Working through the COVID-19 pandemic is a tremendous challenge that requires preparation. Supervisors and employees must be ready for the task. A safe workplace is essential for the safety and welfare of all employees. Top priorities should include employee safety, proper hygiene, and employee health.
Tips to Safely Navigate Obstacles Posed by COVID-19
A Safe Workplace
Health and safety are the top considerations for workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Managers should consider hiring a cleaning service to clean the entire office, including common areas and individual workstations. Shampooing the carpets and cleaning the air ducts will also help. Companies can raise their cleaning standards by disinfecting workstations every night and cleaning common areas several times throughout the day. All employees should go through the fridge, throw out expired consumables and clean out stashed food from their desks. Focus sanitizing efforts on high-touch areas like doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, light switches, and bathrooms. Installing antimicrobial hardware in high-contact areas may also be a consideration.
During this pandemic, good hygiene practices are crucial. Procedures such as coughing and sneezing etiquette, hand-washing practices, social distancing, staying home when ill, and recognizing the symptoms of COVID-19 must be in place. Supervisors can make hygiene easier for employees by providing:
- Disinfectant wipes
- Hand soap
- Hand sanitizer
- Paper towels
- Face masks
Revise Policies and Procedures
COVID-19 is certainly changing the way business is conducted. Now is an excellent time for employers to examine their current policies and procedures and update them for best practices. It is imperative that leave policies now include COVID-19. Some workers will be remote through this pandemic, while others will be working in person. For those coming to the office, the facility’s layout should promote health and reduce germs spread. Policies regarding meetings should reflect the current situation, and video conferencing should receive preference.
Flexibility is key to working through COVID-19. Businesses must consider ways to offer flexible working arrangements for their employees. Companies should have their high-risk employees come into the office for a few morning hours while the office is empty. Flexible schedules should be available for parents and those caring for elderly family members or they should be allowed to continue with remote work. Any symptomatic employees should work at home as much as possible. Permit employees to work from home if they so choose and if it is possible.
When preparing to work through the pandemic, consider using automation to make things easier for employees, customers, and clients. Consider all the ways that the company can be contactless. There are multiple ways to do this, from online invoicing to teleconferencing for meeting potential vendors. Even the smallest changes can decrease contact and help fight the spread of COVID-19.
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