Employee Policies and Procedures
These guidelines are to keep your staff safe and give your customers peace of mind.
This information should not be used in place of official recommendations by city, county, state or federal officials. It is a supplemental piece to give general guidance. You can read the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information at this link here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html
Work from Home
Whenever possible, have employees work from home. The fewer people they have to interact with, the fewer chances there are of them getting sick.
Stagger Office Hours
If employees must go into work, try and stagger the times when they can arrive and depart. Some people might want to work early morning shifts and others later in the afternoon. Reduce the total number of people that would be in the office together whenever possible.
Reduce or Eliminate Company Travel
Hold meetings with remote customers online or with apps like Zoom or Facetime. Don't travel unless it's essential.
Reduce Outside Exposure
Encourage employees to avoid situations that can spread the virus. You can't require it, but you can let employees know 12-step meetings are available online, groceries can be delivered, and doctors are performing virtual checkups.
Every employee should have their temperature checked when they arrive for work. If their temperature is above 99 degrees Fahrenheit, they should be sent home or to a doctor for further checkups.
Remember that physical activity raises your temperature. Being outside during a hot day can do the same thing. If an employee just arrived by riding a bike, have them sit down and cool down for 3-4 minutes. Then re-test their temperature to see if it has fallen to normal levels.
Perform a temperature check every time employees come to work.
If you find an employee is sick, provide pay for them to go home and recover. Employees who are not given sick leave may come to work because they can't afford to stay home. Unfortunately, they can infect co-workers and customers, creating a much bigger and more costly problem.
Decide how you're going to handle an employee contracting the virus. You should quarantine any workers that were near the infected employee. Then you should talk to any customers that might have been in close physical contact with the infected employee and encourage them to get tested and quarantine.
Small businesses may not be able to stay open with the loss of critical personnel. Put together a plan to shut down for a limited time while people recover. Some localities require that you notify the health department if someone tests positive. Find out what's mandatory where you are.
Require all employees wear a face mask while at work. Make sure the mask is at least two layers of cotton cloth or more. Do not allow masks that would present a danger to others, such as ones made out of mesh or that have one-way valves.
Face Shields / Protective Eyewear
Face masks are great at preventing someone who has COVID-19 from spreading it to others. However, face SHIELDS or PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR (combined with a face mask) can reduce your chances of getting infected by 85%. Jobs that require prolonged exposure to customers, such as personal trainers or dental hygienists, should consider wearing a face mask AND a face shield with protective eyewear.
Require employees to wash or sanitize hands before they start work. Sinks should have touchless faucets and soap dispensers. Handwashing should be done for at least 20-30 seconds. If you're in an environment where sinks aren't available, make sure to have touchless dispensers with hand sanitizer that's at least 60% alcohol.
Have employees re-wash or re-sanitize hands regularly throughout the day. Personal trainers, massage therapists or medical staff should wash before starting with each new client.
Hand Sanitizing Stations & Antimicrobial Wipes
Touchless hand sanitizers and antimicrobial wipes should be placed throughout a facility. These should be available for both employees and customers. Surfaces that are regularly touched should be wiped down and sanitized.
Visual Alarms for Cleaning
At WeBeFit, we use Phillips Hue Smart Lights. Every 30 minutes, the lights turn red for 1 minute to notify us that we're either halfway through a session or that we have 1 minute to wrap things up.
On the hour and half-hour, the lights turn green for 1 minute. That notifies us that the new sessions should be starting.
You can use lights like this and program them to change colors at specified periods of time. Use them as visual reminders of regular cleaning or hand sanitizing that needs to take place.
Phillips Hue Starter Kit - Image Courtesy of Phillips.
Setup physical barriers between employees and customers. Partitions can be used between office desks and chairs in a hair salon. Plexiglass stands can protect cashiers. Room dividers can be used in personal training studios. There are several solutions you can use to stop the spread of viral droplets.
Try to change work locations that have employees facing each other. Stagger them along a line or have them work back-to-back. You want to minimize closer, face-to-face interactions.
Supply Chain Interruptions
Talk with employees and suppliers about the product you need to stay open. Put together plans for alternate suppliers or product lines you can switch to. Go over plans with employees so they're aware of contingencies and prepared to make changes as needed.
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