A month ago, physical distancing probably wasn’t part of your vernacular. Now it’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Why? Because physical distancing is the key to fighting the spread of COVID-19.
All citizens, not just employers must maintain a physical distance from all others.
What is Physical Distancing?
Physical distancing refers to actual physical space between two or more people. Experts say that an appropriate physical distance between people in public is 2 meters. This protects citizens from the droplets generated by coughs, sneezes, and speaking. COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets, so maintaining a physical distance can protect you from contracting COVID-19.
What Employers Need to Know
Physical distancing, once called “social distancing,” may create feelings of isolation or loneliness among staff. Physical distancing refers to the physical aspect, but it’s important to remind workers not to also distance themselves socially. Encourage employees to practice social solidarity through safe means, such as text message, phone, video chat, etc. Employers must provide support to staff during this difficult time, even while maintaining a physical distance.
To support staff while implementing physical distancing, consider the following:
Remote check-ins for those working at home: Set aside time each week to check-in, one-on-one, over the phone or via the many digital apps available. Make sure that workers still feel connected. Use this one-on-one time to discover how employees are coping. Ask about their families. As well, find out if there’s anything they need to make working from home more productive, efficient, or comfortable.
Offer support: Ensure that all employees know that there is support available at all levels through the organization. For employees looking to talk, remind them that they must respect the physical distancing guidelines, but that you’re still willing to chat. Consider getting outside for some fresh air or using a large meeting room. If you’re working remotely, ensure that workers know that your proverbial door is still open. Encourage them to call, email, or text if they ever feel they need support.
Training: Consider training your employees in Mental Health Prevention and Psychological Safety Training. This course is very useful for employees experiencing stress or duress. It covers:
- Managing stress and worries
- Increasing the ability to perform at work, school, home, or generally in life
- Identifying and changing unhelpful thoughts that can make situations more difficult
- Responding in appropriate ways to challenging situations
- Connecting physical symptoms such as stomach aches, headaches, racing heart, sweaty palms, and rapid breathing to various feelings
- Using relaxation strategies for better health and wellness
- Using problem-solving strategies to generate positive action to solve problems
- Understanding how exposure techniques work and use them to overcome stress, worry, fear, and other emotions
The additional benefit to a course such as Mental Health Prevention and Psychological Safety Training is that it will help employees identify signs that they need to reach out for help.
Offer an Employment Assistance Plan (EAP): Sometimes, employees may require more support than you feel qualified to give. Be sure, in those cases, to remind employees about the EAP. The EAP offers resources such as counselling for workers and their family members. If your organization doesn’t currently have an EAP as part of its benefits package, consider implementing one. These are very tumultuous times, and employees need mental health support now more than ever before.
Best Safety Training Can Help
Best Safety Training offers Mental Health Prevention and Psychological Safety Training. This course is delivered online, so employees can safely participate in training while maintaining a safe and healthy physical distance. Let the Best Safety Training company take care of your training needs.