2020 was a challenging year, to say the least. With Covid-19 at the top of everyone’s minds, the anxiety over catching and spreading the deadly virus is still at an all-time high. Some businesses converted to virtual activities, some closed down completely, either temporarily or permanently. Essential businesses were required to remain open and take their chances.
While taking precautions can certainly reduce the chances of contracting the illness, nothing is 100% successful. However, it’s still important to do as much as possible to prevent the disease from infecting your workplace.
Even with the approved COVID vaccine now available, the timeframe for its distribution is still in flux. Surveys have indicated that over one third of the population are reluctant to get the vaccine until they see its impact on others. Continuing to practice prevention is critical to avoiding a widespread outbreak.
How Widespread Infections Can Impact a Business
The media has been inundated with advice on how to prevent contracting and spreading the coronavirus. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve probably heard the same tips many times. Despite the advice, COVID-19 continues to spread.
When an outbreak hits the workplace, your business could be negatively affected in several ways.
If workers suspect they have been infected with Covid, they will either quarantine for 14 days or tested. The normal test results usually take 3-5 days. Even with the rapid tests, where results are usually received within minutes, the wait time to initially get tested can be days.
If even one staff member is suspected or confirmed to have the disease, those other employees who have come in contact with the individual will need to either quarantine or get tested. It’s a domino effect, where you could have many employees out for extended periods.
2. Reduction in Business
Word travels fast. If customers discover that your workplace has been infected, they may decide to shop or buy from another supplier offering similar goods or services. No one knows all the details and causes for the disease’s contagion, so people are extra cautious about any exposure, whether or not it’s warranted.
3. Business Closure
If your business operation does not lend itself to virtual operations, you must have the employees physically in the workplace to get the job done. If there is an outbreak that spreads to multiple staff members, you may not have enough peoplepower to accomplish the mission.
Hiring temporary workers may be one solution if the position doesn’t require a lot of training. If that’s not an option, the only alternative is to shut down the business. Even if it’s a temporary shutdown, your employees will be unemployed during that time. They may secure other employment in the interim, so you’ve lost valuable expertise. You’ll need to invest in hiring and training new employees to fill the vacancies.
Take Steps to Reduce the Chance of an Outbreak
There are some things you can do to decrease the chances of a COVID-19 pandemic affecting your business.
Stress Compliance with Recommended Guidelines. Of course, following the CDC guidelines is paramount no matter where you go in preventing infection. Make it mandatory for all employees, customers, and visitors to wear masks while in the building. Practice social distancing as much as possible. Wash hands often.
Adopt a Flexible Sick Leave Policy. Stress the importance of staying home if an employee is ill. Encourage anyone having COVID symptoms to get tested. You may want to go further and mandate testing if there are experiencing symptoms.
Establish a Family Care Rule. If an employee lives with someone who has been infected or is having symptoms, they should not be allowed to come to the workplace until cleared.
Allow Working from Home. If an employee can effectively do their job remotely, allow them to go virtual, at least until the pandemic is under control.
Set Policies that Apply to Everyone. If you hire temporary workers, make sure their company stresses compliance to their employees. They should follow the same guidelines as your regular employees regarding sickness and preventive measures.
Have Your Workplace Sanitized. Unless you close the building down until everyone is vaccinated and immune to COVID-19, or for that matter, any infectious disease, you will always have germs circulating throughout the workplace. Getting the building professionally sanitized and disinfected can go a long way in ridding the area from harmful bacteria.
Hire a Trusted Professional to Sanitize and Disinfect Your Workplace
PureOne Services of Central Minnesota offers a COVID-19 Sanitizing and Disinfecting Service to help you keep your workplace healthier.
We use robust EPA-approved products and proven procedures that will kill the germs that cause the COVID-19 virus and other illnesses. We’ll disinfect high touch points and release a disinfecting fog that covers surfaces and disinfects respiratory droplets in the air.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon. Even if and when it’s under control, there will always be outbreaks that result in widespread infections and negative impacts on your business operations. Protect the health of your employees, customers, and business by taking steps to prevent the spread of disease.