Connect with us

Breaking News

Working With COVID: 3 Steps to Limit Presenteeism



COVID-19 virus molecule

Right now, many people are holding their breath in hopes that their company will extend work-from-home policy. While Pfizer has a promising COVID-19 vaccine underway, the fact remains; nearly 250 thousand Americans have died a premature death.

Somewhat more promising, Alex Azar, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary said they will have enough doses to immunize the U.S.’ “most vulnerable by end of 2020,” and by Summer 2021 they expect to have over a million vaccine doses available.

This news is like a breath of fresh air until the realization that: There are only 30-some days until 2021 to vaccinate the most vulnerable. And one or two million vaccines sounds great until you realize the U.S. has over 330 million citizens.

We must accept the hard truth. We will work (and live) next to this deadly virus into the foreseeable future. Bill Gates suggested that COVID-19 will likely spread well into 2022.

Businesses who care about corporate stewardship must be prepared to adapt, manage, grow, and inspire in a virtual climate of despair and dispirit.

How to Control Your Work Environment

It’s easy to control our environment at home. And, in grocery stores we can dodge those who aren’t wearing masks. But how can we control our environment at work?

The answer to this question comes from a new startup called Floss Bar, a leader in pop-up dental services who’s now blazing the trails with onsite Mobile COVID-19 TESTING services. When the company was founded by Eva Sadej in 2017, she set out to make a difference. And that she did and is still doing. When the pandemic hit the States, her team created a new medical wing called Med Bar dedicated to containing the virus and thus protecting employers and employees.

Med Bar understands the concerns, fears and anxieties that employees experience as they walk across the parking lot to work each day. These are the same worries that nurses, assembly line workers, and grocery store cashiers feel as they mask up, arm themselves with sanitizer, and hide behind plexiglass shields — hoping this won’t be the day they contract the virus and spread it to loved ones.

Presenteeism & Preoccupied Brains

These weighty thoughts don’t stop at the workplace entrance. Fears that evoke fight-or-flight responses cannot be checked at the door. To that end, bodies may sit behind desks. But, brains may not be present. This kind of stress leads to impaired cognitive function. That not only makes it difficult to focus, it also “impairs the body’s immune system, exacerbates any already existing illnesses, and contributes to loss of sociability and the avoidance of interactions with others.” The inability to fully function in the workplace is known as presenteeism. It is one of the top performance and productivity killers. Even though organizations have largely ignored it in the past, presenteeism is right up there with disengagement, and far more prevalent and costly than absenteeism.

Building Employee Confidence

Med Bar partners with doctors and clinicians across the U.S., providing modular healthcare teams that deliver COVID-19 testing and sanitizing services. Beyond pop-up and on-demand services, they provide an app that features staggered COVID-19 testing so employees can schedule within their morning work window. The app also maintains a database for test results, and contact tracing and trending. Med Bar will also develop new COVID protocols and custom policy — helping companies decrease employee stress, presenteeism and liability. Top organizations know that it is nearly impossible to engage employees who are under stress or depressed. Even before the pandemic, presenteeism killed profits, costing U.S. companies billions.

When looking at the big picture, presenteeism is the least of our worries. An interview with Keith Bogen, senior HR business partner at Med Bar, put things into perspective: “We are not just helping people—we are saving lives.”

Bogen, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, and Six Sigma Green Belt, said that presenteeism isn’t simply connected to medical issues. “People are carrying deep worries and concerns that involve eldercare, absence of childcare amidst school closings, homeowner and financial issues, and a host of other issues that aren’t necessarily medical or new, but are exacerbated by COVID.” Adding to this, some workers have family members who have fallen ill to cancer or other diseases that weaken the immune system, which can cause an intense sense of danger, nervousness, and panic among employees, and in turn can lead to lack of productivity and/or costly mistakes.

COVID-19: A Workplace Safety Issue

Today, corporate responsibility is critical. Employers are responsible for the safety of their employees, stakeholders, and the larger community. Lest we forget, the thousands of fatalities that occurred leading up to the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act. Workplace mortality statistics will need to factor in COVID return-to-work plan and policy next to its standard workplace mortality rates, which typically center on access to healthcare and quality of healthcare. That is, the workplace itself serves as a breeding ground for COVID-19. It appears employees are in a quandary: They cannot line their pockets with posies and a paycheck cannot protect their families from the pandemic.

Why Are Companies Pushing for Employees to Return?

Short answer: Old school, authoritarian micromanagers were taught to lead with control. Therefore, they not only sense a loss of control when employees are out of their sight, they also don’t believe their employees can perform without them. But, data across the nation is telling a very different story — a story with a happy ending!

