Small Business Returns to Work: What precautions need to take?

Small Business Returns to Work--What precautions need to take

Small businesses are cautiously readjusting to the world amid the Coronavirus pandemic. A lot is happening in the background while planning to return for the business. While some industries have already started to function, many sectors, including travel and tourism, may not start for a few more months. The main focus at this time should be on managing the workplace so that there is less pressure on the healthcare system. There is a need for a holistic approach in every Small Business Return to Work, and it is not limited to social distancing, providing personal protective equipment or PPE and sanitizers.

The complexity at workplace amid Covid-19

Many regions in the country have seen the severe impact of the pandemic as compared to others. The businesses that are reopening their workplaces have to align with the regulations imposed by the government. The restrictions vary from state to state; thus, those businesses that operate in multiple locations have to ensure compliance based on the location. There is always a possibility of a second wave of a pandemic; thus, the businesses should also plan for re-exit.

The needs of the workforce have changed post-pandemic. Before you could have adjusted 50 people in a small office, but now keeping the guidelines in mind, the number can only be around 30 percent to 40 percent of the previous strength. Most of the companies have decided to let maximum workforce work from home either regularly or on alternate days to reduce exposure to the outside world.

How to continue work post-lockdown?

Without a basic plan of return, it won’t be possible for the businesses to act swiftly if anything goes wrong. The lockdown was imposed suddenly, resulting in missing deadlines, loss of work, and a lot of backlogs that have to be cleared now once Small Business Return to Work. Though the government has stepped up and provided some relief to the companies, that won’t help manage the backlog. The HR department and management have to work on several aspects to get things running smoothly. Here are a few things that you can consider to ensure continuity in work. There are several HR guidelines for small business that need to be followed to ensure compliance

Physical reconfiguration of the workplace

The first thing you need to take care of is the physical configuration of the workplace. You have to prioritize the health and safety of the employees, customers, and clients. The changes that you have to make in your policies must put health and safety on the top, and the HR has to ensure all the changes are properly communicated to everyone at the workplace.

The essentials

The government has imposed many restrictions and issued several employee guidelines for small businesses. Some of the common essentials include social distancing, use of masks, availability, sanitizer accessibility, proper sanitization of the workplace every day or after every shift, and more. Depending on your industry, the guidelines may differ. It is the HR and management’s responsibility to ensure all guidelines are in sync with the changes you have made in your policies and workplace regulations.

How to complete pending accounting and HR work?

One of the biggest issues at this time for any small business is the pending accounting and HR work. In the last few months, since lockdown happened, the government has changed several regulations to enable businesses to restart amid lockdown. A lot of rules have changed for Small Business Return to Work to which HR and accounts department have to sync with while completing the pending work since lockdown. From filing GST to issuing payroll on time, the accounts department has to do a lot of work while making the required changes.

Several ways including employee guidelines for small businesses can ease down the process of transiting from before-pandemic to the after-pandemic business world. Let’s discuss a few of them.

Leverage technology

One small business advice that we can give you is that you must keep in mind that in today’s time without using advanced technology, it will be impossible for your business to regain its momentum from the pre-pandemic era. You must upgrade the accounting and HR software to the one that has options for pandemic-like scenarios. In the pre-pandemic era, most of the HR and accounting software did not have the option that allows you to continue work from a remote location that resulted in a major loss. It is time that you shift your concentration to finding a solution that can provide support in such situations.

Outsource accounting and HR

There are companies that expertise in accounts and HR solutions. For small businesses, it is anyway difficult to manage everything in-house, and there is always a chance of human error that must be avoided at any cost. These companies or service providers not only ensure smooth functioning for accounts and HR, but they also ensure your business stays in compliance with the ever-changing regulations and follow HR guidelines for small businesses.

There are several benefits of outsourcing accounting and HR. You will save crucial time and concentrate on reviving the business. The service providers will re-negotiate with your employees about the salaries and benefits if there is any change in the packages you provide. These companies will take care of the paperwork that needs to be submitted for taxation etc. Also, they have highly secure servers where they save your information. You will get access to a dashboard that you can use to access all the information and check progress. Outsourcing is also cheaper when compared to the in-house department for small business payroll and HR.

