As employees around the country return to work after spending the last few months at home, many are expressing concern about their safety. A recent study found that 54% of U.S. employees say they are worried about exposure to COVID-19 in their workplace.

How can I protect my employees and customers from COVID-19?

Despite more than half of U.S. employees having concerns about contracting COVID-19 at work, 71% have confidence that their employers will take the necessary measures to ensure a safe work environment. Here are seven things that business owners can do to protect employees and customers from COVID-19:

  1. Make sure your facility is cleaned and disinfected regularly.
  2. Make protective gear such as hand sanitizer, gloves, and face masks available.
  3. Mandate that employees with COVID-19 symptoms stay home.
  4. Have a plan in place, should one of your employees get sick with COVID-19.
  5. Keep your employees up to date on the most recent guidelines from the CDC.
  6. Take measures to minimize physical contact.
  7. Allow non-essential employees to work from home.

Here, we will explain in more detail the ways to create a safer workspace for your employees and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Make sure your facility is cleaned and disinfected regularly. In this instance, less is not more. To prevent the spread of bacteria, it is vital to have your workplace disinfected regularly. Without proper sanitation methods, germs are liable to run amok, which can pose a risk to workers and customers. Not only is this a responsible approach, but it will also bring peace of mind.
  2. Make protective gear available. Hand sanitizer, gloves, and face masks are critical in diminishing the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to these resources. In the hopes of promoting a clean, safe environment, consider making these supplies available. This will both reinforce the guidelines that the CDC encourages people to heed, and it will also let employees know that you care about their well-being.
  3. Mandate that employees with COVID-19 symptoms stay home. During these unprecedented times, it’s critical to err on the side of caution. If an employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, demand that they stay home. It’s not worth taking the risk. To ensure that everyone remains safe, do not allow them to return to work until their symptoms have completely disappeared. As an added precaution, ask that they see a doctor and get tested.
  4. Have a plan in place, should one of your employees get sick with COVID-19. While it’s good to hope for the best, it’s imperative to prepare for the worst. If someone in the office does contract coronavirus, you need to have a plan ready. From notifying staff members to shutting down the facility, many steps need to be taken. Having a sensible plan in place will ensure that the situation gets handled smoothly and promptly.
  5. Keep your employees up to date on the most recent guidelines from the CDC. You can spread the message and educate your team by hosting weekly meetings, sending emails, or hanging posters in the employee kitchen or break room.
  6. Take measures to minimize physical contact. Install no-touch trash receptacles, keep doors open if possible, and discourage hand-to-hand contact.
  7. Allow non-essential employees to work from home. If a person’s work can be done remotely, allowing them to work from home will help to keep more people safe.