We are indeed living in extraordinary and exciting times. The last few years have made changes and influenced all aspects of our lives. Preparing your business, company, or organization for the post-pandemic era and adapting to our new normal may seem overwhelming at first, with consideration of new in-person practices and safety procedures. One of the crucial changes and perhaps being overlooked the most is the signage needed for our new normal.
Especially in healthcare facilities and hospitals, which were forced to reconfigure operations rapidly and effectively, they were one of the hardest-hit professions during the peak of COVID. Health facilities are seeing patient load slowly returning to pre-COVID levels, and more and more businesses, public spaces, and venues are reopening. Many of us face re-evaluating and adjusting these new realities in our workspaces, profession, and management.
There is now a new demand and signage needed for our new normal. But what kind of signage is an absolute must? What needs to change?
Let’s explore how these changing times affect companies, businesses, trade shows, convention signage, and more.
Signage Creates a Safer Environment
At the beginning of COVID-19, you might recall public spaces making use of things such as tape to section off safe crowd practices. Perhaps you came across a storefront or office with a quickly printed sign asking for masks to be worn. While these items were necessary, they were only a quick fix at the time. Neither solution was meant to last, nor did it consider just how long and how large an impact COVID would impart into our daily lives.
How Does Signage Create a Safer Environment?
- Inform guests, visitors, and employees about the safety measures you are taking. For example, signage can display instructions on health, safety, and any social distancing procedures in place.
- Signage can direct employees and guests to sanitization stations or supplies.
- Help in the prevention of spreading new infections. You should now be considering how best to optimize the workspace that you have. With the new rules and regulations in mind, many employees may have to book a workspace before working to ensure that the area is sanitized and cleaned before and after. Signage that indicates whether a site has been sanitized or not prevents accidental exposure or cross-contamination, keeping your employees and customers safe.
- Immediately guide new visitors or employees to any entrance screening procedures or follow-up procedures.
Signage Suggestions and Ideas for Your New Normal
It may be overwhelming at first when trying to adjust signage for a return to the workplace. Every state, county, and city may have different guidelines, which can quickly become confusing. Using signage, you can ensure that everyone who will visit or work at your location will follow and know the proper set of rules for your company and exactly how to stay safe and healthy. But what should you use? What sort of signage works?
It might seem obvious, but having a welcome back sign or some sort is almost a given. A welcome back sign is not only a wonderful, feel-good gesture to returning employees and customers alike, but it serves to give a gentle reminder that things are a little different than they were. There may be changes ahead for them to pay attention to. It’s also a great little opportunity to give a quick thanks to staff and clients for supporting you if you experienced closure.
Registration or Preregistration
If a building or business requires visitors to either pre-register upon entering a building or workspace, a sign can be used to indicate such. Placing a reminder on an entryway or around reception screens will help set up expectations, help handle the workflow of visitor registration, guide guests, and assist in providing instructions to visitors.
Buildings, public venues, restaurants, or workspaces may have a maximum capacity currently being enforced. Elevators or other enclosed spaces may also have limited capacity. Posting physical signage at strategic locations can help remind and reinforce these rules. Additionally, in any areas that you wish to keep off-limits to visitors entirely, signage creates an easy means to convey that message and even be used to showcase a map of restricted locations to help head off any potential problems.
Mask and Social Distancing Policy
It is also crucial to convey messages about your facility’s policy on masks and social distancing. Where an employee or customer should walk, stand, queue, and even how far apart to sit are essential. Workplaces will almost certainly want several clear, frequent reminders for everyone to wash their hands, or where bottles of disinfectant and hand sanitizer may be found with additional signs to encourage people they should use this.
Direction and Traffic Flow
Should an organization wish to minimize contact and enforce social distancing in smaller spaces such as aisle or hallways, implementing easy-to-see, directional signage can help maintain proper distancing. Signs can point the way, designating whether a stairway is only for up while another is only down.
QR Tag or Short URL
One advantage of signage in this digital age is that you can include a QR tag or a short URL that will allow your employees and customers to access a comprehensive list of current guidelines a facility has set up. Business owners or companies can include links to state or county guidelines, CDC recommendations, and remind customers, visitors and employees that these new rules are an essential part of adapting to our new normal.
Last, and never least, you can include some must needed positives. COVID-19 has created such a significant effect in our lives and getting used to new rules can cause many people to feel anxious. The adage of ‘a little goes a long way’ is especially true with kindness during these stressful times, so you can be creative and attempt to counteract some of that stress with inspirational, motivational, or even humorous and cute messages on your signage.
And, as restrictions slowly continue to lift, you can embrace and celebrate those changes, letting people know about the next step toward normalcy.
If you are ready for your new signage needed for our new normal or have more questions about implementing them, reach out to us anytime. We’ll work together for a better, new normal together.