We would like to offer some tips on creating a safe and productive office environment during this time of heightened awareness about the effects of Covid19. Like you, we are working hard to continue providing excellent service to our customers while creating a safe and healthy work environment.
This is an unprecedented time we are living in, and we’d like to extend some advice and best practices that we learned from an associate from Hong Kong, where they have been fighting the Covid19 pandemic for nearly three months. They were kind enough to share what they’ve learned from this experience on creating a safe office and work environment. We hope these recommendations can help bring you some comfort while we’re all adjusting to our new normal.
Prepare for Long Periods of Working From Home (WFH)
Now is the time to prepare and organize how you and your employees can WFH without falling behind.
- Use tools like FortiClient to make sure everyone can access your work server.
- Set up employees on your internal chat systems and document sharing.
- Whether your team uses Slack, Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, Dropbox or Drive, check that all your WFH systems are working properly and no one is left out.
- If possible, provide laptops or cell phones for employees.
- Speak with your HR department about any necessary changes in policies that need to take place in order to assist your team in acquiring these items.
- After every remote call or meeting, the summary should be sent to the entire team and recorded on your project management software to ensure everyone is always caught up with the most recent order of operations.
Connection, Communication, & Understanding While Social Distancing
Layout early how you will communicate with your team, both professionally and, if appropriate, personally. If you haven’t already, implement policies that will keep your team’s motivation levels up. Don’t forget that WFH circumstances aren’t ideal for everyone, and people living with invisible diseases, like depression or anxiety, are especially vulnerable.
- Scheduling weekly and daily communications between team members is key to reducing anxiety ridden productivity killers.
- Set reminders to check-in with colleagues, even if only to ask how they are doing or how you can help.
- Reach out to employees who are caregivers (for parents, children, ect.) and discuss how to craft policies that support their family’s needs.
Safe Office Habits to Keep You Healthy
If your company is currently located in an area that permits working from an office space, our associate from Hong Kong recommends at the end of every work day to bring anything you might need to WFH with you, as you may not be allowed access to the office that next day. Follow your local government CDC advice, and if civil services say to stay home, begin WFH immediately.
If you are at this time working from the community office, remember the importance of good office hygiene practices.
- Wash your hands upon arrival to work, and set up sanitizing stations at all entry ways.
- Turn off central air supplies throughout the office.
- Purchase your own cleaning supplies for your work space and keep them close by.
- DO NOT come to the office if you’re experiencing systems related to Covid19. NO EXCEPTIONS!
- High fever
- Shortness of breath
- If available and appropriate, offer masks to all employees.
- NO non-staff members should be admitted into the office, including delivery people, clients, or non-staff cleaners.
- These policies should be stated at all entry ways for clear communication between staff members and the outside public.
Responsible & Respectful Workplace Social Distancing
During this crisis, even if your business is still operating at your office space, meetings should be moved to calls or video conferencing. DO NOT take any chances.
- Provide questionnaires for all employees, and trust their self health declaration, asking for their travel history, current symptoms (if any), family status, hospital visits, and attendance of events where cases of Covid19 have been confirmed.
- Require management updates of all travel plans, when in doubt cancel travel plans or work events for team members, and demand a 14-day self quarantine & WFH policy for all employees that have been to affected areas. Any minor exposure is a call for self quarantine, including schools, hospitals, and airports.
At this time, the majority of Napa Technology’s employees are working remotely. If you need to reach us for any reason, our service number will remain active at (800) 603-6550. Although we might not be able to respond to your concerns as quickly as before, we guarantee to address those concerns as soon as we possibly can. In the meantime, look to our Facebook page regularly for articles that will provide inspiration for you during this challenging time. Everyone here at Napa Tech is working hard to stay focused and continue making progress for all of you. We can’t know for certain how long it will take before life can go back to the way it was before, but in the meantime we can provide support, guidance and information. Stay safe and we will look forward to working with you to get back to business as soon as it makes sense.
Stay healthy. Stay innovative.