facing, such as bars and cafes, investing in protective panelling for busy footfall areas (like the till or service areas, will also help keep all parties safer.

Andrew Taylor, managing director at Specialist Glass Products, who offer protective panels, said: “The protective glass screens we manufacture are an ideal solution to enable employees to social distance in workplace environments. Thinking about and planning for the future, in particular when it comes to health and safety, should be on everyone’s agenda.”

Implement flexible opening times

Staggering opening times and shift patterns is another way that businesses can reopen safely. Allowing employees to work over longer time periods, and on a rota system, will mean that bookings can be arranged for minimal customers to be in the place of work at any one time. With the Government looking into a ‘guest book’ measure, which will mean that customers will need to leave contact details should there be a local outbreak, it is important that a booking system is in place - not only will that that ensure that customer details will be easy to retrieve should they be needed, but it will allow staff to be able to plan their working hours more effectively.

Review the layout of the business

Preparing a one-way system throughout the business will allow customers to move easily through the building and avoid crossover of people entering and exiting the building. It is also recommended to make optimal use of any outdoor space, setting up seating areas outside where possible. Floor stickers are an effective way to ensure that the new layout is adhered to, but where that is no possible, clear signage is recommended. Reviewing the layout of furniture will also help you get a better understanding of the new customer journey, as makeshift barriers can be created from larger pieces.

In order to help businesses prepare for reopening and the ‘new normal,’ My Secure are offering all new customers up to 50% for the first three months to allow them to safely store excess furniture, product and equipment.