After surveying nearly 800 employers with full-time teleworkers; Mercer, a top HR consulting firm, discovered that 70 percent of employers said their productivity was the same, while 30 percent said productivity was higher than it was before the pandemic. Bogen sees the same thing, “Productivity has actually increased since we have been at home. Plus, there are other advantages he said, “The cost savings in fuel is tremendous. And the time saved in commute is typically added onto the work day, so the employer is essentially getting more for their money.”

Should Employees Return to Work — If the Work Can Be Accomplished at Home?

“Personally I don’t think they should,” Bogen said. “Many companies are bringing people back that they don’t necessarily need. I would urge each company to focus on what they are trying to accomplish. What is the goal of the company and what is the goal of each employee. If they are getting ‘XYZ’ done, why risk it? Unfortunately, it’s not possible for those in the medical, manufacturing, and distribution fields, but non-essential workers need not return now or maybe ever.” Bogen’s key takeaway, “Organizations need to look at the productivity — not at the presence in the office.”

Working From Home: It’s Not Our Future — It’s Our Now!

Working from home is the new norm. Skepticism about employees working from home points to managements lack of trust in their employees — a clear indication of a high-handed company culture. In the very near future, companies may not require as many managers, apps can track and trend performance—often better than humans. Either way, this should grant some free time to the busy micromanager. Now managers can lead (which means to serve others) and can focus on the wants, goals, and needs of the employee to better align them with the company’s objectives.

Now coined “The fourth industrial revolution,” by Twitter HR chief, Jennifer Christie, COVID-19 has forced us to change the way we work. Like Twitter, many companies have noticed an improvement in productivity and as a result they are sending their employees home indefinitely. Twitter executives say, a distributed workforce gives employees more freedom and autonomy. Importantly, it provides the ability to hire from a more diverse talent pool.

Doing the Right Thing: Taking All Precautions

A loss in profits to presenteeism is one thing, but when it comes to jeopardizing employee health or putting them at risk of death — it’s about doing the right thing. Even though (as of recent) over 140,000 new COVID-19 cases are reported each day, Bogen has noticed that some of the more antediluvian industries in the financial sector are requiring their employees to return to the office. In our high-tech life of cloud based systems, smart phones and powerful Apps, many question why. What function of their job cannot be accomplished remotely? Businesses need to step-it-up and remember that (good or bad) they set the example. Asking hoards of employees to return to work is no different than TikTokers throwing superspreader events in the Hollywood Hills.

As head of The HR Whine & Dine Group, Bogen speaks with hundreds of HR professionals each week. “Many of those who have been required to return to work are severely agitated,” he said. “They know they were productive at home and now they feel they are being forced into the office to do the very same thing—only now they must fight off a deadly disease.” A pressure no one should have to bear.

“Every week the stories get worse. I hear about companies who are not taking enough steps to protect their employees or are simply not willing to do anything, with the exception of asking employees to bring in their own masks. Yet others are not taking any precautions, but are insisting their employees return to work.” There are some companies who get it, and they are doing all the right things. But in the end, as Bogen put it, “the white-collar workforce is worried sick because no matter what accommodations are made, they see the return to work as a gamble with their lives.”

Demands to Return-to-Work

If companies insist on reopening (and some do) they must invest in preventative measures to protect their employees. Being known as a “superspreader” not only weighs on the Board’s conscious, but it wreaks of risk, liability, and ethical/moral lapse in judgement.

Reputation is everything, yet “many companies just aren’t doing much of anything,” Bogen said, “They pick and choose preventative measures. Some are hiring a cleaning crew, but most are not testing or doing routine temp checks, and have no sustainable way to track testing and lab results.” When asked what employers should really be expected to do to protect employees, Bogen said, “From a HR practitioner perspective that seeks to limit the liability of their organization, companies will want to do more than less. And you will lessen your liability if you have an impartial person to head this endeavor.”

In addition, Bogen said, “organizations will pay dearly if they don’t get this one right. There are a lot of angry employees who will return to work because they have no choice. And they will do–what they need to do–to keep their job. Mark my words, when the pandemic is over, they will hold their company in contempt for not protecting them and their families, and will ultimately walk out the door.”

Steps Organizations Can take to Protect Employees

Working for Med Bar, the one-and-only mobile COVID-Crisis testing system, Bogen has a wealth of knowledge on the subject of protection. “While testing doesn’t prevent COVID, you can take steps to protect people,” Bogen asserts. Med Bar, uses a combination of finger-prick and naso-pharyngeal swab samples to determine active and past infection—both in compliance with FDA guidelines. “Since we have clinicians and partners in the field, we have access to rapid antigen testing and can typically deliver results within 1-3 days.” That a good thing, especially in a world were lab results can take up to three weeks or more.

