Employers need to put a lot of careful thought towards making their facilities reasonably safe for employees who are returning to work after suspending operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government and some local governments have disseminated confusing information about guidelines regarding best practices, and they aren’t always congruent with the guidance offered by experts from the CDC. However, it’s important to carefully weigh information that originates from credible medical experts rather than individuals who have a political or monetary agenda. Nothing is more important than keeping people safe. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a novel set of challenges, and there's a lot about the virus that is still being learned and reported. Business managers need to err on the side of caution when creating policies and procedures to promote safety when they reopen.
Here are six things that you can do to help keep your personnel safe.
Evaluate Your Time-Off Policies
It’s imperative that people don’t come into work when they are sick and transmit germs to other employees. However, if people don’t have any available time-off or they’re in fear of losing their jobs if they call in sick, they may not stay home if they need to. Evaluate your time-off policies and make changes if necessary. Consider giving people additional time-off or leave from their positions. You can condition time-off on getting a medical note or testing result, but be aware that testing results have been significantly delayed in many areas.
Get Your Facility Sanitized
Creating a safe environment for your returning employees is your number one priority in resuming your normal operations. Regardless of whether your business is located in a small office building or a large industrial complex, your employees may be understandably wary about the possibility of germs being on surfaces. Getting a speciality cleaning above and beyond your regular janitorial upkeep will make everyone feel more at ease and create a safer working environment. Get help from a sanitizing service provider that uses the same type of sanitization methods that are used in hospitals and medical facilities.
A specialized treatment administered by an experienced service provider is the safest and most effective way to sanitize any type of setting.
If your office or facility is configured in a way that has employees working in very close proximity to one another, you should consider moving workstations that creates more distance between them. If you have spaces that aren’t currently being used or are used only for storage, you may be able to convert them into workstations.
Give People the Option to Work Remotely When Possible
Having fewer people at work will ultimately create a safer working environment. When possible, give staff members who can work from home the opportunity to do so. In many instances, working remotely can increase employees’ productivity.
Create Policies About How Many People Can Be in a Space
Policies that limit the number of people in certain areas can help ensure that people will follow distancing guidelines. This measure is particularly important for small spaces, such as elevators. You may want to consider limiting the number of people who can be in communal areas such as break rooms at the same time. Request that people eat at their desks or assign break times so that they will be evenly spaced out.
Get Extra Supplies
Increasing your inventory of supplies that you use in your day-to-day operations will minimize the frequency with which people have to touch things that other people are touching. Extra tools, office supplies, and equipment can help to limit the possibility of transmitting germs on shared items. In addition, it will prevent people from leaving their workstations unnecessarily.
Safety precautions can help your workforce stay healthy and productive. Amid a lot of uncertainty and concern, your team will appreciate that you’re taking their well-being seriously and doing everything reasonably possible to create safe working conditions.