Start with the 3 Es — Educate, Equip, and Empower — to know how to handle your business amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading rapidly throughout the world and has reached the country, with new updates flying in every minute. As the situation continuously evolves, many small business owners are unsure of what steps to take to lessen risk, protect employees, and support customers.
With unverified news sparking mass panic, confusion is expected. Globe myBusiness understands your concerns. As a business itself, Globe aims to provide top support and service to its clients in the most beneficial way possible.
One way to do so is to provide you with this all-in-one guide that discusses COVID-19, business continuity, business impact, and more. This way, you are prepared during this crisis and you can keep your business afloat from the wave of fear.
Be informed with COVID-19 news from legitimate sources here. Tackling the latest business updates, international current affairs, and helpful links, stay informed and ahead to help you oversee your business and manage COVID-19.
First, share verified information from the Center For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Department Of Health (DOH), and the local government with your colleagues, employees, and even customers. Join the DOH official Viber group for the latest updates.
With Luzon’s enhanced community quarantine in place, check the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and the Philippine News Agency (PNA) for detailed guidelines and updates. The four main points under this quarantine are:
As you go through crisis management, transparently communicate what your business is going through. When you do this, your employees can empathize, become less fearful, and more cooperative. Work together on how to keep the business afloat.
It’s not enough to keep harping about washing hands for 20 seconds, avoid touching the face, or regularly disinfecting work places to drive the importance of hygiene to fight COVID-19. At work, what should be in place are hygiene and grooming policies, visual cues, and reminders to educate and encourage employees and customers.
First, maintain the overall hygiene of the business place. Provide a clean bathroom well-stocked with soap, tissue, and alcohol. Give employees sanitizers and tissue. They’re more likely to use them when these are readily available. Regularly clean areas not only to avoid spreading infection but to boost employee morale too. Lastly, if you haven’t, incorporate hygiene notes on grooming and appearance policies.
Examples for visual cues are placing posters on how to wash hands in restrooms. Adding printed song lyrics to wash your hands to will enforce the 20-second rule. Post signs in pantries reminding employees to clean as they go. Place alcohol bottles on work stations and entryways. Some companies have put together a COVID-19 care pack complete with a memo on the topic, gloves, alcohol, face mask, tissue, thermometer, and medicines. This will be ideal for your work-from-home employees. Use your office chat groups for reminders as well. Lastly, for retail spaces, you can also have a video playing hygiene reminders for customers while in your store.
For information on testing and quarantine concerns, the DOH COVID-19 Hotline is (02) 894-COVID (that’s 26843).
Comply with the government on implementing work-from-home amid the COVID-19. With plenty of people already working remotely, business owners can use free tools to stay in touch and keep working efficiently with their team wherever they may be. Make sure they are equipped with the right devices and tools to carry this out.
Create remote work policies that cover checking in, work hours, communication tools, and clear deliverables with timelines for each employee. Hold meetings online, skip events and conferences, and postpone business travel.
If your business is among the mentioned industries that may continue operations on-the-ground, execute rotational operation with a minimal skeletal force. Split teams and have them work on separate hours to minimize human-to-human exposure. They must abide with strict social distancing measures, which mean:
Arrange a work schedule that fits the new curfew. Your operational hours should end early enough that your team can be off the roads and safe at home outside the imposed curfew.
If your team needs to work overtime, give them the proper paperwork providing details, identifications, and certificates that they are indeed needed to work. Make it easier for them to go through checkpoints and areas that could expose them to any risk.
Provide your team with a shuttle service now that public transportations are largely suspended. You must offer temporary housing arrangements as well (required for BPOs and export-oriented industries) to abide with social distancing precautions.
Make sure you supply sanitizers and alcohol for their work surfaces, entry ways, and key areas where human and equipment contact are possible. Remind them to also disinfect their gadgets and equipment with disinfectant wipes or alcohol and cloth (avoid getting the ports wet).
Mobilize a team to disinfect your place of work daily. The CDC recommends using a bleach solution, 70% alcohol solution, and other known household disinfectants and cleaners. Items for laundry should be done using hot water with detergent. Before disinfecting surfaces, clean them first with detergent and water before disinfecting. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for using the said cleaners.
Implement temperature and physical checks at your workplace entrance and do not let anymore with a fever of 38 degrees C and above, and those with flu like symptoms, to enter the premises. Also avoid handshakes and other contact method greetings like hugs or cheek caresses.
In this digital age where everyone connects online, there are many ways that businesses can take advantage of using this widespread technology despite closing their physical outlet.
1. Try collaboration and productivity tools that allow you to share and work on files together, and hold meetings online.
2. Set up cloud storage so that everyone can access files online.
3. If your business is among the essential services the government allowed to operate during this time, make use of third party delivery services.
4. Utilize payment gateways that allow you to send payments or salary online.
5. Make sure to boost your online shop. If you don’t have one yet, you can create a website with free cloud-based web development services.
The government has ensured that with the closure of physical establishments and the operational slowdown, they’re finding ways to help alleviate the concerns of businessmen and workers. Rental and lease fees may be waived and utility bill deadlines extended. Local Government Units are asked to treat this crisis as a calamity and move care packages to those who need them. The Department of Labor & Employment (DOLE) will also roll out a financial assistance program for workers affected by the quarantine. Keep checking the official government websites for updates.
Extend a helping hand to other businesses and share this information with them. This way, we can all rise above this crisis –together.
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