The coronavirus pandemic has already made its way across the globe. Thousands of people are getting infected every day, death tolls are rising, our way of life is at risk.
If you’re following the news related to the impact of COVID-19, you must know that businesses worldwide are also facing a huge loss. The stock market has tumbled, revenues have fallen, and many offices are closed for an uncertain period.
While you’re concerned about the health and safety of you and your loved ones, you need to also protect your business and your employees in the midst of this outbreak.
Strategies You Should Follow
As a facility manager, it is your job to keep your employees safe while making sure your business runs smoothly.
Here are some of the strategies that will help you promote safety in your facilities.
Create an Emergency Plan
Since the virus has started to spread, many companies are putting safeguards in place to protect their businesses and employees. I
To take the right precautions, you need an emergency plan that includes what steps you’re taking if this outbreak impacts your company.
Your plan must also include how you’re going to run the operation if you need to shut down the facilities, and how the employees will contact you during an emergency.
Implement a Work From Home Policy
Unless your employees need to interact with customers face-to-face as part of their jobs, such as nursing, you must consider establishing a work from home policy for everyone.
With the COVID -19 outbreak in every state, the home office is one of the best arrangements you can take for you and your employees. It will keep your employees from coming into the workplace and potentially spread the virus to their coworkers. Working from home ensures everyone’s safety.
Make sure all your employees have the proper facilities and tools to work from home. Also, include temporary rules and guidelines they must follow while working from home.
Make Everything Online
Since you’re planning to establish a virtual workplace, it’s crucial to maintain proper communication with (and among) employees and your customers. Communication is key in ensuring your customers are not facing any avoidable issues.
If you’ve been working offline and rely on paper documentation, it’s time to change that habit. Start using online platforms for all your communications, invoicing, and business planning.
Instead of keeping data offline, try to use a good computer maintenance management system, which lets you save all your documents in the cloud and manage your work using any mobile device or laptop.
Using such technologies will help your employees become more productive and efficient in their workflow as they work remotely.
Determine Who Takes Charge of The Response Plan
It’s difficult to monitor everything, including the employees, when everyone is working remotely. That’s why you need someone who can lead your pandemic response plan.
While your chief operating officer should take care of the response tactics, anything related to the employees and the workplace should be managed by the head of human resources.
Make sure all of them understand their roles and responsibilities and become your designated source of information.
Set Some Communications Protocols
Since timeliness is critical during a crisis, it’s important to determine when and how you will share news or convey an important message to your employees and customers.
Set a communication protocol and inform your employees about when and how you’re going to update them on any situation.
Whether you’re using the hotline, website, or email, make sure you are direct and straightforward while giving a notice. Also, be extra careful about relaying any urgent message.
Ensure a Safe Workplace
Depending on the type of business you are in, it may not be possible to let all your employees work from home. In that case, ensuring the safety of your employees when they are in the workplace should be your utmost priority.
As a facility manager, you need to create a policy that will restrict the spread of this infectious disease and keep your employees safe. Create different shifts so that there are fewer people in the workplace at the same time.
If possible, make separate entrances for your employees and restrict access for customers or visitors.
Don’t forget to stock up enough hand soap, hand sanitizers, and disinfectants. Also, ask your employees to wash their hands regularly and disinfect their desks daily. Make sure the high touch surfaces and common areas are disinfected after every use.
Make a New Leave Policy
Considering that some of your employees might be infected by the coronavirus, you need to bring some changes in your leave of absence policies.
Request your sick employees to stay home and work remotely, if possible. Increase sick leave days so that employees feel comfortable staying home until they get better and test negative.
While the growing number of absenteeism may have some effects on your work plan, having those sick employees in the office will cause a disaster.
Make a Disaster Recovery Plan
When the pandemic is over, you need to start working again to get back to normal. But, are you prepared for the loss you’re going to face?
To keep your business running, you need to plan for a range of outcomes. Identify your business-critical groups of employees and consider what you would need to cover these roles. Doing so will prepare you for the worst-case scenario.
Also, identify the challenges to your business and strategize for different scenarios you might face due to this global pandemic. This includes revenue loss, balance sheets, and a survival plan.
Rethink The Handshake
Well, it might sound a bit weird but this is something you must consider while greeting your clients, even when the pandemic is over.
In fact, a lot of companies are reporting that their clients were requesting to ban handshaking practices.
The reason is pretty simple. Since any kind of physical contact has shown to aid the transmission of COVID-19, it’s essential to establish a “handshake ban” in your organization.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic developed so rapidly, you can appreciate that you have very little time to save your business.
The way the crisis is hurting the business, your business is likely to be affected if not already affected. How you’re taking precautions and planning for the disaster will impact your revenue, as well as your business operations, and the path forward.
While you can’t possibly avoid the loss completely, you can at least keep them at minimal by following the tips mentioned above.
Stay safe. Stay healthy.
Interesting related article: “What is the Coronavirus?“