Now that social distancing at work is the new normal, how can you make sure you’re running a safe operation?
The extended community quarantine (ECQ) may have left a dent on the Philippine economy, but sooner or later, the government will lift it to jumpstart the economy. And when that happens, businesses will definitely not be the same – especially for your employees.
How do we help employees get back on track in the office with the new normal after ECQ? Here are a few tips:
Was your business prepared for this pandemic before it hit? If the answer is no, then this is the perfect time to set up or update your business continuity plan (BCP).
A BCP is a process that helps a business prevent and recover from threats, including natural disasters, cyberattacks, and pandemics. It refers to the preparation your team goes through in case any of these occur.
There are unfortunately many businesses right now that have had to stop operations entirely because they can’t function outside their office.
The proper BCP for this scenario is to create systems where remote work is possible. This includes investing in cloud storage and collaborative tools. It also helps if you already have SOPs in place for work-from-home arrangements so everyone already knows what to do.
It’s best to set up a resilience team. This is a group of people that represent each department and assigned essential roles. There should be someone in charge of the following tasks:
The size of your business determines the size of your resilience team. Just make sure you cover all the crucial steps to manage a crisis such as this one.
Pro-tip: Use G Suite, a cloud storage and collaborative tool, to ensure that your team can work on and have access to work files from anywhere.
Even after quarantine, it would be hard to ask your employees to get back to work as usual. The pandemic may have affected some more than the rest. Others may not have access to safe modes of transportation.
What you need to do is assess the situation of your employees through these steps:
Gauge the number of employees whom the virus has affected. See if they are experiencing serious financial or medical issues, or if any other concern is impeding their ability to get back to work.
Also, consider if there’s any form of aid you can provide these employees. After all, your team is the most vital aspect of your business. Empathy and solidarity are more important now than ever. The option to release 13th month pay in advance can mitigate some of the financial difficulties they may experience during this time.
This is also the perfect time to update employee contact information and emergency contacts. It’s important to keep a record of emergency contacts in case anything happens.
Once you’ve got a feel for how many workers can report to work again, establish a system. Those who can continue to work remotely should stay home. Schedule your skeletal workforce to ensure your team follows social distancing measures.
Pro-tip: Provide them prepaid internet kits or mobile plans to help them stay connected with you and each other.
Your survey should also be able to find out those who are healthy versus those who aren’t feeling well or immuno-compromised. See to it that they receive the care and consideration they need.
Take note of employees who have cars and motorcycles versus those who need to commute. From there, you’ll be able to figure out the best arrangement. As an example, you can rent a service vehicle. Conversely, you can rotate jobs and assign those with vehicles to come to work while those without to work from home.
Pro-tip: Make sure you save all this data within a cloud so you and relevant team members can access and edit the file easily. Use Google Forms from G Suite to collate the answers through a cloud database. With this, you can determine job roles, accessibility, contact info, and team’s well-being.
If it’s deemed safe to start working at an office again, you need to make sure that the space is properly sanitized. Deep clean the office and try practicing color-coded cleaning. Fit the place with soap and alcohol dispensers in every corner. Make sure everyone is following proper hygiene methods through posted reminders.
Give everyone face masks. Use this guide from the World Health Organization (WHO) on when and how to use masks. Take note of the WHO’s advice on wearing, removing, and disposing of face masks. For work settings that deal with close customer contact, food handling, and the like, look into providing your team with face shields and gloves, too.
Keep with the physical distancing guide of the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Re-layout workspaces with six feet in between employees and customers. You can space tables so people are about two meters away from each other. Another example is making sure only one person at a time can enter the restroom.
Pro-tip: You can even conduct virtual meetings through Zoom instead of meeting up physically, or go as far as enforce temperature checks upon entry.
Lastly, make sure that you have learned from this experience and are better prepared for the next disaster.
Ensure that you cover all the major diseases, COVID-19 and related complications, for the assurance of your employees.
Pro-tip: Use KonsultaMD so that employees can have access to medical care without having to leave their homes. Download the CLEAR app to log, track, and trace employees’ health. This app will also help your company figure out which team members are clear to go back to work.
Create a directory of everyone’s contact details. Better yet, set up communication channels on a messaging application of your choice.
Communication is more important now that we can’t meet face-to-face. Setting up the proper channels can help build assurance and solidarity during this time.
Pro-tip: For employees who have limited access to the internet, you can use AMBER to send bulk SMS notifications.
This is indeed a challenging time for everyone, but we must stay vigilant. With the proper planning and preventative measures, we can get through this together. We can come out better and more prepared than ever before.
Globe myBusiness is committed to helping your business remain resilient in this challenging time. Equip yourself with the right tools to transition back into the office, while practicing the proper precautions for your and your employees’ safety.
Until ECQ is lifted, remember to stay #SafeAtHome and share these tips with your friends and colleagues.
HELPFUL PRODUCT INFORMATION
Stay connected with your employees, customers, and partners anytime, anywhere with ThePLAN. Learn more here.
Keep your team connected wherever they may be with myBusiness Prepaid Internet Kits. Find out how here.
Send important announcements branded with your company name to employees and customers with AMBER. More information here.
Enjoy seamless collaboration and communication with your team even when crises keep you apart with G Suite. Learn more here.
Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars. Sign up to learn more here.
Subscribe your manpower to KonsultaMD. The 24/7 health hotline service will provide you and your team access to doctors for medical needs you may have. Here’s how.
CLEAR helps users track their health daily, which aids health workers with contact tracing when necessary. Your business can use this to support the initiative and to determine your employees’ state of health. Register here.
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