The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unprecedented crisis, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Across the entire world, lives have been lost, chaos has spread, entire economies have shut down, and populations have been forced to adapt to a whole new way of life.
Those hit the hardest by the virus have been those who have lost loved ones or seen their families struggle and suffer through these difficult times. Many businesses, too, both great and small, have endured new challenges during the pandemic.
From dealing with the difficulties of business interruptions to trying to survive and continue operations while also following strict new rules and guidelines, it’s been a tough time for countless business owners across the world.
Now, with economies reopening and employees getting back to work in many industries, businesses finally have a lifeline to hold on to. However, it’s vital to ensure that even as your company reopens, you make the necessary efforts to keep workers safe.
Follow the Rules
One of the simplest ways in which you can make sure that you’re doing your part for your workers’ safety is to keep up to date with the official guidelines and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC is one of the leading health organizations on the planet and has worked tirelessly since the outbreak of COVID-19 began to provide people with science and data-backed guidelines and advice for getting through the pandemic.
Social Distancing Matters
The concept of ‘social distancing’ is one that we’re all familiar with nowadays, and research has shown that maintaining a distance of around six feet from other people helps to limit the spread of the virus and reduce one’s chances of catching it.
Social distancing is fully recommended for those at work, too, but it can be tricky to enforce the rules in cramped offices or narrow corridors. Workers should therefore be encouraged to use their discretion and do what they can to keep their distance from one another.
A Regular Cleaning Schedule
Disinfectants and cleaning products are some of the most powerful weapons we have against this virus, and they need to be used liberally and regularly, especially around workplaces, in order to reduce the risks of it spreading.
Official government guidelines for employers state that workplaces should be cleaned as often as possible, especially in regard to surfaces that tend to get touched a lot like elevator buttons, handrails, door handles, and so on.
Another top tip for employers to keep in mind in order to keep their workers safe is to make sure that awareness levels remain high throughout the staff and employees are consistently reminded of the real risks the virus poses.
As time goes by, some people may make the mistake of underestimating the virus or feeling that it no longer poses a serious threat. However, even as vaccines begin rolling out, there’s still an ever-present threat of infection and subsequent problems, so make sure to tell workers regularly to keep their guard up and stay alert.
Respond Quickly to Any Incidents
One of the lessons we’ve learned through the pandemic is that dawdling and hesitating won’t do much good in response to such a fast-spreading and fast-acting virus. COVID-19 spreads immensely quickly, so if something happens in your workplace, a rapid response is absolutely vital.
If any employees notice that they have symptoms, for example, they should be under strict instructions to report those symptoms and leave the workplace immediately to be tested, rather than simply remaining at work and going about their usual business until the end of the working day.
Keep Spirits Up
In these troubling times, a lot of focus tends to be placed on the physical side of COVID-19 suffering, but it’s important to never forget the effects this virus can have on people’s mental health as well.
A lot of people are struggling with anxiety, stress, fear, and even despair during these challenging times, and employers can make a difference by thinking of ways to keep spirits high among the workforce. Do what you can to contribute to a positive and welcoming workplace where everyone feels safe and valued.
Getting employees back to work is a key step to keeping any business alive during these trying times, but it needs to be handled with care and diligence. Follow these tips to help your staff stay safe and ready to cope with the new challenges of a COVID-19 world.