5 Ways To Support Employees During The Pandemic
These are unprecedented times and nobody really knows how to handle these situations perfectly. Once conditions start getting better, many companies will look to return to their operations prior to Covid-19. This could mean returning employees to the office. Since these matters have to do with life or death, the best strategy for businesses to use is to allow employees the choice of whether or not they will return. If it is essential for the business that employees work in the workplace, then the initiative to protect employees using various safety measures must be taken.
Using Proper Safety Measures
Cleaning surfaces periodically with soap, water, and disinfectant. Soap and Water will help reduce the number of germs on the surface while disinfectant will kill the remaining germs left on the surface.
Routinely cleaning high-touch surfaces throughout the day, these include: door handles, light switches, desks, keyboards, etc..
Offering sanitizers and other bacteria-killing solutions around the office for the use of employees.
Requiring employees to wear masks.
Important Note: Cleaning staff should always be wearing gloves and masks when sanitizing.
In-Office Testing and Screening
Companies should consider providing in-office testing so that they can ensure that all employees are being tested while also giving employees ease of access. This is mainly to determine who should and who shouldn’t be coming to the office. Those infected should be kept away from potentially spreading the virus to other employees, they can be re-tested later.
Companies should also be screening their employees, asking them a series of questions to determine their risk of infection. These questions should go over things like travel history, recent exposures to other people, and just other experiences that could lead to a possible infection. By using screening in the office, companies can determine which employees are potentially dangerous to have in the office.
Mental Health Support
Covid-19 has taken a huge toll on the mental health of employees around the world. They have to deal with the fear of contracting the virus, long periods of social isolation, and possibly worrying about family or friends who are sick. Companies are starting to highlight mental health issues during this time, and providing benefits that help their employees. Many companies are offering their employees opportunities to see mental health experts and take web-based classes free of cost. All companies should at least make an effort to keep track of their employees’ mental states by using mental health screening or just simple check-ups. A person’s state of mind will greatly affect the work that they provide.
Limiting Population and Staggering Shifts
One of the easiest ways to control a massive spread of the virus is to control overpopulated areas. Companies should consider bringing back a portion of employees when offices open again. The best idea is to bring back the workers who are considered “essential” for the office in that the work that they provided is heavily reliant on being in-person; if they can stay home and provide the same work, let them. Another idea to help control an overpopulated office is to stagger the shifts of employees. Setting individual schedules for workers to come in and leave at different times will control the amount of traffic in the office.
For the companies that decide remote work is the best and safest option for their employees, financially supporting the creation of home-offices will be of great help. Companies can provide allowances to employees for the purpose of buying furniture and other items that will help them create their “home-office”. Remote workers will be spending a majority of their days at home, so creating that office environment will help them stay focused and productive.