02 Sep What does the new “back to work” look like as businesses reopen?
The pandemic has created significant changes to what “back to work” will look like as businesses across the United States continue to reopen. With no vaccine on the market just yet, many companies have shifted to exclusively working remotely, while some have returned to their office at a reduced capacity. Without a doubt, the post-COVID-19 workplace will function differently than the pre-pandemic workplace.
As your local insurance agent in North Central Massachusetts, we want to make sure that you are prepared no matter your current work environment. To help navigate the ‘new normal’ of business, we’ve put together an outline of how business operations are predicted to change due to the pandemic and provide insights to prepare you, your business, and your employees — whether you are inside or outside the office.
A recent survey conducted by Harvard Business Review shared results that indicated workers adjusted to working virtually more quickly than business leaders had worried they would; in many cases, workers felt that they were just as productive as before. Companies like Twitter and Facebook have announced they are making working from home a permanent option for their employees. If your business is operating remotely, here are few ways to help protect your business from vulnerabilities and boost employee productivity.
The pandemic has created a surge in demand for digital capabilities, products, and services. As mentioned in our cybersecurity blog, more cyber attackers are trying to exploit employees using insecure devices and networks within their homes. Google tallied more than 18 million malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19 on its service each day in April. The best way to combat and protect your business online is to make sure you are obtaining the needed technology and security to protect your data. We suggest having your employees add technology to protect their data. Here is a short list we suggest they start with:
- Add a Verified Personal Network (VPN).
- Set up two-factor authentication on all devices with valuable information.
- Set up a password manager to generate and remember different, complex passwords for every account.
- Set up antivirus software on your devices.
It is imperative for those returning to work onsite to follow the CDC guidelines around creating a safe environment for your employees and clients. To help with this process, they have provided many social distancing posters, signs, and resources available for download on their website. Here are some other more recommended procedures for returning to work.
New Safety Procedures for Employees and Customers
Especially today, safety should always be top of mind at the workplace. To help you reduce the impact of COVID-19 on your businesses operations, employees, and customers, here are a few suggestions on where to start:
- Plan ahead before you reopen to the public or bring employees back into your office.
- Implement new policies and practices to support social distancing in the workplace.
- Restrict the number of customers or visitors allowed in your office at a time.
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
- Reduce the total number of employees in a facility at a given time.
- Order customized pens with your company logo for your customers to use and keep to help reduce the spread of germs.
- Increase dispensers of hand sanitizer throughout your business spaces to encourage usage.
Interior & Exterior Maintenance
Businesses and employers can prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19 within the workplace by adding increasing safety measures and updates to their office space. This includes making sure all systems are up to date and properly functioning. Here are a few ways you can update your existing workspace to increase everyone’s safety:
- Install physical barriers, such as clear plastic sneeze guards to protect the spread of germs.
- Increase sanitation in high traffic areas like the bathroom or many entrances.
- Make sure your HVAC system is properly working.
- Consider installing additional high-efficiency air filters.
Check-in on your insurance policies
As you begin to reopen your business, it is always a great idea to check in with your local Anderson, Bagley and Mayo Insurance agent so we can advise you on whether your current coverage properly protects your business. It is essential for businesses to understand how COVID-19 can impact their insurance policies. This is why we believe it is in everyone’s best interest to take the necessary precautions and put controls and safeguards in place.
Your friends here at ABM understand the anxiety of reopening your business during these unprecedented times. We are here to help you navigate these uncharted waters as we adjust to this new normal. Contact us today for any questions regarding your current policies. It’s never too late to make sure your business is properly protected.