The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every area of life, and perhaps none more intensely than the workplace.
Employees have been divided into essential and non-essential. Workers who never telecommuted before are suddenly working from home full-time.
Everyone is having to adjust very quickly, and for employers there are a number of challenges to consider.
Emphasize your policies and procedures. Even if working from home is new to your company, or to some of the employees who are now telecommuters, your company’s policies and procedures should help to keep everyone on track. Be sure your workers understand the importance of strict time-keeping, and of not doing off-the-clock work, as well as your policies on sick leave and paid time off. This framework is vital, but you should remain flexible as everyone adjusts to this new way of working.
Ensure a safe workplace. Even if most of your employees are now telecommuting, there may be certain essential staff who have to come into the workplace, even if only for a few hours at a time. How will you ensure that the workplace is sanitized and safe for these workers? A few options to consider: scheduling staff to come in at different times of the day, hiring additional cleaning staff to sanitize multiple times a day, providing hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for staff to use on their work stations.
Understand the laws in your state. In California, for instance, the Labor Commissioner has taken the position, that employers cannot require employees who are quarantined to exhaust paid sick leave. Also in California, exempt workers who perform only some work during a workweek due to a shutdown of operations are entitled to a full week’s salary, with deductions permitted for full weeks where no work is performed.
Remember, we’re all in this together. You are worried about your business; your employees are, too. Everyone is working together to keep the business in operation, while at the same time taking necessary steps to stay healthy. Be open and understanding with your employees, while providing them with the tools and framework they need to continue to be successful with their jobs. They will be open and understanding with you, too.
For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.