We are all waiting for the COVID-19 crisis to end, so we can get out of the house, hang out without distancing, talk to people without the fear of catching the virus – simply live a normal life again.
Unfortunately, researchers suggested that the end of the COVID-19 virus is yet to be known. Social distancing could reduce the virus’s transmissibility by 60 percent and summertime reduces it by 40 percent. It means summer will significantly slow the spread of the virus but it is not enough to stop it. Researchers also found that there are still many unknown combinations of how to end the pandemic but different scenarios suggested that several rounds of social distancing will be required to get individuals to form herd immunity in the absence of a vaccine.
Although the spread of the virus remains, governments have instructed businesses to operate again, fixing an economic downturn caused by the global pandemic. In the United Kingdom, the lockdown is lifted but individuals are urged to wear masks and embrace social distancing in public. Yet, the UK ministry still bans large public gatherings, including religious services, bars, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, and music venues. Some other countries in Europe have also announced plans to gradually relax coronavirus restrictions, including Norway, Denmark, Austria, and the Czech Republic.
In the Asia region, Hong Kong and South Korea have succeeded in reopening the society and preventing a second outbreak by rolling out some measures, CNBC reported. Meanwhile, Singapore extends its partial lockdown but businesses partly reopen with some measurements, including social distancing, hygiene, and face masks. And in Indonesia, post-coronavirus scenarios have been made with some businesses will again be able to operate from 1st June 2020.
In an effort to recover the world’s economy, lockdowns are lifted so businesses can slowly operate and workers can go back to work from the office again. While this is a piece of good news, the work of HR to assist and protect individuals from the virus still continues. As mentioned earlier, researchers suggest that social distancing should still be conducted to avoid another wave of virus pandemic. Therefore, HR and business leaders must point out these measurements to emphasise the safety of employees post-coronavirus lockdown.
HR should always remind employees regarding workplace hygiene and safety. This is the first and foremost measure HR should do to help employees work peacefully and effectively. As the employees start to work from the office again, it is advisable to revisit the company’s workplace safety and hygiene. Checklist all the necessary measurements to eliminate the virus in the workplace. Ask cleaning teams to use alcohol-based disinfectants, place hand sanitizers in some spots, provide face masks, and provide enough space for employees to work without violating the physical distancing rule.
Another measurement is that HR should assist employees who need respiratory ailments and/or suffer from illness/disease. If possible, provide a special room for employees who might or might have a chronic disease. This will prevent any unwanted exposure for unexpected conditions. It will be better to ask employees who might be suffering from such conditions to continue work from home to keep them healthy and safe.
Even after the lockdown is lifted and businesses could operate again, there is still a chance that the virus will persist again. Therefore, it is better to prevent it from happening by minimising non-essential business-related travel. Encouraging employees to continue collaborating online would bring better efficiency while maintaining the safety of your people.
Last but not least, whilst the lockdown is over, the fear of catching the virus might still stay within employees because there is still no vaccine available. Thus, HR is advised to revisit and change (if needed) their healthcare benefits, allowing employees to get the most services to assist their psychological and financial wellbeing.
Read also: The Shift in Employee Healthcare Benefits