Step 1. COVID-19 Antigen Testing

Procuring an “impartial infectious control team not only increases accountability and accuracy,” said Bogen, “it lessens liability … particularly in terms of HIPPA compliance.” When it comes to testing, Bogen suggests that companies set up temperature stations, mandate employee swab testing once a week (or every other week), use an app to record results, schedule employee tests, require employees to inform as to recent exposure to COVID-19, and use a certified screener to test before employees set foot in the building. “The more there is perceived effort to mitigate the danger,” Bogen said, “the more confidence people will have in the workplace.” In the wake of COVID-19, it’s also vital that employers not only have a defined COVID-19 plan, but also make every effort to keep employees in the loop about all protocols and preventative measures, as well as keep employees educated about (new or extended) medical leave policy, and encourage the use of employee assistance programs to decrease anxiety/depression.

  • Procure impartial infectious control team or clinician
  • Mandate COVID-19 testing and exposure feedback once per week
  • Use an app to schedule, record, trace, and track results
  • Revise/establish flexible work from home policy and stagger work hours/shifts
  • Provide anonymous way for employees to report a person who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19
  • Adopt a plan of action for approach, isolation, contact tracing, and area disinfection in the event a worker is suspected of having the virus. (Start piloting).

Step 2. Redesign Performance Review System

The tectonic shift to a considerably larger remote workforce requires an equal tectonic shift in policy. Counted on to root out all areas of bias, this means HR must amend performance appraisals so that employees who decide to work from home are not inadvertently evaluated on obsolete criteria. This means that managers should have a revised set of performance questions that are reflective of remote employees. In addition, organizations should make every effort to ensure their virtual workers are managed by virtual managers. Research by Paul M. Muchinsky, expert in industrial/organizational psychology, shows that virtual employees are more likely to feel more trusted, satisfied, and productive, when they have a virtual manager, and less likely to feel that their virtual status would have a negative impact on their careers.

  • Amend annual performance review templates
  • Redefine company’s core competencies / reflect telework and pandemic-related changes
  • Ensure virtual employees and teams are managed by virtual managers
  • Encourage virtual managers to mentor traditional managers–who are new to managing remote employees.

Step 3. Create Safe Spaces

CDC research shows that wearing a mask (properly) and maintaining a distance of 6-feet or more from others provides the best protection against COVID-19. These measures have proven to work wonders when practiced correctly, but they are iffy in the workplace. If an organization insists on having employees on-site — here’s what they can do to build employee confidence and mitigate the spread of the virus. Bogen recommends that companies, “adopt one-way corridors or walking zones. Get rid of common, snack, and food areas, and prohibit food in the refrigerator to minimize gatherings and touch points. Consider using things that operate by motion rather than touch. Invest in dividers. And if you don’t have your own established work space, get disinfecting services to ensure the next person doesn’t pick up germs.”

  • Adopt one-way walk zones
  • Prohibit use of convenience common areas (no gatherings in offices or conference rooms)
  • Purchase hands-free automatic hand-sanitizer dispensers/stations
  • Implement hands-free door access
  • Hire professional services that use (COVID-Killing) disinfectants
  • Reposition workstations with plexiglass partitions (See
    OSHA for details)
  • Invest in space and desk divider panels and/or screens.

In the end, it is cheaper and safer for companies to continue a work-from-home policy. But, if your company must open its doors, consider a consult with Med Bar and/or implement the above recommendations. Doing so will help you build employee confidence, reduce presenteeism, and help to create a hale and hearty culture.

Let me know: What do you think companies should do to protect employees from COVID-19?

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Breaking News

Essay Writers Service



An essay author’s service is a person who writes your essay for you. It sounds great to have the individual write your essay for you however there are a couple facts to take into account before hiring an essay writer. Be certain that the individual has expertise in writing college level essays. Also ensure they have experience writing at the level you want them to be at.

If you can not afford to pay someone to write your essay for you, then you will want to find the least expensive essay writers support available. The cheapest prices won’t receive your essay written for you in time for faculty. The person you hire should understand how to compose your essay and have examples of the work they can show you. It is also possible to get a sample of another author’s work if you so choose.

Start looking for writers that specialize in your area of research. If you have a diploma in Business, you’d want an essay writer who specializes in accounting. If you have a degree in Education, you’d want an essay author specializing in elementary teaching. This will make sure your essay gets the attention it deserves and is structured in a means which best satisfies your requirements.

There are some things that you need to look for in a article authors service. One of the first things you should do is essay writer be sure they have samples of their work. They should be ready to provide you with a handful of samples. These samples must be in formats that you could see and analyze. This will offer you a clearer idea of what the final product will look like.

