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Shifting to work safe and work smart during the COVID-19 pandemic


While business concerns surrounding COVID-19 range from supply chain disruptions to travel bans to a sharp decline in revenue-driving activities, the safety of your people is your most important consideration. The coronavirus is an infectious disease and gathering employees together at the workplace may put them at risk of exposure to the virus. This pandemic is making it increasingly difficult for companies to strike a balance between maintaining productivity and providing a safe working environment for their greatest resource – their workers.

Since the first reported case of COVID-19 in Canada on January 25, 2020, early adoption of adequate preventive measures has been promoted as the best way to protect employees and clients. In addition, ensuring that your staff is well aware of health and safety policies is key to curtailing confusion and fear and minimizing adverse impacts to the business.

In addition, your business can follow these steps to further guard the health of your staff, your clients, and your business.

  • Remind employees about the importance of maintaining personal hygiene and provide sufficient and accessible infection control supplies (e.g. hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, etc).
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines and adjusting arrangements in the workplace so that a safe distance can be maintained between employees.

  • Establish a comprehensive process to identify who will take charge at operational locations to oversee a crisis management plan and local employees.
  • Anticipate the fear and anxiety that often leads to misinformation among employees and plan reassuring communications accordingly.
  • Develop a platform or communication channel(s) to communicate information about the pandemic inside and outside the organization.

  • Comply with all compulsory reporting and quarantine requirements announced by the health authorities.
  • Report on and monitor sick leave and symptoms.
  • Constantly update on records of travel, and monitor employees’ exposure to the sourceof the coronavirus.

Review and evaluate work from home policies and capabilities and ensure all employees have the necessary equipment to effectively do their jobs remotely.
Shift any important upcoming meetings to online versions, such as Skype.

How BDO can help

The coronavirus pandemic has created an extremely uncertain climate, and we know that businesses are looking to understand how they can manage this crisis while protecting their workforce and clients. BDO's People Advisory team can help you develop and implement strategies that help you protect your workers, maintain operational efficiency, and continue to prepare.

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