As our communities start opening back up after this long quarantine period, it’s vital that everyone continues taking the proper precautionary measures to protect themselves and others. While we want the economy and businesses to go back to normal so people and families aren’t struggling financially or emotionally, we also want to reduce the risk of having another outbreak period as best as possible. While we all may have varying opinions about SARS CoV2 and its health implications, In2GREAT wants to share some ways employers and human resource professionals can help keep employees safe as they enter back into the workforce.
This is an unprecedented situation for all employers. You want to keep business operations and revenue flowing to provide your employees with the income needed to support their families. However, you may be debating the safety of bringing everyone back into close contact with one another.
While we need to get a normal routine down eventually, it’s important to provide a safe work environment that prioritizes the health and wellbeing of employees. Your business will be in a better position to operate smoothly if all employees have peace of mind when it comes to the protective measures taken.
Here are some ways employers can take precautionary steps to protect your workers’ health. Your Human Resources team may want to set up a virtual powerpoint meeting to share these tips with the employees as they come back to work, or even distribute them before people re-enter the workplace.
It’s more important than ever to keep wiping down all surfaces in the workplace- especially those that are touched frequently like door handles, bathrooms, sinks, telephones, shared pens, computer keyboards, registers, etc. Washing hands should be a top priority to help stop the spread of any virus or illness. Hand sanitizer may be used lightly, but encourage the practice of regular handwashing with non-toxic soap instead. Keep these factors listed below in mind.
Warning… Do not overuse hand sanitizer as it:
- Increases toxic exposure through chemicals used in the sanitizer
- Is not intended for daily use. Daily and frequent use will lead to less exposure to germs and reduce immune strength – they are designed for in-hospital situations, time-sensitive situations when hand washing is not an option, and/or when attempting to reduce exposure or transfer of bacteria to a patient.
- Can cause your skin to dry out if the sanitizer is alcohol-based, which it should be at 80% or above ideally. It can also lead to an unhealthy imbalance of skin microbes that usually protects you from infection.
- Is not nearly as effective as washing hands with soap and water because you’re not rinsing off the dirt, grime and microbes.
- May contain antibiotics that contribute to resistant microbes. Most hand sanitizers don’t have them anymore – but make sure to read the label.
- Is more of a short term use and effectiveness.
Stay at A Healthy Distance
It’s still important for employees to keep their distance from others when close proximity is not necessary. Obviously, some jobs involve greater contact, but if you can inform your workers to avoid closer gatherings in the office, it can help reduce the spread of illness. We don’t want everyone to come back to work just for everyone to catch the same sickness!
Encourage your workers to stay hydrated with healthy drinks. Avoid sodas and other sugary drinks, in which there is no shortage to choose from. Educate your workers on how companies try to persuade the consumer that their drinks are healthy with effective marketing tactics.
They can bring their own water bottles (non-plastic) to the workplace. Hydration is key to supporting your immune system and ridding your body of toxins. Water also helps the transfer of vitamins and minerals into the body’s cells so they have the proper nutrients to combat any illness or infection that comes its way. Much of the population is already dehydrated anyway, so getting your workers to drink plenty of fluids will restore their energy and is highly recommended during this time.
Moving your body and getting in some activity can enhance your immune system and flush the lymphatics and body of toxins. People should try to aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day, 5 times a week at a minimum. Regular moderate exercise can help regulate your immune system. Keep in mind, however, that now is not the time to over-exercise, be smart and gradually work your way up in intensity and duration. Intensified exercise may actually increase inflammation in the body, which is not beneficial to you at this time. You may want to encourage walking during employees’ work breaks. With the weather getting nice out, it will also be beneficial to get some fresh air, which can help reduce stress and cortisol levels.
If you are a type of company that offers catering to your employees for certain events or team meetings, be sure to choose healthy immune-supportive meals. Skipping the delivery pizza for the team is a good idea for a while (or forever). Instead, offer meals that include an abundance of greens and colorful fruits and vegetables. Diets high in polyphenols (anti-oxidants) can help boost your employee’s immune defenses.
Taking supplements before and when employees go back to work can be highly beneficial. Because most of the population is deficient in some sort of vitamin or another, supplements can help enhance your levels and allow your body to carry out all the necessary processes.
Some basic yet effective immune-boosting supplements include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Specific Amino Acids
- Specific B Vitamins
- Specific Probiotics
At in2GREAT, we actually offer Immune Supporting IV Therapies that include these nutrients and are more specifically designed to support and enhance your immune system and ward of even viruses. It’s an easy way for people to quickly get a high dose of vitamins and minerals right to their bloodstream, skipping the need to go through the digestive tract and at MUCH higher percentage. This is a great option because people who may be dealing with gut and absorption issues (knowingly or not) can bypass that process.
Sleep is vital to keeping your immune system working properly. This is the time when the body can actually rest, reset, and eliminate damaged cells. This is the time your immune system is the most active as well. If you cut your body short of this critical component, it won’t/can’t function optimally. Some people may think that they can just “catch up” on sleep over the weekend, but sorry to say, it doesn’t work that way. Adequate sleep every night is needed to give your immune system the best chance at warding off infections and illnesses.
Over Communicate To Your Employees
To keep everyone safe in the workplace, it’s essential that you communicate the importance of staying healthy to your employees.
Be sure to give them these tips on the importance of taking care of their bodies:
- Stay Healthy
- Enhance and support their Immune System
- Reduce Stress
- Get Enough Sleep
- Eat right
- Supplement if possible
This message should be overcommunicated. It’s better to be safe than sorry during this time. You may want to develop an online PowerPoint that employees must watch when coming back to work, send out regular emails with tips and reminders on immune support, promote healthy food options, and encourage employees to still practice as much social distancing as possible.
In2Great can help with content for employee communication. If you have any questions or if you would like help with a custom plan for your workplace, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at In2Great KC. We’d be honored to partner with you on your health journey. Our office number is (913) 308-0175. Please keep yourself and your employees safe these next couple of months!