June 7, 2020 Our Role in Re-opening the Saratoga County Economy
Essential. Not essential. Work from home. Furloughed. Unemployment. How do we get through this? We get through this together, learning from each other, asking questions and getting help. In the spirit of sharing good, practical information. We suggest reading this article by McKinsey and Company on reopening. Drawing from lessons learned from essential businesses that remained open, the information will help managers and business owners assess risk to employees and customers and reopen safely. Making employees and customers confident in their safety will help our business and community grow again.
For example, working in consistent teams to limit exposure. A company has split employees into three groups, with only one group at a time in the office. The other groups work from home, and then rotate into the office. An elementary school in Denmark adjusted its operating model by splitting up children into groups of about a dozen, with each group taught by the same teacher every school day. Each group has assigned start and end times and holds separate classes, lunch times, and playground activities. We can all learn from these examples and adjust the idea to fit a given business situation.
As we reopen, businesses must define protocols and policies for pre-entry, travel to and from work locations, use of common spaces, and post-infection. To minimize crowding at entrances and exits, some factories have established staggered start times for each workday: employees arrive in waves every ten or 20 minutes. Some stores have limited the number to customers admitted at any one time; others have moved to “by appointment-only” service.
The practical steps in this article may help each of us feel more capable and might empower us to overcome these difficulties. Another example comes from the Pentagon, strategy meetings regularly attended by 40 to 50 people now take place across three rooms, with video-conferencing in each room. Such an arrangement allows individuals to address all attendees and collaborate in smaller groups, without crowding into a single conference room. Would this work for your company?
Finally, McKinsey found that “the experience of essential businesses suggests that softer safety measures, such as training and education, played a significant role in instilling new habits among employees and customers.”
In addition to the McKinsey report, the New York Manufacturers Extension Program “Back to Work” guide is helpful. There is so much information around, almost too much. You aren’t in his alone. We work with all businesses in Saratoga County, big and small and are here to help you get through it all. Our role is to hunt down the information you need and gather it together focusing on what you need. If we can get answers, we will. We will also be upfront about when we just don’t have an answer.
Mary Estelle Ryckman is the Advisor for Business Retention, Expansion + Global Markets at the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership. Please call me at 518.871.1887 or email me at Mary.Ryckman@saratogapartnership.org. if you need help or have information that can assist others in our community.