If you’ve been working hard to navigate the complexities of running a business during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are certainly not alone. This strange and difficult time has created significant challenges for virtually everyone, and the ever-changing advice, regulations and requirements only add to the confusion and frustration commonly felt. This article will help to relieve some of those stresses by providing you with a few handy hints and tips on how to keep your employees safe and your company thriving as we continue to do battle with COVID-19.
Arrange Home Working Where Possible
To ensure the complete safety of your staff members, you should try to arrange for them to work from home wherever possible. This will help them to avoid public transport and forego in-person interactions with colleagues that may cause the virus to spread. Research work from home software and consider safely migrating key systems and data onto the cloud so that it can be accessed and edited from any location.
Invest in the Right Resources
If all or some of your staff members are working from home for at least a few days per week, you need to provide them with all of the tools they need. Consider the enterprise mobile management resources that can be provided by MSPs (managed service providers) to get the very best performance out of your employees’ business mobiles and wireless setups. This will help to prevent poor connection speeds, low signal and costly phone bills. Cloud computing, as mentioned above, is a superb tool. Be sure to educate yourself in master data management, or MDM best practices to make sure that all shared data assets are up to date, uniform and consistent. Employees should not be expected to use their own devices when working remotely, particularly as they may not support all required software. You should consider upgrading your cybersecurity policies and software to facilitate the increase in working from home, which may add to the risk of breaches occurring.
Take Social Distancing Seriously
If you have staff members who absolutely cannot work from home, it’s vital that you find ways to support them while on your premises. Invest in proper PPE, including masks, gloves, visors and overalls where suitable. Make sure that you set up proper hand sanitizing stations containing alcohol-based hand gel that is regularly topped off. Ensure that all surfaces are cleaned properly, and that workstations are set up apart where possible. Try to make sure that employees are not forced to squeeze past one another when moving from one area to another.
Consider Wellbeing Support
COVID-19 has played havoc with the mental health of the general public. As an employer, you might want to consider arranging wellness check-ins with your staff members or looking into specialist mental health support for anyone who is struggling. If you’ve arranged for employees to work remotely, try to arrange video conferencing resources so that teams and individuals can have virtual meetings when required. It may be a good idea to have a weekly online get-together to see how everyone is doing and to help them maintain the social element of working together.
Find New Approaches
When it comes to providing products and services in a safe and efficient manner, the pandemic has introduced significant hurdles. It’s a good idea to look into the changes you can make in order to keep things ticking over as they should. Consider the following options as starting points:
- Offering a takeout or delivery service
- Conducting virtual meetings
- Socially distanced shop floor layouts
- Contactless interactions
- Banning cash
- Using protective gear or plastic screens
- Adding outdoor seating or extending to allow for social distancing
- Implementing special offers
- Adding signage to recommend the wearing of face coverings
If you are unable to provide work for your employees either on-site or off, you should consider applying for a furlough scheme to help support them until you can trade again.