Coronavirus has affected the entire world, disrupting our lives and creating numerous new challenges, especially for the economic sector. Minimizing the impact of the pandemic on employees and businesses are the main concerns for company leaders everywhere.
With the ongoing pandemic, it is more challenging than ever to provide your staff with a safe workplace.
To reduce the impact of COVID-19 outbreaks on your business, workers, customers, and the general public, it is important to draft a plan that would address exposure risks, routes of transmission, and determine appropriate control measures to implement.
Let’s take a look at steps you can take to keep your employees safe and your business operational during COVID-19 outbreaks.
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1. Take a people-first approach
People are the most valuable asset to your business, so listen to your employees and their concerns, and put them first. The raging pandemic is not affecting just physical health, but also people’s mental wellbeing. Strong leadership is required to ease anxiety in your workers.
If your resources allow it, consider providing financial and psychological support to your workers.
2. Implement flexible and remote work options
If feasible for your business, employees should be allowed to work remotely. Work from home policy provides numerous benefits for both the employer and the remote staff. For starters, it leads to increased productivity, and there are less overhead and operating costs to keep your business running.
Just make sure to set clear expectations including a daily work schedule for your remote teams and stay in touch with them so they don’t feel isolated.
And when it comes to employees who cannot work remotely like cashiers, shop assistants, and drivers, determine how your organization will ensure their safety.
3. Develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan
Research guidance from federal, state, and local health agencies and incorporate those recommendations into a plan that would be specific for your workplace. Use credible sources of information only and share current and relevant information about COVID-19 prevention recommendations among your staff.
This plan should also include prompt identification and isolation of infected people.
Contact tracing is a proven way to effectively manage COVID-19. Get a COVID contact tracing card
, a wearable technical device, for all your employees so you can easily identify and isolate only those at risk.
This smart and easy-to-use contact tracing tool records card-to-card proximity and enables your business to remain operational even in these uncertain times.
4. Prepare for disruptions in business operations
The absenteeism will likely increase, so make sure you are prepared. When it comes to key executive positions and other critical roles in your company, develop temporary succession plans. Consider worst-case scenarios like closing offices or some of the production lines, and prep in advance.
Temporary staff reduction is a possible scenario too, so devise a plan on how to deal with it. Do not fret about the future. You can think of innovative methods of recruitment
and hire your old employees back.
Also, prioritize your company’s projects. Make sure your team focuses on the critical tasks that are most important for your business. Allow your people more flexibility with low-priority tasks.
5. Organize a safe work environment
Ensure the safety of workplaces by purchasing medical equipment and supplies including personal protective equipment, thermometers, and disinfection products. Working environments should also be frequently and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected
Train your staff on effective cleaning and disinfection processes.
Have a clear process in place for emergency situations like outbreaks including so your employees know how to react when an employee is infected with COVID-19, or suspected of being infected.
6. Manage supply chain vulnerabilities
The companies that have developed and implemented supply chain risk management are better prepared to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on their business operations. Diversifying your supply chains geographically will reduce the risk of supply chain disruption.
Invest in supply chain planning, build strong relationships with key suppliers, and secure additional critical inventory and capacity.
Also, consider tapping into booming online marketplaces as they provide businesses access to suppliers and partners from all over the world.
7. Update your travel and meeting policies
Since travel is linked with a higher risk of contracting the virus, make sure to monitor the latest travel guidance from health authorities and review government travel policies. This is especially important for businesses with high travel needs. If you must get around a foreign city, consider renting a car so you do not get stuck in tight places with strangers. In this case, make sure you have an international driving permit
to avoid any legal issues.
All non-essential travel should be restricted to protect your employees. Also, it is strongly advised to utilize emails, phone calls, and video-conferencing to hold meetings, when possible.
Much of day-to-day work can be done this way, and virtual meetings can replace physical ones when attendance is necessary to form a quorum or make important business decisions.