As the country responds to COVID-19, many business owners are faced with uncertainty as they try to support their teams. Some businesses, like salons and retail stores, are shutting their doors and sending staff home. Some businesses, like restaurants, must shift their usual practices to support increased demand for delivery and to-go ordering. Others, like banks or essential childcare, must stay open as usual while taking extra precautions to be safe. This is a time of change for everybody, which is why we put together a few things you can do to support your workforce.
Offer Paid Leave
Here at Wonolo we have implemented a few different policies to support our workers. We have expanded our Flex Time Off program to all users of our platform retroactively. We will also pay Wonoloers for up to 14 days of quarantine and excuse late withdrawals for sick Wonoloers. These are just some of the ways that we are supporting the workforce as we weather this pandemic.
If it’s possible for your business, and your employees are still working, offering paid sick leave is a great way to help. This gives your employees a sense of security and peace of mind, knowing that if they do become ill they will be able to take the time they need to recover.
In some businesses, we know it just won’t be possible to keep your entire workforce employed. If that is the case, make sure to support your team with resources to apply for unemployment benefits.
Work From Home
When possible, having employees work from home is the smart thing to do. Move your daily standups to instant message, and move your meetings to video. This is a good time to make sure documents are organized and email chains stay short and sweet.
The state of California has ordered its residents to shelter-in-place through April 7. This means that people should be staying home unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out. Only essential services will remain open, such as medical facilities, grocery stores, gas stations, post offices, and banks. Restaurants may remain open for food delivery only.
In other areas of the country, strict social distancing is still recommended, and shelter in place orders may follow. Social distancing means reducing your contact with people outside of your household. This includes things like working from home, homeschooling, avoiding crowds, and staying at least six feet away from others.
If anyone in your household is showing symptoms of being ill, they should be quarantined. This means using a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible, and taking extra cleaning precautions. Contact your healthcare provider if you believe you may be ill.
Support Your Workers’ Mental Health
This is an unprecedented event in the world. Many people are feeling anxious, stressed, and in need of extra support. This is the time to share words of encouragement and positive messages with your team. There are many ways to show you care. Share a funny video. Send an email with a kind message. Video chat with your team to talk about how everybodys’ day is going.
This is also the time to focus on your own mental health. Show yourself compassion and understanding as you deal with the difficulties of social distancing and sheltering in place. We will all get through this together.