A fantastic essay author’s service will not just provide you essay writer with samples of their job, but will essay writer also answer any questions you may have. You want to make sure that the service you hire has a good history of assisting students get their essay edited and written. You should also be certain the essay you’re assigned will satisfy your specific requirements. There are many distinct kinds of essay, which means you may wish to decide on an essay which falls inside your particular requirements.

You’ll find a lot of distinct types of essay authors services online. A number of them may be better than many others. It is all up to you to select the one which works the right for you. The best way to start finding one is by simply asking people you know for recommendations.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Custom Essay Help – How to Write a Successful Custom Essay



Should you want some essay assistance with writing, you might want to consider taking advantage of the tools which are available. With so much literature and information on the Internet, you will find lots of examples of documents, including samples and completed works. You may have the ability to find a better feel for what kinds of composition styles to fit your personal style. Even in the event that you have never written an essay before, there are tools available which will essay helper help you write a customized essay. In the event you decide to utilize a source from the Internet, you should take care to check for plagiarism guidelines.

Composing custom essays is a time consuming task. You will need to research various topics and gather the appropriate information. You’ll also have to practice your writing skills. There’s absolutely no way around this, however there are tools available to you for essay help to get through this period of battle.

1 thing you may wish to remember when studying custom essays is that lots of universities need some type of essay writing help. If you have completed your own college or university studies, you could have the ability to find special assistance that will assist you write your custom essay. Contact the admissions office at your college and ask what tools are available for students who need essay aid.

In case you haven’t ever written a customized article earlier, you will want to spend a couple of days preparing to write the article. Get a couple of family members or friends to read over your custom article with you to make sure it is complete and correct. Most writers will come to realize essay helper that the more people they have read essay helper their composition before they begin writing it, the easier the writing is.

Once you have finished the article, you might be requested to comment on it. You should research the company which you’re writing for and find out if they have any essay help programs out there. It may be a great idea to utilize a software application for this use. This will let you format your essay, insert your resources, and give you feedback.

As soon as you’ve written your customized article, you should review it for errors. You are able to use a spell checker or a word processor to confirm your custom essay for spelling errors. You may also be able to discover the error by using the”o” function in your word processor. Most of all, proofread your custom essay many times. The last thing you need is to have your custom essay discarded because you made a single grammar or spelling error.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Paper Writing Service Review



Composing an overview of your paper writing service is almost always a good idea if you want to get an objective view about it. This will offer you the opportunity to correct some errors that you might have created essay writing service and learn from these. The most significant thing that needs to be recalled while making a paper review is the caliber of the paper that’s been submitted for inspection. Remember the simple fact that the customer is paying you for the caliber of job that you’ve done on his paper. Do not attempt to game or trick essay writing service them by supplying a better quality of paper that they are expecting you to provide. This is only going to set you on the defensive instead of making you popular in the area of freelance writing.

When the customer has decided to find the newspaper written by you, ensure that you follow what has been decided. For instance, the review should be done after the first draft of this guide was written. The reason for this is that you will have the ability to learn from the errors in the process of composing the report. You will have the ability to repair the mistake and learn from it. Additionally, the review should not contain negative opinions about the newspaper that’s been submitted by you personally. As essay writing service a writer, you should be aware that negative comments may negatively alter the picture of a specific company or individual.

There are certain rules and regulations which have to be followed while building a paper writing service review. Some of the points included in the review will be the design, the choice of language, the tone used along with the organization of the newspaper. All of these are important, because these items reflect the essence of the company. If you don’t stick to these norms, your review will seem as a criticism as opposed to an objective perspective.

As a writer, you want to understand that a customer wants to find the highest excellent article written about a certain subject or topic. That is why there is need for one to go outside of your own personal experience and write a review based on your personal experience. If you realize that there are flaws in the paper, then you have to highlight them in order that the reviewer can get these flaws and fix it.

A fantastic writing service review will not focus on any one single flaw. Rather, all the defects must be mentioned in ways so they can be adjusted. The reviewer should also try to discover the explanations for the defect and how it had been discovered. Above all, a fantastic review must give suggestion about the best way best to improve the paper. For example, if the paper contains grammatical and spelling mistakes, the reviewer must give suggestion on how best to correct those errors.

Whenever you’re making a review, remember to include all of the facts and statistics. This is because a lot of the people reading the paper have no clue how the whole document is composed. If you include every little detail, then you’re going to be able to give a thorough review of this newspaper without boring the reader. If you follow these tips, then you can certainly become a fantastic paper writer and utilize a paper writing service inspection for a tool to improve your skills.

Continue Reading