Coronavirus has changed the world in more ways than we can count. With this massive change, the way self storage businesses operate has changed immeasurably as well. Nowhere is this more clear than when we consider the role of sanitation and health measures being put in place for businesses when reopening. With the virus being mainly transmitted through airborne droplets, high-touch surfaces and high-density indoor spaces have been the main focus in trying to prevent the spread.
As mentioned before, high-contact surfaces are arguably the most important aspect to consider in your storage facility. While the business is generally low traffic, the airborne nature of the virus means that surfaces will still need to be sanitised heavily. Ramping up sanitation is now a minimum expectation for customers, but here are the main areas you should be focusing your sanitation on:
- The sales counter
- Door handles
- Access keypads
- Moving carts
While using sanitation wipes might be more convenient, a spray disinfectant is more efficient, letting you disperse a small amount to where you want to sanitise. When it comes to when you should be sanitising, most experts suggest that at the minimum you want to clean these at the start of the business day, after lunch, at close and, where possible, after each customer use. You can also sanitise throughout the day as necessary. Hand sanitiser is also very much the norm, and should be available to customers at all times.
We’ve seen that masks have become the norm, as they have been shown to be extremely effective in preventing the spread of the virus. As self storage facilities can sometimes lead to indoor spaces becoming heavily crowded, having a stock for staff and customers on hand at the location may be beneficial. While customers may not be required to wear them at all times, wearing them in public indoor spaces such as the facility office and storage hallways, could help to prevent the spread of the virus.
As other shops and businesses begin to start reopening back to the public, they’ve begun enforcing measures in their stores to maintain distance between other customers as well as staff. Stickers on the ground marking where customers should stand, signage urging people to stay 2 meters away, and limiting customer numbers are all common ways for businesses to follow social distancing restrictions. Some stores have also started using plexiglass dividers at service counters to further distance people from each other in the store. All of these are good ways to continue enforcing social distancing measures as we move further in pandemic life.
While the methods above are all crucial in making sure your customers feel safe, training your staff to work in this pandemic is maybe even more important. Clear expectations and guidelines are key. Especially when government regulations are constantly changing, it’s important to make sure your business is compliant. Give specific examples and guidance, and make sure you have open communication with your staff, constantly discussing new information or answering questions.
If you feel your facility is especially vulnerable to COVID-19, you can always consider hiring outside help to clean and disinfect the premises. This can be an appealing aspect to your customers as well, and it will also reassure your staff that you’re doing everything possible to keep them safe. Along with this, you can look into new technologies in sanitation, or turn to online solutions if you want to reduce the amount of physical traffic at your facility.
2020 has been a tremendously long year, and as businesses and stores start to reopen, we hope the list above has given you some help in working out how to make sure your staff and your customers feel safe.
Related Article: Is your Self Storage Business COVID-Ready?
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