The Chinese city of Wuhan gave birth to the global pandemic, namely, Corona virus (COVID-19), back in December 2019. Since then it has gone to spread to over 70 countries, affecting over 95000+ people and claiming over 3000 + lives. This is the second time China has been the hotbed for corona virus after SARS-CoV originated in 2002.
The COVID-19 has affected people of all color, caste, and race. And all these people have one thing in common i.e., they are a part of the global workforce. The virus has affected the global market and the global economy. Just a few days back, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund confirmed that ” Unfortunately over the last week, we have seen a shift to a more adverse scenario for the global economy.” 
At such times, where the global economy is gradually slipping down, it has become necessary for employers to keep a check on the corona virus and not allow it to enter and/or affect your workforce. Now to do so, employers need to ask themselves a few questions, answers to which will decide the future of their employees and business. So here are some questions that every employer needs to ponder over to win this fight against corona virus:

Employers Vs Corona virus-How to win this fight:

Is your workforce well-educated on the virus?

The first step when a widespread happens is education. Rumors can get anyone to panic and especially at such times, the employers should educate their workforce on the virus, its symptoms, how COVID-19 spreads, preventive measures, and more. Conduct office meetings and host educational video sessions if need be.
Motivate your workforce and keep them calm in times of chaos. Dedicate enough time to teach your employees and just remember ‘it’s not a waste of time or money since your business depends on your employee’s health and services.’ 

Is flexibility missing in your existing remote working policies? Just change them

Let your employees work remotely or from home. This is the time to think about your employee’s health. Change any existing policies that curb the employees to work remotely. Schedule frequent video conferences to keep the tab on each employee’s work and performance. Leverage the technology to its fullest and use tools like Employee Management Systems to engage with the employees instead of calling them up for work and risking their health. Showing such concern towards your employees will not only keep them safe today but will also help you build a strong relationship with your workforce.

Do you really need face-to-face meetings when video conferencing is there or why not just postpone them?

Meetings are an important part of smooth functioning corporations and businesses. However, they too need a break for now. Postpone all meetings and especially ones that involve client meetings since you don’t know who is affected by COVID-19. Instead use video conferencing apps like Zoom, Google Meet, etc. Avoid meeting clients personally (it won’t hurt them if they are wise enough).

Is your workplace hygienically efficient?

Hygiene plays a very crucial role here (yes it’s always important). To keep their workforce safe, employers need to invest in the overall hygiene of the workplace. From keeping the temperatures warm enough (COVID-19 fears heat) to arranging breathing masks and sanitizers, hygiene is of utmost importance.

Do you know your employees are virus-free?

If your office is up and running with employees regularly reporting to the respective workplace, it is very important to keep a check on employee health. Arrange a monitoring camp where employees can get tested whenever anyone shows possible symptoms for the COVID-19. 
Employers should know about the health status of every one of their employees and none should be left out. Remember the virus started with just one and has taken over 70 countries.

What health arrangements are there in case of any emergency?

Prevention has always been better than cure. It’s time to inculcate that now. Employers need to make all the necessary arrangements to limit any causes of the outbreak of COVID-19. Hire a few experts for emergency purposes and keep all the necessary medications available in the premises itself. If possible even stay in touch with nearby hospitals and camps for emergency cases.

Why risk business travels currently?

Business travels form a basic part of most businesses. But this is not the right time for that. Limit or even postpone any business travels. Who knows your fellow passenger might be already affected by the virus. 

Advisory for your organization’s employees:

Now as an employer you know what steps you need to incorporate to ensure the health of your workforce against the fatal COVID-19 disease. But it is equally important and the core responsibility of each employee to make sure that his/her colleagues are safe and for that, here are few tips every employee needs to seriously consider:

  1. Don’t hesitate to immediately inform your employer if you witness any of the symptoms of the corona virus in self or in anyone else around.  
  2. Drink plenty of water  
  3. Always carry a hand sanitizer and wash your hands thoroughly and frequently
  4. Maintain a healthy distance when coughing or sneezing
  5. Go out in the sun for some time as the virus can’t survive in the heat
  6. Educate and share anything you think you coworkers need to know about the virus

Conclusions

Steps were taken today to decide the future. COVID-19 has redefined the way of life itself. The need of the hour is to take steps that are employee-centric and prevent them from coming in contact with the deadly virus. No loss can compensate for the loss of a potential employee who is dedicated to his/her work.
Tough steps taken today will keep you protected and bear the fruit in the future!!

Please refer to WHO and your government/country’s official websites for more information and updates:
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
https://dhr.gov.in/whatsnew/2019-novel-corona-virus
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Disclaimer:
We have referenced several credible sources for these facts and read advisory issued by several firms to their employees. However, we don’t claim to be experts at this, and this is a general guideline/advisory issued as precautionary measures.