COVID-19: Steps Employers Should Consider Now

State and local protective orders are multiplying.  Most are requiring social distancing when employees are at work.  If your workplace is still open, consider what actions you might take:

  • Post multiple notices in work spaces to remind employees of safety and hygiene protocols.
  • Close communal areas like break rooms, and advise employees to leave the building to sit outside or in their cars
  • Prohibit the use of microwaves, refrigerators, water coolers where possible to reduce the handling of common objects.
  • Bathrooms: allow one user at a time; consider providing a sign or flag of some sort to indicate when the bathroom is occupied. Encourage employees to use paper towels to protect clean hands when opening restroom doors to exit.
  • Relocate work stations and adjust workflows to avoid social contacts that violate the six-foot separation radius between employees.
  • Urge employees to communicate anything of concern in their work areas or activities
  • Smoking areas: post-social distancing notices
  • Email mandated COVID-19 hygiene and safety protocols to employees
  • Remove or separate chairs in public seating areas
  • Provide hygiene products: like hand sanitizer and soap
  • Daily regimen to disinfect working areas and communal spaces
  • Provide paper tissues for employees to use when opening doors to limit contamination. Photograph work spaces after social distancing measures have been taken to document your actions taken.
  • Document all actions and responses to employee concerns in narrative notes, including specific actions and dates/ times of action.

In the rush to send employees home to work remotely, Cybersecurity must not be overlooked; indeed, cybercriminals are likely stepping up efforts to take advantage to exploit gaps in security protocols in the current crisis. Seek IT Security expertise; here are some HR considerations to defend your organization:

  • Provide employees with Cybersecurity guidance and training
  • Advise employees to take extra caution with emails from unknown senders or handling emails with unusual requests
  • Define protocols for employees to follow when they need assistance with questionable emails or phone calls when working remotely.

Every work space is different and poses unique challenges. To discuss your needs and questions, contact Employers Council.