Companies around the world have had to make swift operating changes, and many have been required to ask their employees to work-from-home. However, businesses that cannot allow staff to telecommute must make hard choices and significant policy changes. If your business cannot switch fully to remote work, there are still ways you can handle this difficult pandemic. Please continue reading to learn what options you have if your business is not able to operate remotely.
Expand Sick Leave
One thing that businesses can do to keep their employees healthy and safe is expanding their sick leave offerings. If you have the capital, it would be best to expand sick leave to your employees during these difficult times. This allows workers who are sick to stay at home and reduces the risk of spread within your facility. Your essential employees can continue to work from the office without putting other workers at risk. If you cannot expand sick leave, speak with your employees about utilizing their vacation time, or reduce the staff members’ hours equally. By expanding sick leave, you will make it easier for your employees to stay healthy and avoid infecting others.
Naturally, it’s important to limit contact even if your offices are physically open. Your business may be like other companies that rely on off-location client visits, deliveries, and presentations. In these instances, you should speak with your customers about scheduling contactless deliveries. Implementing this option prevents your team members from having physical contact with the clients. It would also help if you looked into applications and software that allows consumers to sign for a package virtually, alleviating the needs for in-person contact.
Enforce Extreme Sanitary Practices
Some countries are relaxing stay-at-home orders to businesses and organizations that are not considered essential. If your company falls into this category, you may be able to open up according to the rules and safety requirements outlined by your government officials. One of the conditions of reopening businesses pertains to social distancing and safe, sanitary practices. You will need to encourage your customers to stand at least six feet apart; you should also rearrange the office layout to make sure there is a safe distance between every team member.
When it comes to sanitation, your employees should have access to antibacterial soap, warm water, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant sprays and wipes. Your office equipment and various systems, including the air conditioning, should be sanitized and well-maintained by professionals. You can have experienced individuals come into the office to work on the equipment and clean the building at least two weeks before reopening. Keeping your HVAC in working order will serve to filter contagions and germs and scheduling regular cleaning will support your efforts to fight the virus.
Apply for Financial Assistance
Some companies have shut down indefinitely, with plans to open when the pandemic ends, or when effective therapeutics become available. However, if your budget cannot cover these costs, you should apply for a small business grant or loan via your local government agencies. Receiving financial assistance could allow you to manage payroll and other expenses while your organization is shut down. So look up what grants and loans are available for small businesses like yours and apply for as many as you can.
If you cannot switch to remote work, your business can still find ways to function ethically and profitably. It is crucial to speak with business professionals and government officials to learn more about your small business options. It would be best if you also considered the strategies mentioned above to continue operating safely.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan