COVID-19 is a highly contagious disease that has already infected millions of people around the world.
While most people will experience mild symptoms or no symptoms, some become seriously ill because of it. A few may also die of it.
Moreover, some patients continue to feel sick months after they were confirmed to have COVID-19. Experts have called the condition “long COVID,” affecting 1 to 2 percent of patients who caught the virus. Symptoms include extreme tiredness, brain fog, joint pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. Long COVID can influence their ability to perform at work.
Even with very effective vaccines, a new variant is threatening to postpone the return to normal life. Many people have tested positive after they have been fully vaccinated. Most of these cases, however, have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic.
Employers have a responsibility to support their employees, especially when they have tested positive for COVID-19. Whether they work from home or back in the office, here are some things that management can offer their staff.
Detecting COVID-19 at the Workplace
No one wants their office to become a hotspot for infections, yet it is happening everywhere. Offices are especially risky because people from different households stay for several hours a day in one enclosed space, and there is little room for physical distancing. Most of the time, they also have to share office equipment and supplies like the photocopier, telephone, dining area, and washroom.
Employers can test their employees for COVID-19, but it is not a necessity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed scenarios to help businesses decide when testing can be effective or appropriate.
Testing might be necessary for areas where there is moderate to substantial community transmission. It can also be done in workspaces where employees are in close contact with one another or with customers.
The most accurate COVID test is still PCR (polymerase chain reaction) which involves taking a sample by inserting a long swab deep into the nostril.
Moreover, the company should have a plan in case someone tests positive for the virus. They need to be quarantined, and the people they have come in contact with for the last two weeks are needed to be notified.
During a crisis, people must stay close to one another. While you may not be in the same place, you need to keep in touch with your team. Task managers to communicate daily with staff members who are in quarantine because of COVID-19. Give them updates, but never force them to work if they feel too unwell. Ask them, too, what the company can do to help them. Little acts such as sending a meal to their house will be deeply appreciated.
if an employee tested positive, the employers have duty to inform their close contacts. however, do not more than that. it is necessary tell rest of company names employees who are experiencing symptoms or positive for covid-19. definitely anyone else’s business know if caring loved ones sick.
Managers should check in with employees, but their anonymity should be retained. Let them share the bad news with their colleagues if they want to and in their own time.
Be an Advocate for Wellness
The pandemic is a stressful time. It is hard to stay productive and focus on work when people are getting sick and dying everywhere.
It should be part of every company’s pandemic response to care for the mental well-being of employees.
Employers should look into providing resources that can help workers reduce levels of stress. Some companies have given employees access to mindfulness and meditation apps and encouraged everyone to use them to promote peace of mind throughout the day. Mindfulness has been proven to boost mood, lower stress, and lessen anxiety.
Some companies have also suspended work to give employees time to care for their own well-being. Sometimes, people need a mental health day to prevent burnout and to recuperate. During a mental health day, employees can rest, relax, destress, reset their perspective, and better manage their emotions. When they go back to work, they will feel refreshed and energized.
COVID-19 is one of the worst crises that the world has faced. People, including your employees, are getting sick or at risk of catching the highly contagious disease. They deserve a little compassion from their employers at an unprecedented time like this.