How Should Startups React To The Coronavirus Pandemic?

Mar 31, 2020 1:45 AM ET

The coronavirus is officially a pandemic and the economy is being hit hard. It does not matter what business you run, from plumbing repairs Geelong to large corporations. Every business is affected in one way or another. However, startups are at a higher risk. This is because of the fact that such a business launched a short time ago so dealing with something this serious can be very complicated. This is why it is so important that startup owners act fast. Serious practices need to be employed and the safety of all people involved needs to be as high as possible. Some things that can be done right now to react to the pandemic include:

Encourage People To Wash Their Hands

This should go without saying but these days, it is a necessity. We naturally assume that people wash their hands but this is not really the case. When you put an emphasis on this in the business you run, it does reinforce the importance of prevention and how vital it is to fight off the current coronavirus pandemic.

This is good advice even if all your operations are done online. A simple email that lets people know about how important it is to wash their hands helps. When you have a brick and mortar location, have a hand sanitizer near the entry point and use large printed notices to enforce its use.

Regularly Wipe Down Work Areas

We now know that the covid-19 virus can stick to numerous surfaces for days, not just hours. This includes surfaces that are really popular in brick and mortar offices, like metal and wood. Due to this, it is important to consistently wipe down all work areas.

In addition, make it known that the smartphone also needs to be wiped down and disinfected as often as possible. If necessary, hire extra cleaning staff to always keep common areas disinfected.

Enforce A Stay At Home Policy

When you have employees that are sick or that just start to feel sick, they need to go home. A sick day needs to be enforced in such a situation so that proper testing happens. Paid sick leave is obviously preferred by the employees.

It has to be added that whenever the work that a staff member does can be done at home, it should be allowed. Have only your employees that absolutely need to come to work actually come to work. Nowadays, it is so easy to implement online working rooms and communication through the internet is easier than ever. You can use apps like Asana and any communication method you choose.

Avoid Travel

Whenever something can be done with the use of email, phone and video calls, avoid traveling. Also, you need to be very cautious when you receive visitors from people that come from areas that now face serious outbreaks, like Italy. Preferably, you do not visit such a country.

When you have an employee that traveled to such a country, they need to enter self-quarantine for 2 weeks. If this does not happen, the safety of your entire staff is put at risk. Support the employees and let them stay at home.

Expect The Second Wave 

Politicians and some scientists try to reassure people by saying the outbreak will disappear as warmer weather comes. Unfortunately, there is no scientific proof of this. Even if it is going to happen, by taking a look at the past outbreaks, we know that a second wave is inevitable. Also, even if the current wave slows down and new infections come in at a slower rate, it does not mean that you should stop using protective measures. Just one person that is infected can lead to a new outbreak.

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