COVID-19 Update: The Basics for Employers
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, organizations have some tough decisions to make. Many must decide whether to have employees return to the office to continue working remotely. Others may struggle to find the best ways to implement social distancing in areas where employees interact with others regularly.
What should a business do to protect their employees from the novel coronavirus and mitigate risk? Below are 9 ways to ensure that a business does the best job possible at keeping their employees safe.
Follow CDC Guidelines
Businesses should follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, masks, hand washing and general prevention of viral transmission. Also, if the state in which the business operates has more stringent requirements than the CDC, that business should follow the stricter requirements. A business may require employees to sign a COVID-19 waiver, but if that requirement is a condition of employment the employee has the right to resign instead of signing the waiver.
Robert Reder, Blythe Grace
Keep The Business Going
No one should lose their job due to COVID-19. The responsibility of a business owner or employer is to keep generating revenue to sustain the business and protect the employment status of employees. For some businesses, that’s impossible. For others, it’s a monumental challenge. But if you can keep people employed, then you’re helping address one of the scariest elements of this crisis: personal finances.
Brett Farmiloe, Law Firm SEO
Innovate Towards a Flexible Workspace
In order to protect team members from exposure to COVID-19 at work, employers should consider innovating and designing the most flexible workplace possible, including: analyzing who should work where and when (to limit employees from interacting when they do not need to); and provide plenty of proper PPE and accompanying policies/procedures for use. Employers who aim to keep their employees safe should also deploy the necessary tools and strategies to boost engagement and success while employees remotely, from home.
Niki Ramirez, HR Answers
Create Concrete Work From Home Plans
Many companies have already implemented long-term work from home plans, but if a company has yet to do so, now is the time. Unless your company has to work in an office to function, the best way to protect employees is to keep them home. Not only will they be safer and better able to practice social distancing, but they will also be more productive because they do not have to fear getting the virus while in the office. An employee is never going to perform their best when they are not comfortable in their environment.
Court Will, Will & Will
Be Realistic About the Risks
It is important for a business to be realistic about the risks that novel coronavirus presents and implement policies and procedures that put the employees first. This could involve making some hard decisions and going the extra mile to accommodate a working environment that is far from "business as usual". Not only is there a real physical risk, but the emotional and mental toll is significant. Reinforce your commitment as an organization to get through the pandemic together!
Lukas Ruebbelke, Briebug
If your business has employees that need to physically be in the office building or the shop, be strategic in how you bring them back. Rotate your employees so that the smallest amount of people are in the building every day. Divide up who works what days and if it is possible, allow the rest of the employees to work from home. Make sure to keep the same employees working on the same days so that there is limited contact between the employees themselves.
Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
Allow Remote Work
If the job can be done remotely, allow your employees to work remotely. Despite all the different measures that can be taken, like mandatory masks or spreading desks apart, the easiest way to protect your employees from spreading the novel coronavirus is to allow them to stay home. Remote work, when possible, allows for virtually all protective measures to be done at once and prevents an outbreak in your workplace.
Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital
Be Authentic In Your Approach
Don’t fake empathy. Do not campaign and promote that you understand a person’s struggles and experiences and then do nothing to help them. Not only is there a lack of authenticity in your statements but your audience will soon realize it and you will lose business instead of gain it.
Kenna Hamm, Texas Adoption Center
Don't Forget About Cyber Security
Safety and security are top of mind concerns in this area. When employees can not work remotely, it is a best practice to have a cadence of consistent cleaning and testing measures in place to protect health concerns. Masks, hand washing and reduced direct interactions are best practices in onsite duties. Cyber security is the highest area of risk at this time after health protections, and reinforcing remote access and protecting personal or financial data would be an immediate priority as well.
Nykki Stenger, Insperity