The COVID pandemic has affected both Individuals and businesses throughout the world. The need to protect staff through new ways of working, social distancing and improved hygiene has been brought to the forefront. In order to thrive, it’s important that businesses adapt to deal with challenges posed by the pandemic.
For the safety and peace of mind of both staff and employees, it is vital that members of staff have the knowledge to feel COVID secure. Following the steps listed below will see you and your business on the right path.
Make sure everyone is up to date
New advice and measures are released regularly; ensure that all staff are informed about the latest changes. Gov.uk is an excellent resource for finding out about the latest workplace guidelines (including detailed advice for different kinds of businesses). Make sure managers are kept up to date with measures and that they are briefing their teams.
New ways of working
Policies and procedures should be reviewed and updated. Consider, for example whether home working can be incorporated and where appropriate, how customer interaction can be handled safely. This will require a new mindset both from employers and employees in order to achieve business success.
Can IT support new ways of working and staff interaction? Training may be needed e.g. in virtual conferencing software, so that people feel well prepared for the challenges when working from home, enabling the business to continue to function smoothly. Changes to expenses policy, to support new ways of working will need to be considered. All of these will require clear and visible guidance. Make updates to both intranet and printed materials easy to access for all employees. Using a high quality book binding machine from Duplo International will enable easy collation of updated guidance.
Have materials available
You should also ensure that staff adhere to the latest social distancing and handwashing measures, as outlined on the NHS website. To avoid lapses in judgement, make sure that the workplace environment is well sign posted, with posters and pamphlets readily available throughout. Members of staff should be reminded to regularly wash their hands, especially after leaving their workstation.
Know the signs & be prepared
A well-prepared workplace will be able to adapt quickly to any unexpected changes; Make sure your workforce is well prepared and know the signs of COVID. Again, the NHS provide a clear list of symptoms. If a member of staff is experiencing symptoms, it’s important that they and anyone that they’ve been in contact with knows to go home and self-isolate in accordance with the latest guidance.
A team environment
Mental health must be an upmost concern when dealing with the stresses of life during the pandemic. Now more than ever, it’s important that a workplace fosters a team environment and enables communication. Ensure that staff have access to mental health support. Mind.org outlines useful advice for dealing with issues related to mental health in the workplace. For some businesses, it can be a good idea to train Mental Health first aider practitioners.