Published On 03/26/2020 TO Inside Facility Management

Continuing Through a Pandemic

Continuing Through a Pandemic

COVID-19 has brought about huge changes to our society, and it’s happened quickly. Education providers have been able to switch to an entirely digital curriculum and teach classes virtually. Office workers are working from home to complete their tasks and help keep organizations afloat. Manufacturers are producing different products based on their inventory and experience to help meet the needs in the healthcare industry. Restaurants, pharmacies and supermarkets are counting on delivery drivers so they can continue providing products and services to their community.

The worldwide pandemic has affected the U. S. in many ways. How can you change this challenge into an opportunity for your business?

Contribute to the fight

Is there a way that you can keep your employees working and/or do your part in fighting the coronavirus? There are many items and services needed to help control and wipe out this virus. Here are some ways businesses are contributing their goods and services:

  • Distilleries have shifted their alcohol production to processing hand sanitizer for healthcare workers and those that need to stay open for business in the community.
  • Hotels have opened their doors to healthcare workers, allowing them to self-isolate during the pandemic and not risk spreading the virus to family members.
  • Manufacturers are donating parts and services to help make ventilators and machinery for hospitals.
  • Crafty individuals are using their sewing skills to produce face masks for their community and health workers.

Help the quarantined

Your business may be able to shift its current methods of distribution to provide items or services to those at home. Many people who are isolating themselves in their homes have had a difficult time adjusting. Your business may be able to provide virtual services or deliveries to those staying inside or transition your in-person services to a virtual platform.

  • Personal trainers are streaming videos of workouts to be completed in your home or giving facetime advice.
  • Doctors are completing virtual assessments with patients in order to keep both parties safe.
  • Schools now have digital curriculums, teachers have class online, and students are able to complete all their assignments through dashboards or email.
  • Bands are streaming live concerts on Facebook and Twitch and finding fun ways to interact with fans and build their brand with events like Netflix movie parties, one-on-one facetime or public chats.
  • In person training has found an online home through webinars and Zoom and it has opened opportunities to many new customers who would not have been able to travel for onsite training.

Other services have moved to delivery-only:

  • Restaurants that were almost 100% dine in have converted their dining experience to take away and delivery only.
  • Pharmacies and supermarkets are finding that personal shopping and delivery can not only help keep employees safer, but customers as well.
  • Online shopping has increased dramatically, and shipping and delivery services are needing to hire many more employees to keep up with the demand.

Are there ways that your business can be reimagined or still interact with customers?

If not, is there a way you can use this time to improve business, customer relationships and interactions with employees?

Develop your staff for your return

Consider using this time to provide training courses for employees. Employees want growth and training to increase their skills and they look to you to help them do that. You can create your own or purchase classes from other online training groups. This allows your employees to continue to grow and establish new skills during down time and return more diligent. You could train on a multitude of different skills, including:

  • Customer service
  • Time management
  • Process and controls
  • Social media etiquette
  • Brand
  • Mentoring
  • Management skills
  • …and many more

Improve and maintain your facilities

With few or zero employees at the office, take this time to get your facility in top shape. It is not often that your facility will contain so few people on a regular basis.

This is a good time to update your HVAC, clean ducts, have repairs made, paint, update machinery, etc.

Build trust between you and your employees by doing a thorough disinfection and deep cleaning of your facility. When the virus’ spread reduces and things start getting back to normal, make sure you have the insight to present a fully sanitized facility upon their return.

Since most machinery was not built to sit idle for weeks on end, this also allows testing and maintenance to be done without disturbing employee process and flow.

Take advantage of this time to do the things you always want to get done. Enter new production grounds to help your community, find new avenues to distribute your product or services, improve the skills of your employees and update your facility. You no longer have the excuses that you don’t have the time or can’t do it because there are too many people around.

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