7 Safety and Security Measures Businesses Should Have for Their Employees
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt like an ongoing chain reaction. Many businesses have done an internal check and changed how they operate to adapt and ensure business continuity. Some have transitioned to remote work management and made adjustments to make ends meet, such as reduced work hours and limited reporting to the office.
However, stopping operations is not an option for business owners. Not only do they have to maintain a healthy cash flow, but they also have to support their employees and the community that they belong to. That is why business owners need to implement, if not, strengthen, their safety and security measures for their staff who are reporting to the office.
Here are some tips for taking care of your employees during a pandemic:
1. Clean and sanitize the workplace
It is the employers’ responsibility to prepare the workspace. This includes thoroughly disinfecting all areas of the workspace, including workstations. Dust and dirt can accumulate in your employees' workplace which may affect their immune system.
2. Assess the pre-existing health conditions of your employees
To err on the side of caution, expect that your employees may be carriers of the virus. As such, you need to be thorough in asking for their health history during the time that they are not in the office, as well as everywhere they’ve been to—particularly if they were exposed to crowded places.
If you suspect that you have a vulnerable employee (e.g., those in critical age brackets), advise them not to return until necessary. The same is true for those who are displaying any symptoms of illness, no matter how mild they are.
3. Apply the basic safety and security measures as mandated by both the national and local government
It should go without saying that you and your employees should always be updated with the rules and regulations stipulated by the government in light of the outbreak. These include wearing surgical or filtered masks at all times when out in public and interacting with others.
Social distancing measures should also be observed—meaning, no one in the office should be sitting too near close to each other and that there should only be a specific number of people in one room at any given time. Be vigilant and take these rules seriously.
4. Reiterate the importance of personal hygiene
It’s also your responsibility to remind your employees about best hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing, avoidance of touching the face, and bathing once they get home. These actions will drastically reduce the chances of them being infected and infecting others.
You can write out signboards for your employees and make sure they’re visible, especially in common areas like the pantry or washroom. Since many people use the facility, they need to be more cautious about what they could touch.
5. Talk to your employees about their concerns before asking them to go back to work
Not everyone in your company will feel comfortable about resuming normal operations, while some may be eager to go back because of the non-conducive workstations at home. Some could be feeling extremely anxious about stepping outside, others might fear for their safety in the office, while others could be feeling stressed about their commute.
Before you decide to bring back all your staff to the office, ask them first if it’s doable on their end. There’s no use in putting your employees under more stress than there already is, especially if their work can be done remotely anyway.
6. Plan for a shutdown scenario or exit plan
The nature of the virus is unpredictable and anything may happen at any time. Regardless if you’re only allowing a skeletal workforce to report back to work or not, you should have a strategy mapped out in case you need to shut down operations.
This includes proper notification of employees, a timeline on management decisions, a streamlined platform for all announcements, and corresponding remote work policies in place.
7. Provide modes of transportation
Transportation in the Philippines has always been a huge issue even before the pandemic—and this will only get bigger as public utility vehicles are not allowed to take passengers at full capacity. If you can provide company transportation services for your staff who need to be in the office, this is much better.
For instance, you can have a private van wait at various meeting points within the vicinity of your employees’ home addresses.
Take Care of Your Employees to Secure the Future of Your Company
Your team members are the most valuable assets your company has, and it would be in everyone’s best interest to take the extra step in being cautious.
With the pandemic causing so much uncertainty, it’s a wise idea to start looking for different ways your business can continue to get funding. This won’t only keep your business running, but ensure that your employees maintain their salaries.