As COVID-19 cases rise across the nation, employers are finding ways to mitigate the spread of the disease within their workplaces. Of course, this is no easy feat, and measures taken will vary from business to business, but here are some basic guidelines that can ensure your employees stay safe during this fall and winter season.
Focus on the 3 Ws
These are the most essential prevention measures you can your employees can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19: Wash your hands, Wear a mask, and Watch your distance. As an employer, ensuring that these steps can be taken whenever possible is crucial. For places where frequent handwashing may be difficult, strategically placed hand sanitizer stations can help.
Consider Daily Health Checks
A simple questionnaire and temperature check can help prevent potentially infected individuals from entering your workplace. Of course, all screening measures must be in accordance with state and local public health authorities. The questionnaire should also be done in an area where the person entering the work or office space can answer privately.
Inform and Educate Employees
Keep your employees and supervisors informed about current safeguards and procedures at work and in the community. With so many updates occurring on a local, state, and national level, it can be easy to get misinformed. Put up informative signage in breakrooms, restrooms, and other high traffic areas. Always make sure that the information you share is up to date and easy to follow and use email and text blasts to make announcements to your entire team.
Don’t Forget Mental Health
The pandemic has not only affected people’s physical health but also their mental health. Poor mental health can affect an employee’s job performance and productivity, which can in turn affect the rest of the team. According to the CDC, depression interferes with a person’s ability to complete physical job tasks about 20% of the time and reduces cognitive performance about 35% of the time. Communicate to your team of existing support structures, such as your Employee Assistance Program. Encourage employees to use their vacation time to destress and unwind. Finally, teach supervisors and managers to recognize the signs of stress and depression in their team and encourage employees to seek help from qualified sources.
The world we are currently living in is changing at a rapid pace. So long as COVID-19 remains a threat to all people and businesses, we must choose to adapt and protect ourselves. For more resources on COVID-19 prevention in the workplace, please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.