It’s official—COVID19 otherwise known as Coronavirus has been deemed a pandemic by the World Health Organization. What some thought was “fake news” or something that has been fueled or created by the media is a real thing, and is impacting the globe at a rapid pace. WHO defines a pandemic as a worldwide spread of a new disease in which most do not have an immunity to. If you weren’t serious about Coronavirus before, it’s time to practice precautionary measures.
For those of us who work in an office or outside of the home, navigating this health crisis can prove to be difficult. As a former Human Resources Manager with over 10 years experience working for Fortune 500 companies, I wanted to share with you how you can maneuver your workplace and coronavirus. Here’s what you should know:
With more than 1,000 people infected with the virus in the U.S. (a number that’s growing every day), and over 35 deaths as of the date of this post, most health experts agree that self-containment is key to lowering your risk factors. This means staying inside your home and only going out when you have to and avoiding huge groups of people.
Work from home
If working from home is an option for you and you live in an area where there are Coronavirus infections, then you should be working from home or working remotely. Many employers are encouraging their employees to do this, but if you work in the service industry, this may not be an option. Check with management to see if there are other alternatives.
Your management and/or HR should already have systems in place for company protocol. If you aren’t aware of the protocol or policies surrounding the outbreak, then contact them immediately. Ask about their sickness policy as well as safety and health practices, and their Reportable Illness Policy.
Your workplace may also require health trainings and workshops—make sure to complete them before the deadline. If you have any upcoming business travel, work with HR and management to determine cancelation or rescheduling options.
Stay home if you have symptoms
If you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, stay home from work and consult your physician immediately. Do not go to work.
Sanitize your workstations
Even if your office has a cleaning crew that tidies up the office at night, they may not be cleaning and sanitizing each workspace and workstation. Start your day by wiping down your work area(s) with wipes that have alcohol in them, and don’t forget to clean your keyboard and your phone.
Wash your hands thoroughly
This goes without saying, but washing your hands is the best defense against Coronavirus. Use paper towels to cover doorknobs and other surfaces when opening doors and closing them, as well as touching the keys on the elevator. Keep hand sanitizer on deck as well, and don’t shake hands or hug. Oh, and if you have to cough, cough into your elbow.
The most important thing you can do is to limit your risk factors and exposure to the virus as much as you can. Be smart, put your health and the safety of you and your family first. Make sure to consult the CDC website often for up-to-the-minute updates about the virus.
How are you dealing with your workplace and Coronavirus?