Help your team stay healthy during COVID-19
Whether your work gear is deemed essential and you are still entering an office or manufacturing facility or you are working from home during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, there are a number of things employers can do to help them stay healthy. We’ve included physical and mental health tips along with a downloadable PDF health guide that you can share with your team members.
For team members on site
Try to organize work areas so that employees can stand 6 feet away.
Make sure there is enough soap in all bathrooms and provide hand sanitizer in break rooms and near employee work stations.
- Clean all bathrooms, break rooms, and kitchens daily.
- Clean high contact surfaces such as copier touch panels, door code locks, etc., twice a day.
- Provide sanitizing wipes so employees can clean work areas, keyboards, and phones daily.
- Have policies in place that require sick employees to leave without penalty Make sure employees understand sick leave policies and symptoms that would require them to stay home.
- If you already have an employee health clinic on-site, occupational health nurses and providers can be valuable resources to help businesses and employees with questions about safety, symptoms, and courses of action.
Learn more about the personalized health and wellness services offered by Cone Health Employee Health & Wellness. Three clinics are available for companies that do not have on-site clinics, as well as a variety of health screenings, substance abuse screenings, OSHA compliance services, DOT physicals, wellness classes, and more.
For team members working from home
Working from home helps team members reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. It also requires a little attention and planning to stay mentally and physically healthy and productive. These tips can help employees be more productive, deal with stress, and reduce the risk of getting sick.
Feel free to share the following tips with your team:
Tips for physical and mental health while working from home
Create a designated space for your work
If possible, place a desk or table in an area of the home away from main traffic. While working at the kitchen table may seem like a logical choice, it is too easy to stop and grab frequent snacks or rest to talk to family members. You will feel more focused and productive with a designated space.
Try a chair, table, and monitor height that offers proper ergonomic alignment
Your elbows must be at a 90 degree angle to write. You may also need to have a separate monitor from your laptop or a bluetooth keyboard to get a screen at a height that doesn’t require you to look down, putting pressure on your neck and shoulders.
Get a phone charger for your work area
Having a phone charger that is only for your workspace will prevent you from looking for one around the house every day. If you have few outlet spaces, a wireless charging pad is an easy way to keep your phone by your side without catching the charging cords that have fallen on the floor.
Find ways to exercise
Exercise can boost your immune system, increase energy levels, and help you manage stress. If you can exercise outdoors, you will have the added benefit of daytime exposure to sunlight, which can help you sleep. Some local parks still allow access to walking and hiking trails, or trying to hike or bike in their neighborhood.
Many local gyms now offer live or online classes, often with a free trial class. Two possibilities include Proehlific Park in Greensboro and Downtown Yoga and Barre in Burlington. You can also find free apps and trainings. Down Dog offers free yoga, barbell, high-intensity interval training, and 7-minute full-body workouts until May 1. Les Mills offers a 14-day free trial with access to over 800 workouts, including options for kids
Limit how often you watch the news
It’s good to stay informed, especially about local updates for your community, but too much news can feed fear and fuel anxiety. Decide on a certain time of day to check the news and limit the session to 20 or 30 minutes. This can also apply to social media, where many people post articles and updates.
Stay in touch with friends and family.
Having regular hours to call, Skype or FaceTime family and friends can help reduce the risk of anxiety and depression. Find a balance between sharing concerns but also time to talk about something other than coronavirus. It is important to share stories, laugh and focus on other things too. There are also many ways to set up a group video chat to help break the isolation.
Skip having more friends
Many people feel that they can still visit neighbors or have some friends while staying home. However, this practice can undo every day of work at home and only go out for the essentials. You are not only exposed to your friends, you are also exposed to anyone with whom they or their family members have been in contact.
An epidemiologist explained it this way. “If your son visits his girlfriend, and then sneaks out for coffee with a neighbor, your neighbor is now connected to the infected office worker that the mother of his son’s girlfriend shook his hand with,” he says. Jonathan Smith, epidemiologist at Yale University School of Public Education. Cheers, in a recent letter to your community.
Steps to follow if you get sick
If you are ill with any type of illness, call your doctor’s office to see if you can schedule a virtual visit or sign up for an electronic visit through Cone Health. Many offices, including all Cone Health Medical Group providers, offer video and phone visits. If the doctor thinks you need an in-person visit or lab work, he can arrange it. Anyone can also arrange an electronic visit through Cone Health. Learn more about coronavirus precautions and electronic visits. For those with coronavirus symptoms, Cone Health offers an online self-assessment tool and free electronic visits. For the electronic visit, you will complete an online questionnaire that will be reviewed by a nurse practitioner or medical assistant. Then you will receive a message with information and care instructions in a few hours.