It is still quite unbelievable to think about how the COVID-19 pandemic has tremendously affected the world today. Individual lives are challenged and altered. Businesses are the same.
Truly heartbreaking, numerous companies have suspended operations and have totally closed down. Small ventures are having a difficult time, and big enterprises are not exempted. Business profits and processes have drastically changed in ways nobody ever wanted. This pandemic is surely a crisis for all.
You must be endlessly thankful right now if you are an owner of a business that is alive and well underway amidst this COVID-19 pandemic.
Being one of those that have kept still in the teeth of this harsh situation is a huge blessing. This is a great chance for you to show your worthy and truthful services. It is also a time when you must be willing to lend a helping hand to and give tough protection for all your workers.
There is not a single person unaffected by this COVID-19 pandemic. More needs have arisen together with the anxieties and paranoia that this life-threatening situation has caused. You can and should help your employees financially, and you can and must protect them too.
Your workers are humans like you. They have loved ones to provide for and to protect, but the first way to do that is to be protected themselves. As their employer, you have a huge responsibility in this matter, and it is something you must never ignore.
Here are five unprecedented ways you can protect your employees over the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. SMARTLY ASSESS WORKPLACE SAFETY AND WORK ON SAFETY ALTERATIONS
Various kinds and industries of businesses have paused workplace attendance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic because the spread of the virus is much more possible and obviously faster in such situations. It is a national and global step, not just an organizational one.
If you are planning to continue operations or resume working in your building amid the pandemic, never fail to conduct workplace analysis and assessments FIRST AND FOREMOST. This is to determine the COVID-19 risks in the worksite and to lay down strategies to prevent them.
Do not demand your employees to go to the workplace without doing this yourself! You must not wait for a worker to get sick before you plan and act on it. The COVID-19 pandemic has already taken more than half a year for you to be unprepared and unequipped.
Together with the team heads and department representatives in your company, develop techniques for infection control methods. Know the grave impact of COVID-19 on the workplace. From all these, identify the workplace changes that you must do.
Does your office or store own a comfort room? If not, it would be dangerous for you and your workers because public restrooms or those used by neighboring offices are unsafe; nobody would know if the person who used them before you is infected.
How is the seating arrangement for every employee? If the workers are just beside each other, it would be uncomfortable and unsafe. Consider installing cubicle divisions or covers to ensure physical distance. These are just two of loads of factors to mind.
Most importantly, plan for the whole office’s regular or daily cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection.
2. STRICTLY IMPLEMENT SAFETY PROTOCOLS
All employers must provide designated face masks and protective equipment for workers to use within the workplace and during field tasks.
Set a corner where everybody can get an extra face mask or face shield when needed. Have hand sanitizers and alcohol ready for use. Make sure everyone observes proper social distancing. Temperature checks are required before entering and upon leaving the workplace.
3. OPERATE COMPANY-OWNED TRANSPORTATION.
One of the aspects hugely affected by COVID-19 pandemic is transportation. Traveling is hampered and restricted because spreading the virus is much faster when people are outside and going here and there. Tracking travel records and contact persons are even harder with it.
Commuting is difficult and risky.
Companies who are entailing workers to come back to the workplace or to keep working despite the tough times must understand that employees are afraid of getting infected by the virus. They have families to come back home to, so keeping themselves healthy is protecting their loved ones too.
If the job really requires their presence in the workplace, have your company-owned transportation operated. Maybe you have a shuttle or even a car which can be of service for your workers, going to and home from the office, make sure to use that.
On the other hand, if you don’t have one, it is time to rent or hire a vehicle. As everyone is trying his/her best to survive, it is a big effort that companies can do.
4. ALLOW THE WORK-FROM-HOME SETTING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
No matter what, staying at home is still the safest thing to do during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being outside and interacting with different people are not as normal and as safe as they usually were before all these happened.
Allow the work-from-home setting as much as possible. If the job is fully doable remotely as long as there is a stable Internet connection, a functional gadget, and the files and documents needed for the tasks, then do not think twice of implementing a work-from-home setting.
This is most likely for ventures primarily with online and digital operations.
When you witness that your employees are still working well in the middle of this strenuous pandemic, you should be relieved because they are safe and healthy while being productive. Giving them the opportunity to work from home is something that they are without a doubt grateful for, but you also must be extra appreciative of their efforts in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the pandemic is not yet over, going and staying outside the home is still not the best thing to do. It can be the worst, actually.
5. HAVE SECURE INSURANCE IN CASE OF EMPLOYEE INFECTION.
Alright, if you are good at paying for employees’ swab testing fees, then that is very good, but you CANNOT JUST END THERE! What if a worker in your company gets infected? Hope not, but what if?
Since this is a life-threatening crisis, your company must be ready to respond to any critical conflicts you might be faced with such as employee health concerns.
In the case of employee infection, make sure there is secure medical insurance for them. There is always a high risk of getting infected at work, so workers must be insured.
Hospital Indemnity Insurance and Critical Illness Insurance are some facets of health insurance that can aid your employees big time! This is a time when employee’s health insurance is most essential, so see to it that you provide it for your workers upon hiring, and assist them in using it in case of COVID-19 infection!
You must also go over your business insurance coverages to help you and your employees. It is immensely significant for all enterprises to comprehend how COVID-19 can affect their business insurance policies. Make sure to review the existing coverages and identify what provisions and measures to take to prevent and control losses.
Bodily Injury Liability as business insurance covers bodily injury, sickness, disease, and mental shock obtained by a worker, which might result in death, during work, and within the workplace.
Workers Compensation Insurance may step in if the illness developed because of or during the worker’s employment; as every scenario is unique, all are scrutinized on a case-by-case footing. This can depend on state laws.
As a company, you must provide benefits to workers and organize the workers’ compensation proof and claims process. Help your employees claim what they must under these business insurances.
Do not look at your workers merely as assets in the company. Take them as your friends and family which you want and need to protect.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, show them you truly care. Protect them as your employees and as your loved ones too.
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Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host, and a voice over artist. Travel, health, shopping, lifestyle, and business are among the many subjects she writes about. She also writes for Insurance Advisernet. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.