Coronavirus — it seems like that’s the only thing the world is talking about. The virus has spread across the globe and it’s crucial that businesses adapt the way they work and keep their employees safe during this time.
Here are 5 ways to keep your team safe and healthy during this pandemic.
5 Steps to Keep Your Team Safe During the Coronavirus Outbreak
1. Implement remote work company-wide
Your first priority should be to ask your employees to work from home. Even if your area has low risk for the virus to spread, increasing social contact can quickly escalate the situation in your area. Employees will catch the virus quickly by having to move around the city and use public transport to get to your workplace.
By enabling remote working for your entire team, you can reduce the amount of contact and do your part in curbing the spread of the coronavirus. This is called social distancing. With fewer people moving around and avoiding large gatherings, the virus will be slow to spread. This way, you can help your area reduce the number of COVID-19 positive patients.
You may be hesitant to transition to remote work. What if employees don’t get work done? What if they aren’t productive? How can I communicate with them effectively?
Surprisingly, remote workers are 20-25% more productive than their office colleagues. They spend less time on their commute and take more ownership of their work.
Making this transition isn’t hard. The most important part of setting up a remote team is to create a system for every part of your work— from time tracking to project management. Read our blog to take your in-office team remote with ease.
2. Provide health checkup
Ask every employee to get a health checkup. Since this is also the flu season, you can get your team tested for different viruses as well as get their flu shots updated. A lot of people avoid getting tested due to the high costs involved. By covering your employees for this requirement, you can ensure they are healthy. You can also help to decrease the spread of the virus if an employee does end up testing positive for it.
Many companies cover their employees’ medical visits. If you don’t provide this as a benefit, you might want to make this coronavirus outbreak an exception. You can ask employees to get a checkup and send their receipts for reimbursement.
Encourage employees to be transparent about whether they can’t afford to pay for the checkup upfront. Very few people set up an emergency medical fund. For employees who can’t afford such a checkup, you can think of other ways to help them afford this need.
3. Cancel business travel
Most business travels have been canceled across the globe. However, if you’re one of the few who is still traveling or have asked employees to travel for business, you’re better off canceling this plan.
There are multiple risks of taking a non-emergency trip to another place:
- The traveler will be quarantined for 14 days
- They risk catching the virus when moving around public spaces
- They risk spreading the coronavirus to others. This is especially dangerous if they come in contact with people older than 60 years.
Simply put, cancel any business travel that is scheduled for your team for the rest of the year.
4. Assess the situation before asking employees to physically attend work
Some jobs require physical presence, whether it’s managing work on-site, a receptionist, or service roles. In such cases, assess the situation in the area and take a call accordingly.
If your area is high-risk and your employee has non-emergency work like at a construction site, put the work on hold.
If your employees have a service job like delivering food, ensure they follow health measures like using a face mask, constant hand washing, etc. Ask your employees to take the day off if they are sick, even with just a cold or allergies.
5. Allow unlimited sick leave
Extreme situations call for rare measures. Most companies provide a certain number of sick leaves in a year but, with the outbreak, you have to adapt your leave policies to accommodate this issue.
Allow employees to take unlimited sick leave. Employees who do test positive for coronavirus will be able to take the 14-day leave without having to worry about losing their pay.
I hope this helps you tackle this coronavirus outbreak better. Always prioritize your employees’ health first!