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Until a month ago, everything was normal. Institutions and organizations running on their usual time, local buses and trains a challenge to board, and people going out after work hours to have some fun. But the sudden turn of events has changed everything. With coronavirus reaching every corner of the world, panic has spread like wildfire. What began as a bunch of stray headlines, blew up to become a global crisis.
When a pandemic as such breaks out, it calls for people to stand together and fight. As employees are struck with fear, leaders have to step in and take responsibility for their team members. In such situations, the first thing that every business has to do is make their employees’ safety the top priority. With fear growing in every individual, here are a few measures that organizations must undertake.
Agility in alignment
Every employee is important, and we have to try our best to keep them all safe. Monitor the situation as closely as possible and have consistent communications on ways to tackle this. Try to come to solid conclusions and decisions with the upper management and let the rest of your team know what’s going on and what they should expect in the near future. Keeping them informed about any potential move by the company will not only help them stay calm, but will also make them trust their leaders.
A policy that supports working remotely is the best solution! Help your employees arrange a basic setup of logistics during the quarantine, so that client deliverables are received on time. Besides, having employees work from home will also ensure that they do not become carriers of the virus that will further affect others. Be sure to inform your clients that there could be a delay.
If your company does not have a policy for working remotely or if WFH is not a feasible option, consider sending the employees on leave, until implemented. Without a pay cut, of course!
Hindustan Unilever Limited was one of the few companies that acted fast and implemented WFH with immediate effect; with over 4,000 employees working from home. And now, as per the country-wide government directive, every company has to impose WFH or leave, for the required period of lockdown.
United we fight
Even though COVID-19 is a fast-spreading virus, worldometers.info has confirmed that the majority of the people affected have recovered, and in the current cases, 95% have been categorized as “mild” and only 5% fall in the “critical” section. At the same time, the panic is totally valid because even though the fatality rate is low, COVID-19 has taken over 22,000 lives, worldwide.
Together, we can fight this by simply staying at home and socially distancing ourselves. And a little empathy from leaders and managers can do wonders at this sensitive time. Something for each and every one of us: Let’s not forget that there are occupations that cannot function by staying at home. And these silent superheroes are out there, risking their lives so that we remain safe.
So, if you have the privilege, then do your bit. Stay home and stay safe!