Coronavirus or CONVID-19 also termed as SARS-CoV 2 virus was first reported on 31st Dec, 2019 in Wuhan, China. The spread of this coronavirus is so extreme that with in few days it has infected lakhs of people and death toll is increasing in thousands on a global level.
Several steps are being taken up by government officials and health care professionals to cut down this spread of coronavirus. Some of them are complete shutdowns, making it mandatory that people need to stay at home , closing down of educational institutions, malls, organizations or any other places or events where chances of people gathering in numbers.
The only way to fight this virus is to take required precautionary steps and educate people about the importance of maintaining cleanliness. It is vital to follow some rules so that they can prevent or stay away from the impact of coronavirus.
COVID-19 scare has definitely caused a great damage not only to human life but also the economy. When talking about the economy several businesses are worst hit and many have come to stage of stand still.
The two best possibilities in front of the is to either temporarily closing down their businesses till the situation becomes normal. The other option is to take necessary steps and make their businesses run.
The temporary shutting down of organizations will be a big loss in terms of money as well as resources. But the later option can work well if some necessary steps are taken accordingly. Here employers need to create new strategies, work policies and ensure that they are deployed in the right way.
When taking up such steps, employers need to have a clear idea about few questions related to coronavirus. The coronavirus checklist questions that need to be asked are as follows,
Important Coronavirus Checklist Questions Employers Should Ask Themselves:
1. What steps should be taken as employers to protect the employees from this deadly virus?
The coronavirus or COVID-19 is no doubt a deadly virus which is contagious and spread of it is growing rapidly. But few simple cleanliness steps and staying isolated or staying at home is the best way to stay safe.
The coronavirus is spread caused due to the droplets from coughing and sneezing done uncovered. The seriousness of this coronavirus scare is much more high than earlier, one can also be infected by this virus if they get in contact with a object or surface which is contaminated by this virus.
One should also avoid to touch their eyes, nose or mouth frequently without washing and cleaning their hands. In no way this virus should enter the body and this can happen only through proper cleanliness steps.
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employers should follow the below steps.
- a) Allow the employees to stay home if they are showing any kind of coronavirus symptoms
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- High temperature
- Breathing difficulty
b). Washing hands frequently with water and soap for at least 20 seconds
c). Always use a alcohol based hand sanitizer
d). Use tissues or handkerchiefs while sneezing or coughing
e). Help them take immediate medical care if found symptoms at work
There are few other tips that employers should follow:
- Educating and requesting employees not to shake hands completely to prevent the risk of virus spread.
- Employers should provide essential extra things to safeguard the employees at workplace
- Provide enough hand sanitizers, tissues , paper towels and liquid soaps to wash their hands and to stay safe and clean.
- Clean their work station, cubicle, and other equipment’s kept at work space with good cleaning agents
- Maintain cleanliness at work especially the most common used places which employee use very often.
- Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes must be kept available to all employees at workplace.
- Stock up enough cleanliness essential things at work.
- In the present critical conditions, offering work form home option to their employees.
- Providing the employees with all the extra resources to employees who are working remotely.
2. When should employees must be excluded from workplace?
Usually if employees are ill and are still coming to workplace then they should be send home as they can infect other employees too. This can indirectly lead to a drop in productivity for the organization.
Moreover unwell employees should stay at home and isolate themselves as it can help them recover fast. But in this extreme situation of coronavirus spread, employers need to take strict regulations and follow office health policies.
Also as government as declared a strict lock down across nations, organization has no choice but to shutdown the workplace and provide work from home for all their employees.
In clear words, if symptomatic employees are found in workplace then it is the responsibility of employers to safeguard their employees health and safety. They need to take immediate steps to send them home or report to health professionals for medical care.
3. Should the employers revise benefit policies if employees are not allowed at workplace ?
As per a survey, around 45% of employers have to plan their salary policy if employees are given leaves or if the organization is closed temporarily. All such type of work policies should be planned in advance.
Generally when a employee applies for sick leaves they are given paid leaves as per workplace safety policy. But as the current scenario is too dangerous, employees are barred from workplace and straight away given work from home option.
Work from home is a working process where employees work maintaining the same working hours and as per their assigned work schedule and tasks. Here as the work will be going on as planned the employees will be paid full salary. But in case of employees who are exposed to coronavirus at, the employer needs to plan as per new health care policies.
4. Have employer been able to maximize work from home option ?
Though work from home option does not set all kinds of jobs due to their working process alternate options are defined. But jobs which can avail work from option are more in number due to advancement of technology.
More than 60% of employers have specified that they have increased the flexibility of work from home option for employees. This is not only comfortable and advantageous to employees but also for employers as well.
Though employers have maximized the flexibility of working remotely, on the other hand strict live monitoring would be performed to review the work performance of employees. Moreover, there are several tools like Skype, zoom etc for live video meeting and group chat which keep them connected online.
5. Does the employers have real time official sources to share health related important updates with employees?
Coronavirus is a deadly virus and several updates are being released on a daily basis. But along with official updates several rumors and myths are being surrounded especially through social media networks.
As a result unwanted panic is raised and fake news is spread among public. So it is the responsibility of employers to educate employees to follow only official updates provided by them. Also they need to share all the important information and latest updates regarding the situation.
Also employers need to organize a proper way to share the updated important information to all the employees and follow the policies as rolled by employers.
6. Should international and domestic business travel policies be revised?
It is very much necessary to revise all the policies related to any kind of business traveling. Around 65% of organizations achieve restricted any kind of business traveling.
As the government official departments and health care professionals have imposed a strict lock down system, traveling from one place to another place is completely impossible. This decision was taken in order to prevent the coronavirus spread and also to save their employees from this deadly virus.
Several departments like CDC Travel Health Notices and the State Department Travel Advisories should be consulted to make decisions regarding the different traveling policies.
7. Should official conferences or meeting need to be postponed ?
If the conferences are scheduled in advance then limit the number of people attending the conference and before starting make necessary implementation like avoiding hand shake , providing with tissues and hand sanitizers and asking them to maintain 6 feet distance from each other.
Another important note is to avoid all the ill or unwell employees along with older or employees who have chronic heath issues. The things discussed and finalized in such meeting can be updated to them or can request them to join virtually.
As per the current scenario the best way is to use technology, i.e tools like Skype or Zoom which make virtual video meeting or conferences possible, effective and productive as well.
8. Are supervisors well trained ?
No matter how serious or tough the situation is, supervisors are the people who are most affected. They have to take care of the resources, employees and every other thing related to organization. So it is very important that they are updated well with all the information and are trained well to handle the situation.
As per a survey, around 65% of organizations in china are training their supervisors regarding the COVID-19 virus impacts where as on the other hand 34% of companies in North America are doing the same by making their supervisors updated regarding the current coronovirius spread and ways to prevent them.
If your organization such supervisors then half the problem of employers is solved. Trained supervisors at such critical conditions are a boon to employers.