Social distancing is key
LAEDC presents the following recommendations to help businesses weather the slowdown caused by coronavirus. As with any recommendations, we ask readers to evaluate the merit of each, based on their own organization’s needs.
- Employers should establish firm requirements that any sick employees not enter the workplace in order to protect their fellow employees and other members of the public. As of 3/20/20, only employees that are considered in our “essential services” should be physically going to work, under Governor Newsom’s order that all individuals stay at home except for essential needs.
- Emphasize appropriate respiratory etiquette (contain coughs and sneezes) and emphasize frequent hand washing.
- Establish policies and practices to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and members of the public — social distancing — to reduce the spread of the virus.
- Greet without shaking hands for the near future.
- Perform frequent environmental cleaning of the workplace, especially surfaces that are frequently touched in common areas (e.g. elevator buttons, door handles, door knobs, light switches, etc).
- Install alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations.
- Cross train staff on essential functions to ensure business continuity while any key employees may be unavailable.
- Make available video conferencing software and phone bridges for virtual meetings rather than relying on in-person group meetings.
- Prepare your IT systems to support telecommuting, which typically creates a more resilient business if there is ever an earthquake.
- Install appropriate apps on employees’ phones or mobile computing devices in order to access work and related apps and data remotely.
- Consider moving your phone system and voicemail to the cloud; it is easier to retrieve messages from home and setup call forwarding.
- Consider changing workflow to sharing documents in the cloud, so collaboration is still possible with many remote employees. Ensure you have good security protocols in place for sensitive documents or work streams.
- Move email to the cloud, rather than hosting it on servers at the office. This is more related to other types of disasters that might disrupt IT systems, but is a best practice in our region.
- Encourage employees to move payroll to direct deposit.
- Diversify supply chains to become less dependent on individual suppliers from territories that may be at greater risk of impacts from COVID-19, if your operation depends on such supply chains.
- Take action to secure lines of credit / capital, in case working capital and cash flows become impacted by a reduction in consumer demand or a delay in ability to fulfill product or service orders. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has now made SBA disaster loans available to businesses, and pending the outcome of H.R.6040 the interest rate may decrease to zero. California IBank is another source for emergency loans, via Pacific Coast Small Business Development Corp. Other financial resources are listed on this page.
- If you anticipate having challenges with payroll, or if your organization is considering layoffs, please contact LAEDC immediately and our team will help avoid the need for layoffs. Email LAEDC: [email protected]