How to reduce the cost Post pandemic?

Pandemic has hit hard on the finances of almost every industry. There are several guidelines that your business needs to comply with, but that will cost money. Also, to ensure your employees’ and clients’ safety, you have to make some changes in the workplace that may shake your budget further.

To ensure that you do not spend a lot while re-opening your business, here are some ways to reduce cost post pandemics.

  • Spend less on promotions, advertisements, and endorsements

Every business has to spend on advertisements, especially when they are reviving their work. However, keeping the financial situation in mind, you can cut down the budget to half or even less for a few months. Concentrate on using social media marketing as a tool of informing clients and customers about the changes in the business rather than using print ads or TV ads. Also, for the time being, avoid endorsements and collaborations with celebrities.

  • Make your workplace energy efficient

Before you restart your business, see what changes you can make to improve the workplace’s energy efficiency. From shifting to LEDs to replacing old equipment, there is a lot that you can do. Make a list of changes that you can make and, if required, help a professional get the things back on track.

  • Update pricing and the cancellation policy

One of the biggest expenses for any business is the cancellation and return of the products. Until everything settles down, make a few changes in your cancellation and return policies to reduce financial stress on your business.

  • Seek help from the government and banks

The government provides several packages for small businesses via banks that you can use to revive the business. You can contact us for guidance on this matter, and our team will provide all the information and help you get all the required financial or workforce related help.

  • Reduce working hours and cut salaries

Though it may put you in the bad light for a while, difficult time needs strong steps. You have to step up and reduce your workforce. If that is not feasible, work on reducing work hours and renegotiate salaries with the employees.

How to achieve the target again?

HR has to work hard to ensure the teams are meeting targets post-pandemic. Most of the employees will still be working from home, and HR must ensure everyone is communicating with each other. Several problems arise during remote working, and HR should find solutions for it on time. Make sure the organization is prepared for the required changes. Make a checklist for the HR department and employees that they must follow to ensure the smooth functioning of the business.

Be prepared for the second wave of the infection spread. Make sure you find solutions to enable work-from-home or remote working for your business. If there is no possibility for WFH, make sure that your workplace is ready for such a situation and follow all the guidelines, make all the required changes, and notify authorities so that you can continue work.

Always remember that your customers and clients will remember how your business functioned during and post-pandemic. It will be the base of their decision if they want to continue business with you or not. For example, if you run a small restaurant that is currently planning to resume home delivery only, make sure that you follow all the precautions laid down by the health ministry and ensure that your customers know about the safety precautions you are taking workplace. Thus it is essential that you follow all employee guidelines for small business.

List of the precautions while starting a business

Here are some basic guidelines and a list of precautions that every business should follow:

Prepare a remote work option: Please keep in mind you should provide a work-from-home option to your employees if possible. The least they come in contact with each other, the lesser the chance of getting infected if any one of them gets coronavirus.

  • Reduce meetings and travel

Even if your workforce is working from your business establishment, try to reduce travel and meetings outside the office. Give them an option to communicate with the clients using video conferencing even if they are in the same city. Request your clients to switch to video conferencing and chat options to solve queries.

  • Become obsessed with cleaning

The best way to stay safe is by taking care of hygiene. Make sure that your workplace is properly sanitized every day. Ask your employees to wear masks and gloves. Make sure they wash hands properly and use sanitizer when required.

  • Shift to online sales

If you are selling products, it is high time that you shift your store online. It will not only keep your workforce safe but will also help in reducing costs.

Time to analyze everything

Covid-19 has taught us that we are not at all prepared for a pandemic. Every business reached on the verge of collapsing, and those who belong to the hospitality industry are still going to face many problems in the coming months. It is the right time to reanalyze everything from finances to policies, reduce teams, and cut costs wherever possible. You can contact us for Small Business after lockdown guidance and we will provide you the step-by-step methodology to ensure you stay in compliance with all the regulations and be prepared for such situations in the future.