The World Health Organization has officially declared the coronavirus a “public health emergency of international concern” and the outbreak does not seem to be contained anytime soon. Naturally, it was just a matter of time before COVID-19 started to have a major impact on people’s workplaces.
As prevention seems to be the only logical action that can be taken to stop the virus from spreading, the companies are starting to implement preventive remote work protocol. We did it too. We all are now staying at home office, in order to help flatten the curve.
Though it may raise a lot of concerns for both employers and employees, let’s not forget about two simple facts. It’s a healthy (‘healthy’ being a key word here!) expression of social responsibility. And remote work it’s not the end of the world.
What to think about
So what else can we do as an employer to tackle the issue of pandemic affecting a workplace? What are the concerns of employees? We listed a few things that come to mind as first below. Check out these few bullets that can help you to navigate the problem:
- Employers have a duty of care towards employees at workplace and during traveling: we inform our employees about the danger, keep them updated, provide hygiene utilities and implement some extra rules related to health safety.
- What kind of rules? For instance, introducing working fully or partially remotely or by asking some employees to stay at home after business trips (stay cautious and do it only when there’s reasonably reason for that; misuse of it can be treated as discrimination)
- Maybe checking the temperature of your employees is an option? GDPR protects privacy and information about the health status of each individual, but in many jurisdictions there are exceptional provisions that may be the basis of such checks (in Poland it’s art. 207 of the Labour Code)
- If you don’t have a contingency plan (which is required by some regulations, but also is recommended as a good practice), it’s perfect time to create one. If you do have it, use it properly.
- Schools may be closed in your region, as such some employees will need to take care of their children. Some countries recognize it and provide special leave for taking care of family members; if it’s not the case in your country, consider adding a pool of day offs to enable parents looking after their kids.
Remote friendly culture
These are only few tips related to the formal structure of company operations. We’ll be presenting soon how Tooploox deals with coronavirus outbreak and how we’ve been embracing our remote friendly culture on a daily basis, way before the outbreak started. We’ll share our home office good practices and tips. Also, we’ll write about managing remote teams and how to implement remote work policy. Stay tuned! And safe.