While many companies have given their employees the chance to work from home or to take long-term unpaid leaves in efforts to contain the viral outbreak of the COVID-19, many companies are unable to take such a decision as it may disrupt their annual plans or affect their results.
The good news is that companies carrying their business affairs as usual can follow a few steps to help staff members survive the novel coronavirus outbreak and stay safe.
In such times, managers are responsible to bring their employees' attention to facts related to the novel coronavirus and to take all needed procedures to protect individuals from contracting the virus, which has so far taken more than 3k lives worldwide, namely;
1. Schedule routine thorough cleaning tasks
Employers can either ask their housekeeping team or a professional cleaning service to perform thorough cleaning tasks around the office on a regular basis, to keep the office a virus-free one.
These cleaning tasks should carefully include all rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, desks, computers, door handles, and elevator buttons.
2. Ask senior employees and ones with immunity disorders to work from home
According to WHO reports, elderly people and those with chronic immunity problems are more likely to acquire COVID-19, so asking them to work from home is a wise decision that will not only help protect their health but also that of everyone else in the office.
3. Cancel or postpone all travel arrangements
Even though it can be hard for businesses with global reach to halt travel plans, it's crucial to limit staff international flights especially to countries with widespread cases.
Important meetings with stakeholders in other countries can be held online instead, using many conference calls programs.
Additionally, employees who were on vacation should be encouraged to spend at least two weeks of incubation period at home, even if there was no official order of quarantining travelers arriving at the country.
4. Make hygiene products available in the office
Your office may run out of soap, tissues or cleaning detergents sometimes. This can't happen during the coronavirus emergency.
Make sure that plenty of these hygiene products are available for your employees' use at all times.
It's also important to provide your employees with fragrance-free soap, so those with eczema and other skin conditions don't hesitate to wash their hands every other hour.
5. Bring in a healthcare professional for a Q&A session
If your employees are worried about the coronavirus outbreak and its health consequences, it only makes sense to bring in professional medical personnel to address their concerns and provide them with advice that can help them stay healthy.
6. Actively encourage employees with mild symptoms to take paid sick leaves
In order for managers to protect the overall wellbeing in their offices, they need to encourage employees with any mild respiratory symptoms like having fever, coughing or sneezing to take some time off, visit the doctor and undergo needed tests.
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