Just a few months ago, just a small percentage of people were full-time remote workers, and now – remote work has become the new normal for millions of people. Such is life in the time of COVID-19.
Corporate executives have been reporting that COVID-19 has pushed them into a future they had expected to unfurl gradually over the course of several years. Executives have also said remote operations have largely been successful, increasing the odds of continuing with a much greater proportion of people working remotely.
While remote working is expected to be part of the new normal, employers are bringing back some staff as restrictions are loosened.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, companies are highly recommended to coordinate with state and regional health officials so accurate and timely data can guide suitable policy changes. The CDC also has guidance for employers based on the degree of local transmission or impacts of COVID-19.
Therefore, employees should expect some COIVD-19 policies to be at the discretion of their employer. Good two-way communication can establish clear expectations and practices. That being said, all companies are expected to follow CDC guidelines. Below are just a few things employees should expect based on those guidelines.
Sick Employees Will Stay Home
The CDC is instructing companies to send home workers who show indications of COVID-19, which include cough, fever or difficulty breathing. Anyone sent home should expect to remain there until they meet CDC criteria for returning to work and are released by their medical doctor.
For workers who have a COVID-19-positive family member at home, the CDC suggests they inform their employer and follow the agency’s suggested precautions.
Discrimination Will Not Be Tolerated
If an worker is confirmed to be positive for COVID-19, employers ought to notify all staff members of their potential exposure to COVID-19, but maintain confidentiality as to the status of the person who tested positive, as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The company should then instruct staff members on how to move forward based on CDC guidelines.
Although the virus has been shown to have different impacts on different groups of people, employers have been directed not to use age, race or any other classification to affect how they handle COVID-19.
Expect Mitigation Measures
Employers have been and will continue to take steps to safeguard their employees, so make sure you follow the COVID-19 procedures of your employer:
- Regularly wash hands with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds per wash. Use hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not accessible.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Before you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
- Immediately throw used tissue in the trash and wash your hands after.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items.
- Avoid using the tools and equipment of others., but if you must, clean and disinfect anything before use.
- Practice social distancing by maintaining at least six feet distance from others when possible.
We Are Here to Help
During challenging times, there’s no need to go it alone. If you need career or workplace assistance right now, please don’t hesitate to contact NSC.