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Maintaining Employee Well-Being During COVID-19

Adam Hughes
Employees Everywhere are Working from Home

As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to affect millions everywhere, companies are finding new and creative ways to accommodate and support employees.

For the purposes of this blog, when we talk about health, we aren’t talking about it in the literal sense of the word, but more so the health of employees on the job. Clearly, as an employer, you want to ensure that your employees are healthy and able to take care of their families in this time of chaos. But companies must also ensure that their employees have all the tools and resources available in order to do their jobs efficiently.

Odds are likely that most companies have already helped their employees do a few basic things:

  • Set up a work-from-home environment
  • Provide additional resources and information for your employees and their families
  • Perform periodic “check ins” to ensure your employees are feeling healthy and supported

While this has in all likelihood caused some stress on productivity and accessibility for your team members, taking these extra steps right now is also necessary. Companies who aren’t accustomed to employees working from home had to envision a few technical bumps in the road, from employees being unable to connect to a VPN to inefficient video conferences. Since it’s been a few weeks (and in many cases, over a month), companies should have worked out the kinks by now and have business running as smoothly (and remotely) as possible.

But with the initial adjustment period behind us, it’s time for you as a company to make a fundamental shift forward. Companies should now:

  • Assess the whiplash the pandemic has caused in your organization
  • Ensure the stress levels and workloads are manageable for your teams
  • Since we cannot estimate how long this pandemic will last, evaluate any short-term support from your vendors or partners

Anyone who predicts where the economy is headed is making nothing more than an educated guess. So, as a company, with the lion’s share of your employees now working remotely, what should you be thinking about in regard to the future? Making investments or changes now for the long term is likely not at the top of your to do list at the moment. Still, you must try to think ahead, for both the short and long term. Some ways to do just that include:

  • Document any skills and resource gaps that you have in your organization
  • Assess if a managed service provider (i.e. for handling new trading partners, creating new integration maps, or handling changes from your ecosystem) would help you reduce disruptions in your business
  • Look for ways to automate annual processes. This is particularly key to respond to demand and supply shocks, where human intervention might not scale, or critical errors could occur due to workload, as an example

We totally get it. Right now, your organization is likely focused on solving short-term pain or challenges. However, now might be the *best* (yes, best) time to evaluate longer term investments. Since the challenges you are facing are fresh and apparent, it will be easy to understand items such as resource shortages, skills gaps, and operational processes. Considering those items can also help you give more defined shape to your long term future.

Refer to Cleo’s COVID-19 FAQ guide for more suggestions to help you navigate these difficult times.

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