Originating in China’s Wuhan province, the coronavirus has to-date spread to as many as 65 countries, infecting more than 89, 000 people and resulting in 3, 000 deaths recorded so far.
Global fear and panic has become widespread as travel bans, border shutdowns and quarantines have been put in place to try and curb the spread of the resilient virus. The 2020 coronavirus, called Covid-19, has resulted in massive geo-political and socio-economic impact on the world’s business markets, and South Africa is now beginning to feel the effects.
President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation in a PSA alerting us on how to effectively protect against the spread of Covid-19 within our homes, with promises from the government that everything will be done to secure our harbour ports and airports from the flow of traffic in and out of the country.
So, how does your business operate effectively while protecting your staff and ensuring your processes run smoothly during this time?
How can your business mitigate against the effects of COVID-19?
With the virus not localised to any specific areas, highly populated areas such as schools, airports and workplaces are hotbeds for the Covid-19 viral infection.
Mass school shutdowns and travel restrictions, has meant that businesses have had to follow suit to protect their employees from the spread, or introduce flexible or home-working solutions to those who are able to do work out of the office.
But how does your business implement these working conditions, and how do you even start to protect workers who can only work from the office, while still maintaining standard operational procedure?
How to best protect your employees from coronavirus infection
It certainly falls on business owner’s shoulders to be responsible during this viral crisis, and provide the best working conditions to employees who still need to work from a shared office environment.
Understanding how infection spreads is the key to getting clarity around how to best protect your employees:
The virus spreads through ‘respiratory droplets’ from coughing and sneezing, as well as infection through surface-contact when someone touches their nose or mouth. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has advised employers to put protocols in place for employees displaying symptoms, and that strict provisions should be made to curb the spread within every workplace. Some of these recommended guidelines include:
- Any employees displaying respiratory symptoms such as fever (temperatures above 100.4 F), coughing, shortness of breath or persistent sneezing are encouraged to stay home.
- Employees are also encouraged to leave work if they start to develop these symptoms. Employers are urged to support these workers in any way possible and follow up with cleaning, clearing and containing any possibly contaminated workspaces.
- Workers must shield sneezes and coughs with tissue paper, elbows or shoulders - never a bare hand.
- Offices must supply alcohol-based hand sanitisers and sanitising wipes. Hands must be thoroughly cleaned before workers operate machinery, or use their computers or tools at work, and then immediately after.
- Employers need to facilitate the cleaning of workstations, countertops and doorknobs of each employee's station.
- Hands should be washed with soap and water for 20 seconds minimum.
- Employers need to ensure wash facilities are kept clean and paper towels are supplied (studies suggest that jet dryers may carry, and have been proven to spread viral and bacterial infections).
- Businesses and organsiations are all discouraged from hand-shaking to reduce the spread of infection at the workplace and throughout.
- Even though SA’s president has advocated the “elbow bump” as a replacement greeting, limited physical contact is best, and businesses can make use of online communication tools like Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams or others, for meetings between clients and internal teams.
Local media is also in a frenzy reporting on the difficulty in supply and demand, where stores are running out of items such as hand wash, hand sanitiser and toilet paper. We’d like to remind our customers that we’re still well stocked with janitorial supplies and the best disinfecting office cleaning products that can be used at home or your office workstations.
Products like our Parrot Office Cleaner spray, uses 95% disinfecting isopropyl alcohol to keep your work spaces and tools completely clean and germ or virus free.
All these above procedures are meant as preventative measures, but for most countries affected, it’s already too late. Countries that face an emergent or current Covid-19 outbreak have to take even more drastic steps in keeping employees safe and curbing the spread of the virus within the workplace through digital and remote working solutions.
How OfficeBox’s Online Solution is Perfect for you during the time of Covid-19
As a means to limit the spread of this contagious virus, “social distancing” is prescribed, and large gatherings are prohibited. For many businesses who rely on face-to-face interaction, this spells disaster.
Many of these companies have had to restructure their business models in order to remain operational with a key focus here on being how to best employ digital technology to pick up the slack or facilitate interaction.
At OfficeBox, our online service solution is perfect for providing a digital interaction when ordering your monthly stationery supplies and janitorial items. We’ve taken every precaution to ensure our supplies are hygiene and sanitary-safe. Moreover, our digital business model means you order your stationery online, with no physical contact whatsoever.
A perfect solution during this time of imposed “social distancing”. We’ve also taken strict steps to ensure our OfficeBox drivers are kept protected and that delivery to your door is done in the safest manner with no physical interactions other than dropping off your supplies (and the obvious friendly smile)!
With OfficeBox’s successful online ordering system, and delivery to your door, you can minimise or skip the mass physical contact and interaction when buying your home or office supplies online during this time.
Take advantage of our strictly digital online buying solution to limit your chances of exposure, but more so, to join thousands of businesses that enjoy the complete convenience of ordering their office supplies online with us, in complete convenience and at the best pricing, guaranteed.