As we are all well and truly aware, COVID-19 is making itself known in just about every corner of the planet. And unfortunately, there is no doubt that besides the obvious, it will also have a tremendous impact on the economy.
Tempting as it might be to close up shop for a few weeks or months, the goal should be to keep your business healthy and running for as long as possible. Because as we said, this will ultimately have a long-term effect and unfortunately many, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, that could very well mean the end of the line.
So besides washing our hands, what else can you do to help keep your staff healthy and your business moving forward? Well, we’ve shared a few ideas below. Hopefully, you’ll find one or all of them useful. Here we go!
Create some space:
We’ve all heard the term “social distancing”, but you’ve got to work and for many working from home isn’t an option. They simply HAVE to go in to the office / workshop / shop etc, so now what? Well, think about simple ways to create some space. Do you HAVE to have the meeting that forces everyone into a small confined space? Get creative about communicating with your team.
Staggered break / work times:
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Some business like to have specific lunch and tea times, but in the spirit of creating some space, it’s another good way to create some distance between your employees. Same goes for work hours, get creative about shifts for example. Instead of having 10 people in the building at any one time, perhaps a morning and an afternoon shift is an option.
Ramp up the cleaning:
Gone are the days of a quick dusting, dragging the hoover around and emptying the bins. Get smart about your general building cleaning. Make sure things like door handles, lift buttons, countertops, kettles, microwaves and anything else what gets touched get’s a good clean with disinfectant at least once or twice a day.
Same goes for desks, getting in the habit of wiping your computer keyboard and mouse once a day will go a long way. In the end, it’s certainly not going to hurt and let’s be honest, it’s so much nicer working in a clean environment.
Hand sanitizer dispensers in the office and at entrances:
This is one that we had put in place in our office building quite early on and besides being a great reminder, it’s also a good way of keeping the workplace clean. We use a wealth of different ways of getting to work, some drive, some take public transport, some stop at their favourite coffee spot on the way in. The point is, we rarely even realise how much we’ve touched and potentially carry with us into the workplace (and home for that matter!). So having a sanitizer at the door is a great way to help make sure the germs don’t get spread around.
Have a plan:
Besides the possibility of mandatory closure for a couple of weeks, there’s a very real chance that you might need to make the decision yourself due to someone testing positive for the coronavirus.
Make sure you have a plan in place for if / when this happens. Think about how the business (if at all possible) can still function. How will you structure that?
Splitting up your teams
Thought about splitting up teams? This is another great way to create some space as we’ve talked about earlier and (depending on your business) a potential way of keeping the business moving forward in the weeks and months ahead.
Because ultimately, fewer people in the workplace helps to minimise the risk of infection and contamination. So, a split might look like this:
1) Team one – in the workplace for the next two weeks (you can structure this so people have a bit of distance between them).
2) Team two – Employees who work remotely for those two weeks and alternate with team one.
3) Team three – The more vulnerable of the workforce, people with any kind of underlying health condition or perhaps have someone in their life who would be at a greater risk. Team three could work remotely until the virus has been cleared.
or 4) Shift options as we’ve mentioned above.
Naturally what we set out here is only a suggestion to help get you thinking and should be adjusted to work for you and your employees.
People feel safe if they know what’s going on, so make sure you keep the lines of communication open. Make sure to reassure your employees at all times. They should be in the loop about potential processes if the coronavirus is to affect your business directly for any reason.
We hope some of these tips help! They might seem obvious, but with so much going on out there and all the worry that comes with it, it’s hard to sometimes just think of clear and logical steps that could help keep things straight.
If you’ve already implemented new measures at your workplace please share them in the comment section below! Let’s all help keep each other safe!