People working for you are more way important than you may think. They are one of the most important reasons why your company is successful. Every successful business is good because there are a lot of people behind it. However, to have a good team, you need to be a good leader. You need to be the kind of boss that will motivate them to give their best. Some of the first things that will make you be the best possible boss are providing the right conditions for the workers and caring for their well-being. Here is how to care for the employees during a pandemic.
You should take different measures for these purposes depending on whether your employees work in the office or from the comfort of their homes. However, the fact remains that you should encourage your workers’ well-being wherever it is they do their work.
Some employees have already worked remotely even before the pandemic. Certain job positions have already required that kind of work. For those people, the current situation with the pandemic didn’t cause much difference in the way they’re doing their job. However, they are still probably experiencing some kind of issues since the situation in the world is anything but simple and easy.
On the other hand, most of the workers have just switched to remote working for the first time ever. This has become the “new normal” for everyone and there have been just too many things to get adjusted to. If this is the case in your company, you should be a bit more engaged when it comes to encouraging your employee’s well-being.
The main issue with remote working is that the people who are used to working in offices full of people are suddenly doomed to being all alone. The fact that their family might be there with them, in this case, is more of an issue than a blessing. They need to focus and be productive and not get too distracted in order to do their work in time and to do it in a good way.
People need some kind of support and motivation coming from the workplace itself. If they don’t have this, they can hardly do what you ask them to do. Since they don’t have their colleagues hanging out in their apartments, it’s up to you to make sure that they all stay connected in this troubling time.
Luckily, we live in a digital era. The advances in technology have made it possible for us to keep in touch no matter where we are. You can organize regular check-ins with your employees through video and use that as a perfect chance to keep track of their progress but also to lift their spirits. You can have formal check-ins or less formal options, depending on your relationship with the employees.
No matter if you discuss business-related topics or grab a coffee together over the video, the main thing is that you’ll keep in touch. You can also create group chats or channels for your employees where they’ll be able to discuss everything they might want to consult each other about or simply catch up and help each other get through the pandemic healthy and successful.
Train your managers to help the employees
Situations like this current one in the world can leave a lot of stress and anxiety on people. Your employees might feel much worse than you think, especially if they or someone close to them has been infected with the Coronavirus. More often than not, people won’t come to you and complain about things like this one.
That is exactly why you should do your best to recognize the signs of employee distress. If your company is large with a lot of workers, it’s normal that you won’t notice things like these, but someone in the company should. Your managers, supervisors, and human resources should have this task. Make sure to train them properly to recognize the signs of distress and solve the issues together with the employees.
If your employees have erratic work hours, if they lack availability or responsiveness, or if they’re showing sudden changes in their behaviour, there is definitely something wrong. They could also make some unexplained changes in the work product. Every similar kind of behaviour is a sign they’re going through a lot.
If this does occur, your managers and HR should make sure to communicate with the employees and help them solve the problem. For instance, they could provide some options when it comes to the counselors workers can call. They could also suggest to them to start practicing meditation or point to some stress management programs. Even though your managers won’t solve the issue directly this way, they’ll do a lot for your employees, for your company, and for you.
Even though most people have switched to working from home under these new circumstances, that’s not the case with everyone. If your employees still go to the office, you should take some practical steps to save your employees’ health and general well-being.
You should be as understanding as possible and you should always be there to help your workers if they have an issue. You should also make sure to create a safe environment for them. They are already risking getting infected when coming to work, be it during commuting or while working if they work with a lot of people circulating throughout the office.
Make some changes in the office
Most people would describe their offices as stressful environments. This is pretty bad even under the usual conditions. During a pandemic, it’s really terrible. There are plenty of ways to make your office a less stressful environment and you should do as many of them as possible.
The first thing you should do is to take care of your workers’ physical health. For instance, get them some high-quality chairs or standing desk mats, depending on their needs. This will prevent them from developing any posture-related issues or from injuring themselves while in the office. A standing desk might be the best idea since it reduces stress effectively.
You should also bring some life to the office. Some green plants are great for keeping the area refreshed and they are also great for calming people. You also need to light the office properly and make sure that there is no clutter whatsoever.
Keep the office clean
If your line of work requires people to be in the office, you have to take measures to protect your employees. One of the most important ways you can do this is by disinfecting the office and introducing measures to keep it clean.
The first thing you ought to do is to provide disinfectants for your employees. That way, they can clean their desks when they’re done working. Since the job should be done thoroughly, consider hiring a cleaning crew to take care of this for you. After all, your employees are already under a lot of stress.
Secondly, make masks mandatory. We all know the virus is transmitted through saliva droplets and the easiest way to stop them is by putting a physical barrier on the nose and mouth. You should provide the masks so you can avoid forgetful employees showing up to work without a mask. As well as that, leave hand sanitizer on each desk and by the entrance, so people can disinfect their hands as soon as they walk in.
Practice social distancing
Keeping the space you and your employees work in clean isn’t the only thing you should do. Social distancing is mandatory because it lessens the chance of transmission and keeps people safe. You’re going to have to be creative for your use of space with this one.
If your employees work in cubicles, you have an advantage because they’re already separated from each other. However, you should leave one cubicle empty between two employees just to be safe. If you’re working with an open space design and your employees work closely together, you’ll need to separate the desks.
Make it so each employee has their own desk with at least six feet of difference between the desks. If you’re working with one giant shared desk, make sure there are two seats between each employee.
This can be tricky if you’re working with a lot of people because you won’t be able to fit them all. In this case, you can come up with an elaborate schedule where your employees work in shifts. Make sure to disinfect the office between shifts, though.
Another idea is to simply have your employees work both remote and onsite. You can divide your employees into two teams and have one work from the office while the other works remotely. Then simply switch their locations each week.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to exercise compassion and empathy whenever we can. As their boss, your employees will naturally look to you as their leader. It’s your job to show them how to act, but also to understand their needs and troubles in these trying times.
This means that you should be more lenient with mistakes and deadlines. These things might seem important, but remember that nothing is more important than your employees’ physical and mental health. You are probably under a lot of stress yourself, so remember that they are too.
Most importantly, don’t make your employees come into work if they complain about feeling ill. They might be responsible outside work and keep their distance from people, but with infections rising, it seems inevitable to catch the virus.
Instead of exposing the rest of your team to the virus, simply let the person take time off from work while they recover. If your company is doing well, you may want to consider giving employees paid sick leave so they don’t have to worry about their livelihood. Remember that this isn’t a vacation for them, but that some of them may literally be fighting for their lives.
Even though it seems like you cannot do much for your employees right now, that’s not true. You can be there for them and help them get through this crisis with the minimum consequences. People will definitely experience some trouble even after the pandemic is over. However, if you treat your employees in the right way, at least they’ll have one less worry, and so will you, since you’ll earn their trust and respect even more.