No one has to rethink this season more than facilities. The holiday season is more than just parties; it is a logistical quagmire. It is typically the largest shipping season of the year, putting a strain on facilities to manage increased visitors and packages. As this 2020 holiday season begins, it is essential to establish a plan of action for your facility and establish new protocols specifically for this covid holiday season. Here are some tips to help you as you develop your holiday season plans:

Keep a List and Check It Twice: Tighten up Visitor Protocol
During the holiday season, businesses see quite the increase in foot traffic; whether it be local sales reps or additional workers coming in for the holiday boom, there always seems to be more people roaming around the building this time of year. To keep everyone safe, accurate visitor tracking is particularly essential during this time. However, with businesses drastically limiting the number of employees on-site due to local and state health protocols, visitor increase during this boom time is no longer a straightforward option.

Though there are several good reasons to limit and track your visitors every year, this year, the pandemic provides an obvious rationale for doing so: contact tracing. Your goal for facility safety is first to reduce exposure. Second, be ready to notify staff and visitors if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive within your facility. Here are some ways to approach visitor tracking during the holidays:

• Register all visitors ahead of time. Whether it is submitting a request form to your facility manager or notifying the main office, all visitors should provide notification at least 24-hours in advance, if not weeks before their intended visit.
• Limit the spaces visitors can enter. This action reduces possible exposure by limiting visitors to essential areas only.
• Track your visitors. Use your tracking platform to monitor each users’ whereabouts and their traffic patterns as they visit the facility. Review all visitor reports and metrics to determine potential exposure areas.

Don’t Open Your Gifts Early: Assign a Space for Overflow Package Quarantine
Much like visitors, packages tend to accrue much faster during the holiday season. This year, the industry as a whole anticipates a massive increase in package delivery, unlike any other time in recent history. Businesses are more inclined to curb in-person shopping this year and rely more on shipping. While many have adopted a remote package quarantine workflow  to accommodate packages during regular periods, it merely may not be enough this year. To help this dilemma, assign an overflow space for package quarantine. The space should be large enough to accommodate the increased number of packages while remaining separate from other areas.

Avoid the Holiday Crowds: Engage Alternate Ways to Celebrate the End of Year
With holidays come holiday parties. The end of the year is a time to celebrate and show gratitude for your employees’ work. While many people feel the need to celebrate and come together, it may be challenging to do this safely. It is still paramount that companies reduce the number of people in their buildings if they are operating in person. That said, this doesn’t mean that holiday parties, in general, need to be canceled: they need to be rethought. Here are some ways to approach holiday parties this year:

• Take your celebration virtual. The best way to ensure your employees’ continued safety and health is to keep them at home. As a nation, we have learned to maximize our virtual interactions. A virtual holiday party provides a safe and more convenient way to spread holiday cheer amongst your employees.
• Suppose you choose to celebrate in person, downscale dramatically. Notify employees of your intentions well before the designated party date, so they know where to report and how to interact within their designated space. Reducing the size of holiday gatherings by splitting into smaller teams or celebrating by department ensures that individuals can maintain social distance.

Do you have a holiday plan of action for your facility? Do you need help establishing safety protocols? Let us know by emailing us at [email protected].