The COVID-19 pandemic has been and continues to be a health issue in the workplace. In a survey conducted on CFO’s workplaces responses to COVID-19, results showed that 76% plan to change workplace safety measures and requirements (wearing masks, offering testing to workers), 65% plan to reconfigure work sites to promote physical distancing, 52% plan to change shifts or alternate crews to reduce exposure, 49% plan to make remote work a permanent option for roles that allow it, 48% plan to accelerate automation and new ways of working, 23% plan to reduce real estate footprint (partial opening of offices, retail locations), 23% plan to evaluate new tools to support workforce location tracking and contact tracing, 8% plan to offer target benefits for on-site workers in affected areas (childcare, private transportation), and 6% plan to provide hazard pay for on-site workers in affected areas (”Workplace Response”, 2020). I believe that many organizations are realizing that processes are going to be different now and for a while as most organizations are initiating new policies and procedures for their employees to ensure safety for everyone. These organizations that are implementing new policies and procedures, including wearing masks, taking temperature of employees or customers, and reducing capacity to ensure social distancing, must now take these things into consideration while running that business.
Many people are afraid to go back to work after working remote for several months. People are scared that they are going to get sick from being around a lot of people in an enclosed building. Many organizations that are requiring their employees to return to work are requiring masks, frequently sanitizing the buildings, and taking temperatures at the door. While many people are worried about returning to work, many businesses are stressing frequent handwashing and the use of PPE as well as encouraging their employees to stay home if they are feeling under the weather (Turpin, 2020).
Disaster planning is an important part to every business or organization. As some companies are discovering due to COVID-19, a strong crisis management plan is important to their organization (Shilling, 2020). Many small businesses couldn’t make it through a few months of being closed due to the pandemic because they did not have a financial plan in place. Even the United States was clearly not prepared for a pandemic as the country began to run out of PPE shortly after the pandemic hit, encouraging healthcare workers to use garbage bags as gowns and bandanas for masks. It is important that organizations continually assess the needs of their businesses and plan appropriately for any sort of disaster that could occur. It is important that staff and employees are trained and aware of these plans so that they can be implemented quickly and effectively. Lastly, it is important that businesses assess the needs of their employees during times of crisis including salary, benefits, etc. With all things considered, there is a lot for businesses to prepare for something that may never happen, but if it does and they are not prepared, it could cost them everything.
Shilling, R. (2020). Crisis preparedness when disaster strikes: strengthen your crisis management planning to adjust as the pandemic wears on and brace for any emergency that might come one day–from tornadoes to explosions. Food Engineering, 92(5), 48–53.
Survey Gauges CFO’s Workplace Response to COVID-19. (2020). Professional Safety, 65(6), 14.
Turpin, J. (2020). Refrigeration Contractors Expect COVID-19 to Change Business Norms: Safety and sanitation are now primary concerns, and more employees expected to work from home. Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, 270(6), 25–26.
The COVID pandemic has upended many hospitals, including their policies involving PPE use and infection prevention. Because this virus is so unknown, the amount of PPE used has been astronomical, enough to put the hospitals in shortage. Donations of handmade, cloth masks were beneficial, but organizations needed more help to meet the growing demand. An organization in Spain, called Acciona, helped 3-D print 200 masks per day to provide to hospitals to help battle COVID (Clift & Court, 2020). This company not only helped hospitals with PPE, but went further to help the hospital staff with lodging and providing the cleaning service necessary to stay in sanitary, safe conditions. The article also mentioned a different company, Siemens Healthineers, who met the COVID virus head on. Early in the response to the pandemic, testing was extremely limited. This organization pledged to start mass producing 50 million COVID tests starting in June 2020 to be utilized in health campuses throughout the United States (Clift & Court, 2020).
Workplace security is something that is expected when going to work. Employees have the right to feel safe at work. Being a nurse, workplace violence can, and frequently does, occur while on the clock. According to Valentine et al. (2020), physical assault, threat, harassment, intimidation, and bullying are all forms of workplace violence. Taking care of sick patients is tiring work, and when patients aren’t their normal self, sometimes they act out in violence. An article found by Sarkis (2000), lists examples employers are taking to combat workplace violence. These include: conducting a risk assessment, increasing security, providing training for employers and employees, and identifying methods for dealing with troubled employees. The organization I work at does have the nurses doing a violence risk assessment once per shift, and has protocols in place for patients deemed a high risk for violence.
Disaster planning is an important part of an organization because disasters not only affect the organization and the community, but also the employees. Disaster planning includes organizational assessment, human impact planning, and disaster training (Valentine et al., 2020). Organizational assessment includes assessing how a disaster will affect the organization and needs many members of the interprofessional team. Human impact planning plans for the impact a disaster will have on the people of an organization. This is important because an organization, especially a medical facility, needs to continue to function if there are power outages or some other type of disaster. Disaster training is just that – training for a disaster. This is important to an organization because trained team members are what make disaster planning successful (Valentine et al., 2020). The organization I work for has a disaster team in place, with written policies and procedures to follow in case of a disaster, natural or manmade.
Clift, K., & Court, A. (2020). How are companies responding to the coronavirus crisis? World Economic Forum.https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/how-are-companies-responding-to-the-coronavirus-crisis-d15bed6137/ (Links to an external site.)
Sarkis, K. (2000). Employers take steps to combat workplace violence. Occupational Hazards. https://web-b-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.umary.edu/ehost/detail/detail?vid=5&sid=e440e60f-a575-4569-be93-233fe8230468%40pdc-v-sessmgr06&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=2801704&db=buhLinks to an external site.
Valentine, S. R., Meglich, P. A., Mathis, R. L., & Jackson, J. H. (2020). Human resource management (16th ed.). Cengage Learning