The Covid-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the workplace. From remote work to increased safety protocols, to changes in employee benefits and more, businesses have had to make drastic adjustments due to the ongoing health crisis.
Therefore, employers must ensure that their employees are safe and protected from potential exposure while at work. This article will discuss seven ways employers can protect their employees during the Covid-19 pandemic by creating a safer environment in which everyone feels comfortable returning to the workplace once it is deemed safe enough by local health authorities.
Maintaining social distancing measures
This measure is essential for keeping employees and customers safe. Employers should ensure that desks are at least six feet apart in the office, discourage gathering or congregating in common areas, and limit visitors to only those who need to be onsite. Employees should also be encouraged to wear face masks while inside the office premises as they can help protect against transmission of the virus.
Additionally, depending on your workplace, you may consider adopting an alternate seating plan or asking employees to sit side by side instead of facing each other. There are also panels, screens, and other barriers that can be used to separate employees in open-plan workspaces which can help minimize the risk of person-to-person transmission.
Conducting regular Covid-19 testing
Employers should encourage their employees to get tested regularly for COVID-19 as regular testing helps employers identify potential cases of the virus early on, allowing them to take action before it spreads. For instance, if someone tests positive, employers can quickly identify who they had contact with and ask those people to self-quarantine.
Employers should consider providing free or subsidized testing for their employees as an added incentive. In the words of pharmaceutical professionals, the indicaid covid test proves to be a convenient, fast, and very accurate test that can be done at home or in the workplace. Many business use tests like these daily as successful because they are reliable and provide results within 20 minutes which can be sent directly to employers.
Frequent sanitation of areas
Given the highly contagious nature of the virus and especially its variants, keeping surfaces clean is essential for minimizing its transmission. Employers should ensure that all areas are regularly sanitized, especially high-touch areas such as doorknobs and countertops, and that their employees are provided with all the necessary supplies for the sanitation of their working areas.
For instance, employers can opt for disinfectant wipes, paper towels, and hand sanitizers that should be placed in common areas such as lobbies, break rooms, and restrooms.
On the other hand, chemicals for sterilizing and cleaning should not be used in areas where food is handled or consumed as they are hazardous to human health. Still, these are essential for disinfecting areas regularly, so employers should make sure to place them in areas such as warehouses and office floors or around high-touch objects.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks, gloves, and gowns can be very effective at helping protect employees against getting infected with Covid-19, so employers should provide their employees with these items and also ensure that they are properly instructed on how to use them.
For example, employers should ensure that face masks are always worn by employees in the workplace, even if they are not interacting with customers or other employees. This is especially important for those working in areas where people cannot maintain social distancing measures such as warehouses and manufacturing facilities.
Employers can also consider providing Covid-19 vaccine programs to their staff, as it can help protect them against the virus and make them feel more secure in returning to work. Vaccines are also a great way to demonstrate that employer cares about the safety and well-being not only of their employees but of their customers as well.
Encouraging remote work
Although not all organizations can allow their employees to work remotely, employers should consider allowing their staff to do so whenever it is possible. This can be especially beneficial for those who have underlying health conditions or who are at an increased risk of complications if infected with the virus.
For instance, you can opt for a staggered start time for employees or allow them to take part of the day or week off to work from home. Employers should also make sure that their remote employees have access to all the necessary resources, including video conferencing tools and other digital platforms, so they can remain productive while working from home.
Creating flexible leave policies
Furthermore, employers should consider creating more flexible leave policies to allow their staff to take extended periods off if they need it (as long as it is not in direct violation of any laws or regulations).
This can also be a great way to motivate and retain employees who are struggling with the impact of Covid-19. For example, employers could provide extra paid leave for staff members who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 or have been exposed to it, as well as for those who need to take time off to care for sick family members.
Additionally, employers should ensure that their employees have access to paid sick leave so they can stay home if they are feeling unwell and not risk infecting other people in the workplace.
Finally, employers should consider providing additional resources for mental health support as well as financial assistance programs to help their staff cope with the various impacts of Covid-19. This can include offering counseling services, providing access to online therapy programs, or even offering financial stipends for those in need.
These measures are not only beneficial for employees’ physical health but also their mental health and overall well-being. If possible, employers could also pair this with flexible work hours and the opportunity for employees to take short breaks throughout the day.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on workplaces around the world, but employers can take proactive steps to protect their employees and create safe working environments.
By providing PPE, encouraging remote work when possible, creating flexible leave policies, and offering mental health support for those affected by the virus, organizations have an opportunity to show that they care about their staff’s safety and well-being.
Taking these measures now will help ensure that your workplace is prepared for any future challenges or disruptions caused by the virus.