Before the current pandemic was declared as such, many people had assumed that it’s just like an ordinary flu — nothing too serious, much less life-threatening. But now that it has reached many parts of the world and ended many lives, businesses and individuals were forced to postpone their normal lives and follow stringent health protocols.
If your business has also been affected, you’re most likely operating from home right now. But remote work isn’t as easy as it seems, especially for businesses where a lot of traveling and interacting face-to-face with clients are involved.
That said, how can you maintain productivity and as much of the normalcy as possible?
Know the Risks
The virus spreads primarily through respiratory droplets and contact with infected surfaces. Hence, it’s crucial to wear face masks on the way to and from work, during work-related travel, and while in the workplace. And of course, it’s a lot safer to just stay at home and carry out your operations from there.
That’s because even if you wear masks and frequently wash your hands, the virus will still transmit if physical distancing isn’t observed. In the workplace, there is no guarantee that your employees will stay at least 1 meter away from one another. Clients who will visit may be infected as well, bringing the virus to your premises and transmitting it to you and your employees.
But working from home has its own challenges, too. Every employee lives differently, so they may not function as well as they do in the office. They need to juggle household duties, their families (especially if they have kids), and work.
As a business owner, what you can do best is to have an open conversation with your team about how and when can they accomplish their tasks. Make work hours flexible so their other commitments can be accommodated. Give more leeway for assignments, and allow more family and personal time.
If they can still come to the office, consider reducing working hours, compressing the work week, or a leave of absence. This is to minimize their odds of contracting the virus.
Plan Appropriate Preventive Measures
If your business operations fall on the medium exposure risk, meaning you have frequent close contact with your clients and co-workers, then wearing face masks shouldn’t be your only preventive measure. If work-related travel can’t be postponed, avail safe and reliable private car transport services instead of using public transport. This allows physical distancing, and significantly reduces your risk of being infected, because you’ll not be exposed to other commuters and vehicles.
But before letting an employee travel, verify that they’re not having any symptoms of the illness, haven’t been in contact with anyone who is infected, not vulnerable to infection, and not being traced by the NHS because of possible infection.
Once they’re good to go, advise wearing masks even if they’re in a private vehicle. They will still need it when they meet a client, supplier, or business affiliate.
Find an Effective Way to Collaborate Online
Your employees’ productivity may be affected if they’re uncomfortable of the way you currently interact online. Some may prefer chatting, while others may be happier with video calls. There might also be a few who’d rather just exchange e-mails.
Offer web-based sessions to discover the most effective way for your company to collaborate. Establish ground rules where everyone can happily agree on a certain mode of communication. This secures a favorable productivity level, allowing as much normalcy as possible.
In these trying times, your employees’ welfare is the most important. Mutual support is essential as well, as it reduces stress levels and anxiety that’s rampant these days because of the pandemic. Hence, prioritize following health protocols, and you’ll be helping your country and the world return to normal as soon as possible.