With several states seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, many businesses are opting to have their employees continue working from home. However, while working from home has significantly fewer risk factors for spreading COVID-19 than working in an office setting does, it’s not guaranteed employees won’t become sick.
Common Risk Factors in Employees Homes
Even if a company’s employees are telecommuting, this doesn’t mean the rest of their households are as well. Spouses or adult children still living at home may have jobs that don’t allow them to telecommute. These individuals may bring illness home with them (COVID-19 or otherwise) that then may infect remote workers. Telecommuting employees still need to go out as well to pick up groceries, prescriptions, and more, which increases their risk profile of contracting COVID-19.
4 Steps to Keep Remote Employees Healthy
Employers should encourage their employees to utilize the following best practices to stay as healthy as possible during the pandemic:
- Sterilize common household surfaces. Alcohol is the great equalizer when it comes to viruses. With the proper application and concentration, employees can kill 99.99% of germs lingering on surfaces everyone touches. This can help prevent the accidental surface spread of illnesses among household members. The most effective alcohol-based cleaners have a concentration of at least 70% alcohol.
- Condense grocery trips whenever possible. Prior to COVID-19, making a quick trip to the store for a forgotten item didn’t pose major health risks. Now, unnecessary exposure in crowded places increases the likelihood of falling ill. Utilizing grocery pickup or delivery services can significantly curtail this source of exposure.
- Wear a mask when out in public. While hotly debated in some places, wearing a mask out in public is the easiest way to prevent the spread of contagion. This is particularly important if employees are visiting places where sick people congregate such as the pharmacy or at a doctor’s office. Wearing a mask is also a good reminder to avoid touching the face while out in public, as the mouth, nose, and eyes are common entry points for viruses.
- Wear gloves when out in public. Many people know that door handles, grocery carts, and other surfaces touched by dozens if not hundreds of people each day are likely sources of germs. However, not many stop to consider the produce and products they touch while at grocery stores. Several people have likely handled those items and wearing disposable gloves can cut down on the spread of germs.
While employers can educate and train their employees on the best practices to stay healthy during the pandemic, it’s impossible to safeguard against every risk. In the event that employees fall ill, employers will need a simple solution to keep track of absences and leave requests from their remote workforce. Contact the experts at Actec to learn how our absence tracking mobile app can help your business.