A series of retail images where employees are adding safety labels to items in store

Labelling for a safe return to work

Whether it’s a business-critical rush to get all hands back on deck as quickly as possible, or a slower, phased approach to migrating teams back to work, organisations are facing up to a number of new challenges.

The fundamental challenge for businesses will be ensuring the safe reopening of premises, for both customers and staff, in line with evolving government guidance. In addition to this, businesses must also seek to proactively ease concerns around the viability of adhering to these measures from an increasingly cautious workforce and customer base.  

Spelling out the new normal: Labelling and Signage 

Many workplaces will simply not be able to accommodate an overnight return to full-time work whilst observing existing government guidelines. Even with reductions in social distancing measures, and evolving guidance aimed at easing physical restrictions, there will be many environments where a major facilities overhaul is required.  

From new one-way systems to handwashing and surface cleaning measures, putting the necessary safety measures in place will require you to either print your own signs and labels or purchase them online. When creating labels and signage, there are three key factors to consider:  

  • making signage clear and visible 
  • selecting the correct label type for your requirements
  • conveying your specific message in the most relevant format 

Making signage clear and visible

Any new safety measures can only be as effective as their method of communication. So, making sure signage is clear and visible is key to helping instruct, inform and remind all those on-site of any changes to layout or procedure. 

Regardless of the size of your business, you should have clear signs and banners for your staff and customers to follow. Handwritten signage can be difficult to read from a distance and can be easily missed or ignored.  

Label printers can provide a simple, easy-to-use solution to this challenge. The Brother QL-800 series enables you to quickly and simply print high quality, customisable labels up to 1-metre in length. Its range of connectivity options and easy ‘drop in’ tapes - with paper rolls for temporary signs and vinyl rolls for more hard-wearing signage - means these printers are perfect for larger signs and instructional labelling, even in high-traffic areas. 

Selecting the correct label type for your requirements 

Durability is a vital consideration for ensuring the full scale of your new labelling and signage requirements can be met. Alongside dry surfaces such as floors, doors and shelves, you will need signs and labels which will withstand water, grease and changes in temperature – anywhere from staffrooms and bathrooms to externally facing surfaces. And with increased levels of cleaning in place, you’ll need these to be robust.  

Paper-based signage can wear and fade quickly if exposed to sunlight or water, so you should consider using laminated signs and labels with hard-wearing adhesive, which can adhere to any flat surface and withstand the elements.  

Our P-touch label printers are high speed, high-resolution devices which are developed specifically to provide users with durable labels - offering heavy-duty tapes that tackle these issues in varying colour combinations and in 24mm and 36mm widths.  

Conveying your specific message in the most relevant format 

While something is better than nothing, the majority of signs for social distancing and hygiene you can purchase online come with standard wording and in A4 size, which provides no scope for customisation. Aside from lacking the flexibility to always meet your space or surface requirements, continually evolving measures can leave you out of step in communicating the most recent changes in guidance.

By creating customisable labels and signage, you’ll be able to address any changes immediately, as they happen.

The QL and PT printer range can print directly from Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook onto labels by using our P-Touch Editor software, enabling you to easily create bespoke signage, including the use of different icons and fonts. 

For spaces where durability is essential, the PT-D800W will provide you with access to 50 built-in, modifiable templates, designed to help make your workplace safe. You can view and download our range of templates here.  

Giving employees the confidence to return to work  

From having become accustomed to the flexibility of home working to safety concerns about sharing office space, attitudes towards returning to a centralised place of work are mixed.  

Demonstrating your commitment to employee safety on-site, can give your employees the confidence they need to return to work, safe in the knowledge that you have a robust strategy that allows for implementing evolving government guidance. 

By focusing on clarity, durability and flexibility you can ensure the labels and signage you need to keep your employees safe are at hand within moments.  

To find out more visit our Coronavirus labelling solutions page.  

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