As we approach the holidays and winter months, we have to double down on our efforts to slow the spread. While some companies may already be back onsite, others are planning for a return in the new year. Either way, employers are looking for the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 from entering the workplace. With cases rapidly rising, it’s important to evaluate whether or not you have the resources and tools in place to respond to a potential outbreak.
As an employer, you have the responsibility to create a safe work environment for your employees. Here are some of the ways organizations are preparing for the COVID-19 resurgence & avoiding possible outbreaks.
The challenges: There are a variety of testing options but each has their own set of pros & cons. Furthermore, many of the common challenges employers face when it comes to mass COVID-19 testing include the following:
Frequency of testing: Even if you are willing to invest in testing every single day or every other day, there’s still a level of risk of COVID-19 being brought into the workplace.
Cost: Even when they do get access, frequent COVID-19 comes at a high cost, and unfortunately, it still isn’t a foolproof solution.
Access: The biggest barrier for most employers is getting access to onsite COVID-19 testing. Right now distribution of rapid tests are being prioritized for healthcare centers, retirement communities, universities, etc.
Individual Testing vs. Mass Testing
The decisions an employer makes around testing is often less about the availability of tests and more about the value a business places on driving down workplace transmission.
If there is a significant probability of a shutdown at your company, it’s a no-brainer — you're going to do everything you can at the workplace to stop it—and mass testing can be a costly, but effective solution.
In some cases a shutdown isn't necessary and therefore mass testing isn't either. Organizations are better off looking into alternative ways to manage the spread of COVID-19. Testing on an individual basis can be a more cost effective option but there needs to be protocols & processes in place to evaluate & validate the need for it.
Instead of solely relying on testing, here are some lower-cost solutions that reduce the risk of COVID-19 from entering the workforce and remove the burden from your HR team:
Symptom tracking tools
Access to a COVID-19 hotline
Remove the burden from HR
The benefit of having a third party resource to manage and monitor your employees lifts a huge weight off your HR team. Assistance with the return-to-work evaluation process limits your liability as a company & allows for the process to be streamlined & communicated without bogging down your team.
For more insight on how your organization can best prepare for the COVID-19 resurgence, download our checklist here.