The state of COVID-19 remains both highly infectious and widespread as we near the fourth quarter and the resumption of school for our children. Many companies are going back to work, but life as it was, is now changed. To protect their valuable employees, companies must take steps now to ensure the safety of their workforce and the customers they serve. This article will help you prepare your business for going back to work in our new COVID-19 normal.
Employee Considerations for COVID-19 Safety
Establishing company guidelines for using hand sanitizer is as important as developing a written back-to-work policy for your employees. The CDC recommends setting up an employee COVID-19 guidebook that covers everything from social distancing and handshaking (not!) to wearing masks. Limit or cut unnecessary travel to protect your workers. If someone does need to travel, they should self-quarantine for 14-days before coming to the office.
Make sure your PTO policy includes ample time off if someone gets ill from the virus. Talk to your workers about telemedicine visits, something many insurance carriers are offering for free. Establish a culture where anyone that feels ill should stay home. It’s a good idea to continue to allow remote work whenever possible; quarantined employees may still be productive without potentially exposing others to the virus in an office setting.
Educate your staff about the symptoms of COVID-19. Your HR team should be standing by to answer any questions your workers may have. Setting up a confidential way for employees to ask questions safely will ensure they will feel comfortable self-quarantining if they are exposed to the virus.
While these are just a few of the measures you should implement, every office should establish behavioral guidelines to protect your teams.
Building Safety During COVID-19
Anywhere there are crowds, COVID-19 spreads, so consider your office a potential hotspot. Before reopening your doors, do a walkthrough with your HR team to identify the highest traffic spots where crowds congregate or the ones that are high-touch. For example:
- Door handles
- Elevator buttons
- Light switches
- Brea rooms
- Shared offices
Your COVID-19 planning document should take steps to document and set up procedures to clean and sanitize these areas.
We know that COVID-19 doesn’t spread as well or as quickly outside or when a building has more effective ventilation. Consider talking with your HVAC vendor to switch to high-efficiency air filters or a better HVAC system to reduce the viral load in your office.
Inside your offices, consider rearranging cubicles to support social distancing. Supply masks and hand sanitizers. Restrict visitors from entering without permission by locking doors and putting up a sign to ask delivery or other vendors to call so you can let them in. If your offices have shared equipment, such as multiple workers sharing a desk or a computer, establish protocols to minimize your risk.
Try staggering work schedules to minimize the number of people in offices at any one time. Restrict common areas. Invest in hand sanitizers, gloves, and masks, and require that every employee clean their desks before leaving at night.
Call Us to See How We Can Help You
ADD STAFF is concerned about your safety. Talk with our teams about additional workers to supplement any staff out on sick leave. We can help your business.