COVID-19 (the coronavirus) is the most talked-about thing that’s going on in the world right now. There’s panic, indifference, misinformation, exaggeration, sarcasm, and dismissal about the current global pandemic.
The goal of this article is to teach business leaders what they need to know about the coronavirus, and what they can and should do about it.
1. How to work remotely?
As the virus spreads and grows, more companies are adopting a remote work policy. The transition can be tricky, but here are some things to make it a lot easier.
We are practicing this right now, and our HR manager has worked remotely for months, and it’s working out well. We’re confident that these ideas will help you too.
Here are a few things that will help the transition to a remote work situation.
- Strong PTO processes
- Digitize documents and signatures
- Keep employee information available
- Keep up engagement
- Teach how to stay productive
PTO and sick time off needs
Time off is still a thing. Just because your employees are at home anyway doesn’t mean that they should have to work if they are sick. A solid system for managing PTO is really important in a time like this, whether or not you’re working remotely.
EddyHR has a great PTO tool that we can help you set up if you are wondering how to manage all the time-off requests.
This virus is a nasty thing, so on top of having a great system to manage time off, we encourage you to play your part in fighting the virus by being lenient with time off. It’s a bit of a sacrifice, but it will go a long way.
Electronic documents and signatures
When going about business as usual, documents need to be distributed and signed. During a global pandemic, documents still need to be distributed and signed. This is a lot harder to do if you use physical paper and signatures.
EddyHR allows you to create and sign all of these documents digitally. This is a lot faster than emailing, printing, singing, scanning and re-emailing documents during remote work. It also speeds up your processes quite a bit if you’re still working in the office.
Keep employee information available
As an employer, you have a responsibility to take care of your people. A huge part of this is being able to contact them quickly if the need arises. During a time like this, it’s good to have all of that information in one easy place. EddyHR’s employee directory makes that super easy.
Keep up engagement
We’re social creatures and the social aspect of work is a huge part of the employee experience. This can be a bit tricky to do remotely, but technology makes it a lot easier. With platforms like slack and zoom, there’s no excuse for poor communication.
Motivosity also encourages people to continue sharing highlights of accomplishments with your coworkers. This keeps up that sense of community and helps people feel like they’re not working alone despite being kinda alone.
Productivity is likely a concern for business leaders who experiment or adopt a remote work policy. That’s fair, how on earth can your people be productive without your ever-watchful eye? (Sarcasm alert!)
Our advice here is to exercise a little trust and provide a few productivity suggestions. Honestly, your people probably share your concerns and could just use some guidance.
Here are a few suggestions that our president of sales, Jordan Boogaard, has used in his experience working from home.
Don’t change the morning routine: Don’t work in your PJs. Get up, exercise, shower, and get ready for the day.
Find a dedicated workspace: If you’re lucky enough to have an at-home office, great. If not, convert part of a bedroom or something.
Set rules: You’re probably not the only one at home, and you’ll definitely get interrupted, but setting boundaries helps. Jordan’s #1 rule is that if the door is closed, he’s busy. If it’s open, he’s available to chat.
Set goals and map out your day: This is a good idea whether you’re at home, or at work. You’ll boost your productivity by holding yourself accountable for what you want to accomplish.
2. What is the coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are a common cause of colds and other respiratory infections. This family of viruses is also responsible for respiratory infections like SARS and MERS.
COVID-19, what we call the coronavirus, is a strain of the coronavirus family that was discovered with an outbreak in Wuhan China in late 2019.
3. What are coronavirus symptoms?
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Shortness of breath
Some patients may also experience:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
These symptoms are usually mild, and they begin gradually. Some people are infected but never even experience these symptoms.
Most people who become infected with COVID-19 don’t need special treatment, but about one in six people who are infected become seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Those that experience fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
4. How does it spread?
The coronavirus is a new disease, and there’s still a lot we don’t know about it, but there are some things we do know about how it spreads.
The coronavirus spreads by small droplets that spread when an infected person coughs or exhales. These droplets can land on an object or surface. Other people can then be infected by touching those surfaces, then touching their own faces.
Before those tiny droplets land on a surface, they’re airborne and can also be inhaled by another person causing them to get sick.
5. What should I do personally?
Regularly and thoroughly wash and sanitize your hands: Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based sanitizer kills viruses on your hands.
Keep distance from people who cough or sneeze: Coughing or sneezing sends water droplets into the air that can infect a person who comes in contact with them. Stay at least three feet away from these people.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth: Through the eyes, nose, and mouth is how the virus gets into the body. If your hands are contaminated, touching your face could get you sick.
Follow respiratory hygiene: Caugh into your bent arm or tissue to avoid spreading the virus through airborne droplets.
Stay at home if you feel sick: This is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re sick, stay home so you don’t spread the illness.
If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention: If you’re experiencing these symptoms, seek medical attention and call ahead.
Know current COVID-19 hotspots: Avoid travel to these places if possible to avoid getting sick.
6. What should I do for my company?
The first thing you should do is encourage your employees to adhere to the above suggestions. The more individuals and companies who follow these guidelines, the better we can fight this virus.
Consider remote work: If possible, consider allowing your employees to work remotely to keep them safe and not spread the virus.
Avoid any unnecessary travel to virus hotspots: Stay up-to-date on where the hotspots are so you can make educated travel decisions.
Make sure sick employees stay home: In some cases, sick employees come to work because of financial or other reasons. Help fight the spread of this virus by making it easier for your people to take time off if they’re sick.
Avoid any unnecessary meetings: The virus is usually spread person-to-person. By limiting group meetings, you’ll reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus.
Frequently clean and disinfect the office: Contaminated droplets settle on surfaces in the office and are transferred as people touch surfaces like doorknobs and light switches. These surfaces can stay contaminated for hours or days unless cleaned.
7. It’s a pandemic, what does that mean?
On March 11, the COVID-19 outbreak was described by the WHO as a pandemic. Pandemic is a scary word, but there are some interesting things about the coronavirus pandemic to keep in mind.
The WHO Director-General gave a speech on March 12 that explained what those are.
He qualified the outbreak as a pandemic for two reasons. First, he called it a pandemic because of the speed at which it spread. Second, he called it a pandemic as a warning to countries that are not taking it as seriously as they should.
He continued to say that this is a controllable pandemic. Calling it a pandemic should not have the effect of fear or hopelessness. It should motivate us all to take this thing seriously and prevent, or at least slow, the spread of COVID-19.
8. Things NOT to do
Freak out: It’s true that the spread of the coronavirus poses a significant global health threat. It’s also true that the spread of fear could cause significant global economic and other threats that certainly won’t help any.
Stockpile medical masks: If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill, then you are wasting masks. There is a global shortage of these masks that medical professionals need in order to stay safe.
Take antibiotics: Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a viral infection, so an antibiotic will not do anything.
The coronavirus is a big deal. A lot of people are getting sick, and the virus is spreading rapidly. Even so, there’s a lot we can do to stay safe if we follow simple guidelines. Make sure that you prepare yourself and your company for what this virus may bring to the table.