The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still being felt like an ongoing chain reaction. In the last few months, many businesses have done an internal check and changed how they operate. 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, the world can’t come to a halt any longer, and it’s only a matter of time before establishments start reopening to save the economy from collapsing. Regardless of what industry your business is in, you need to prepare for the “new normal”. You need to implement, if not, strengthen, your safety and security measures once your staff reports back to the office.
Here are some tips in taking care of your employees post-lockdown:
1. Clean and sanitize the workplace
It is the employers’ responsibility to prepare the workspace before the employees return. This includes thoroughly disinfecting all areas of the workspace, including workstations.
Though no one has been in the office for a while, dust and dirt have accumulated in your absence. Now is not the time to risk your employees’ immune systems by making them report to a dirty office.
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 on getting 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 your staff to the office, ask them first if it’s doable on their end. There’s no use in putting your employees in 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 a second or third wave 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 again.
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.
If you find the need for an SME loan in the Philippines to execute the safety and security measures mentioned above, don’t hesitate to contact Esquire Financing, Inc. today.