Indian companies are fast joining their global counterparts in fighting a virus that has caused at least 22 million illnesses, 210,000 hospitalizations, and 12,000 deaths. Given the magnitude of its spread, companies have to be extremely cautious in preventing the situation from turning grave. As of now, there is no vaccine for the coronavirus and prevention appears to be the best bet to deal with the situation.
Companies are exploring more and more online tools for collaboration and providing work-from-home options for their employees. In a country like India, where work-from-home is still a nascent idea, adapting to the new practice may pose a huge challenge. We have listed down some proactive measures for the companies to safeguard their employees, keep the virus at bay and at the same time remain productive.
Please ask all the staff to use N95 masks if they are meeting a lot of other people or if they are going to be closely interacting with others. Employees can prevent greeting each other with a handshake and can be taught to cover their mouths with their elbow when they cough. Companies should issue internal advisory on personal hygiene to all the employees.
Please ask all your employees to use hand sanitizers in entrances, bathrooms, and cafeterias. Ask them not to touch doorknobs, elevator buttons or walls and railing of the staircase without sanitizing their hands. Biometric systems should be strictly scrapped for the time being.
Please screen all your employees with a thermal gun to see if they are running a high temperature and if any of them is found to be having a fever, please ask them to take leave and seek medical assistance.
As viruses can easily spread in low temperatures, the rooms can be maintained at a slightly high temperature. and the air conditioner duct has to be cleaned at least once in a month to prevent any virus from spreading.
Employees can be encouraged to use disposable cups and dining tables should not seat more than two people. Employees can be asked to avoid eating out or ordering food from outside. Encourage only vegetarian food in canteens for the time being and increase the serving of oranges, pineapples, and guava at snack time to enhance employees’ vitamin C intake.
Ban all unnecessary business-related travel. Especially to those countries that are affected by Coronavirus. Even, if any of your employees have recently traveled abroad for personal reasons, ask them to quarantine themselves for 14 days after return. Those traveling domestically can be checked for symptoms and temperature before joining work.
Do not allow any non-essential visitors to visit your offices. Also, avoid interviews and face-to-face meetings and opt instead for audio and video calls. Companies should also ban conferences, seminars, expos, celebrations, trade shows, etc.
If any of your employees show symptoms of cold, fever, running nose or having difficulty breathing, please encourage them to take leave and visit a doctor if necessary.
The demand for online collaboration tools such as Slack, Zoom, Clariti, etc has hit an all-time high as organizations are on the lookout for tools that can help their employees to collaborate from various geographies without compromising productivity.
At this hour of crisis, it is most important not to panic and spread or believe rumors. Employees who are using social media should be prudent before forwarding any unverified messages to their colleagues. Till we get a vaccine or the natural death of the virus, it is the duty of every organization to raise awareness and take precautionary measures without increasing fear.
Also, check out our recent blog: 8 amazing tips to work from home amidst Corona outbreak