The COVID-19 pandemic was unlike anything we have ever experienced before. The pandemic will redefine our lives. We will look at this past year and see it as a defining year of our history. Save for the war, there is nothing more impactful to human lives than the last year. That goes for businesses, too. Businesses that can no longer operate virtually have to reopen now. It has been a year, after all. No time is better to restart than today.
However, there are remnants of fears and challenges that still face industries and some sectors. While you cannot force your employees to get inoculated before they come back to work, you can place them in a work-from-home setup until they are confident enough to get the vaccine. Some companies are also compensating workers who will get inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine to make their workplaces safer and free from future virus outbreaks.
What do you need to do as a business to keep your workplace safe? How can you ensure that your employees will not contract and spread the virus in the office? Is there a better way other than forcing them to get inoculated with a vaccine that they’re not yet comfortable with?
There are several tests available to determine whether someone has COVID-19. Study your options well. Look into the different tests. You can even investigate what kind of SARS-CoV-2 drug testing services the companies who make the COVID-19 tests use to satisfy your concerns about this procedure. Having your employees regularly tested (some do it every week) will help curb the spread of infections in case someone in the office is asymptomatic.
What many companies did to open up their doors once more is to identify those who are high risks. This means that people with existing medical conditions, who are pregnant, and who are in the senior-age bracket should not go to work in the office yet. They can instead work from the comforts of their homes, provided that they can do their work there. In the event that they cannot do their work virtually, you should put in place safety measures to ensure that they remain as isolated from the rest of the workers as possible.
Though this is not the perfect way for your employees to work, it will keep them and your workplace safe. Everyone has to sacrifice. Your employees will understand the risk they take by going back to work, but they are also responsible for not bringing home the virus to their families.
Be Strict with Protocols
There are two things that business owners have to remember about reopening their workplaces amid a pandemic. The first thing is to ask your workers to wear a mask except, perhaps, if they have their own offices. But if they are going to share a space with someone else, it is always 100% better to wear a face mask. The second important thing to remember is social distancing. When you cannot wear a mask because of the nature of your work, then stay socially distant from each other. Put a good six feet between you and the person you are talking with.
Display a list of the safety protocols prominently in your office. Remind everyone that keeping everyone safe is the priority of the business. Explain how an outbreak will affect the business and therefore, their own positions in the company. Understanding everyone’s risks when working is one way to stop the spread of this virus.
Extend the Working Hours
Don’t be too strict with the working hours. Rather, extend your operating and opening hours if possible. The more time your customers have to visit your store or restaurant, for example, the less they will try to visit when there are already people there. During peak hours, people will try to eat in your restaurant and buy from your grocery store. Imagine if you can remain open until 12 midnight. That will spread the number of people who will want to visit your store or restaurant during peak hours.
It’s the same thing with your employees. They shouldn’t need to go to work at the same time. Put them in shifts. This way, you can have the office sanitized before the new batch comes in. They also won’t have to share a cramped space to fulfill an eight-hour shift in the job.
Think about what you are going to do to keep the office or store safe from the spread of the virus. The priority of every business that wants to reopen is to ensure everyone buys into the safety protocols in place. Make sure everyone understands that the consequence of a single mistake can put their colleagues in a hospital bed or something worse than that. It will also jeopardize the business and their places in it.