28 states in the U.S. are already on lockdown due to coronavirus and this number continues to rise. As a result, the U.S. economy is plunging and experts are predicting that it will take at least three years to recover. To prevent the economic situation from worsening, it’s crucial that businesses act fast to keep themselves afloat and to protect their workforce during these unprecedented times. But as a business owner, what should you really be doing?
Create a work-from-home policy
Where possible, you should keep your business running, but allow your employees to work from home rather than on your premises. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that around 30% of workers are able to telecommute. If you’re not already used to letting your workers work from home, then you’ll need to invest in work from home technology, including laptops and internal communications programs. It’s also worth creating a work-from-home policy that takes into consideration the ideas of department managers and employees. As part of your policy, you should set expectations and ensure that all employees understand the importance of adhering to strict security procedures.
Review your cleaning procedures
It’s an employer’s job to safeguard their employees and you should already have protection such as workers’ insurance in place so that your employees are looked after should they suddenly fall ill. Cerity Insurance backs this up, stating that employers should always strive to foster a safe work environment that supports their employees’ comfort, health, and success. In these times, further measures should be taken to safeguard workers on the job and this includes ramping up your business’s cleaning routine. As coronavirus can live for up to three days on certain surfaces, you should ask your employees to disinfect their desks at least once per day. Hand sanitizers should also be readily available and hand washing should be encouraged. You also need to make it someone’s responsibility to regularly wipe down objects which are touched frequently such as door entry pads, elevator buttons, door handles, and even the kettle.
Stay up to date
The coronavirus means things are escalating at a fast pace. It’s therefore essential that you stay on top of the latest advice — both domestically and internationally if your business has a global base. When new official advice and guidelines are released you need to make sure that you’re aware of them and that you quickly update all members of your workforce, especially line managers, on any new procedures that you’ll be taking as a result of them. This will help to put people at ease and will ensure that all employees are adhering to the relevant guidelines, thus demonstrating that you’re a responsible employer.
Almost every business is worried about the repercussions of coronavirus. But the good news is that there are steps you can put into place to protect your business and your employees from this virus so that you’re all in a good position once things return to normal.
Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.