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Coronavirus: As a boss, what are your responsibilities for keeping employees safe?

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samuel brent
Samuel Brent
Sam is a born and bred North Londoner. Growing up in Archway, attending primary school at Montem Juniors in Holloway, and secondary school at Acland Burghley in Tufnell Park. After success with his A-Levels at LA SWAP, he studied film at the London College of Printing (later the London College of Communication) in the Elephant and Castle and then Clerkenwell. This led to working with the Guardian in Farringdon, and a career in Journalism. After years of a miss-spent youth in Camden Town, Sam now lives in Belsize Park with his wife Marina and their two children, Esme and Primrose. Samuel enjoys Gardening and cycling, and is an avid Arsenal fan and works out of his office in Shoreditch.

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way we do things, especially as business owners. Once upon time, worries fell upon not meeting targets and goals, dealing with underperforming employees and continuously making a good return on investment.

And now? In the age of coronavirus? Well, worries extend to whether or not the business will survive another ‘lockdown’ and how to care for employees in the middle of this pandemic especially in the lockdown areas of London. Don’t panic, however, because we’re about to explore your responsibilities, as a boss, when it comes to keeping employees safe.

Encourage better hygiene

While we’re sure (and we hope) that you don’t have to remind your employees of the hygiene basics, like showering regularly and using antiperspirant, it’s true that the wake of coronavirus has introduced new levels to ‘good hygiene.’

As a boss, you should be encouraging your staff to regularly wash their hands for the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice (around 20 seconds), as per the NHS advice. To assist this new requirement, place hand washing stations and sanitisers in key areas of your building, such as entrances and exits, people’s desks and in the communal areas.

Remind staff of social distancing guidelines

In the usual hustle and bustle of the working day, it can be easy to forget the fundamental importance of social distancing. Standing too close to a colleague when checking their computer screen, sharing a sofa in the communal area to exchange weekend tales…

Remind staff of social distancing guidelines – and not only when you see that they’re breaking them! As per government guidelines: “Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors).”

clean workplace

Up your cleaning game

A clean and tidy office environment was always important, but now? It’s absolutely crucial in keeping your employees safe during this pandemic. Spur your staff to keep the workplace clean by making antibacterial sprays and wipes available at all times, and set up a cleaning rota to ensure that surfaces and equipment get a deep, regular clean.

Think cleaning is too much of a chore? Serviced offices from BE Offices offer daily day and night time cleaning so that you can sit back, relax and know that your responsibility for keeping your employees safe has been made easier.

Reward your employees

There’s no denying that this pandemic hasn’t taken a toll on even the strongest of people – not just in terms of physical health, but in terms of emotional and mental health too. Remember to be kind to your staff and understanding if things don’t quite go to plan.

Times have been tough! Why not reward your employees to give them that all-important ‘pick me up’? As a result, you will see an increase in productivity and a boost in employee morale. Even something as simple as surprising everyone with cupcakes on a Friday afternoon could go a long way.

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