With the coronavirus continuing to spread, you may be asking yourself how to best keep your employees healthy and infection-free. The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a pneumonia-like virus that originated in China and has now spread to six out of the seven world’s continents, excluding Antarctica. There are now more than 83,000 cases with at least 2,800 deaths worldwide. New coronavirus cases were reported in Europe, including Spain, Austria, Switzerland and Croatia with some cities in Italy on lock down. There are several cases of the virus reported in the U.S. The outbreak in China seems to be slowing, but if you would like to prepare your business for the possibility of a potential pandemic, see our suggestions below.

Communication

Work with your HR department to prepare an instruction guide for employees ahead of time to educate them about the coronavirus and ways that they can keep themselves healthy. This material should be communicated through all available channels to ensure that all employees can access it. A couple of great resources to utilize when gathering information include the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Flexibility

The best way to avoid possible transmission within your company is to implement flexible working arrangements. This eliminates the potential for transmission not only at the office, but also during their work commute. During this time, take advantage of project management dashboards, chat platforms and other online tools. If this is not an option, implementing face masks, hand sanitizer and proper personal hygiene can help avoid viral infections at the workplace.

Reconsider Leave

We want to avoid a situation in which an infected employee goes into work, risking their own health, the health of their coworkers, and causing stress for everyone involved, all because they didn’t have the paid time off available to stay home. If possible, employees should be allowed the option to work from home where they can deliver the same results, while keeping everyone safe.

Technology

As previously mentioned, utilizing technology and online platforms allows employees to work together effectively without direct human contact. Some suggested platforms include Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Asana, and Zoom to name a few. Check out some other great online tools here.

As the coronavirus outbreak approaches a global pandemic, your company will be faced with several challenges, but with proper communication, flexibility, a revised leave policy, and efficient technology, you can better prepare your company and help keep your employees safe. For further information, please see the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For questions on how to best adapt your company’s supply chain to the changing environment, reach out to one of our Smart Warehousing Account Executives at (913) 888-3222 or info@smartwarehousing.com.