Everything You Need to Know about Coronavirus (COVID-19): 8 Practical Tips for a Productive Workforce

The Spread of the Virus

The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a highly transmissible infectious and contagious disease that is quickly spreading around the world and in the United States, with 60 new cases across 80 countries and more than 37 states.  The virus emerged in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in China at the end of December with pneumonia respiratory tract infection-like symptoms of unidentified origin that have affected people globally with deadly implications.

If someone has COVID-19, they may initially have flu-like symptoms. However, they eventually could feel ten times worse, and it could be ten times more dangerous with multiple warning signs. It’s a horrible disease with potential deadly consequences. It doesn’t matter your age, gender, or ethnic background, anyone and everyone can get the awful virus which is associated with the SARS disease. (Although older people do have a higher risk of the illness becoming more severe.)

  • Coronavirus contains several viruses ranging from the common cold to Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) transmitted between humans and even the civet cats that are native to Africa and Asia.

It spreads through droplets of the virus landing on surfaces, you touch the infected area, and you get the virus. Constant hand washing, focusing specifically on the fingers, think like how a surgeon would wash his hands before surgery. They concentrate on their fingers and rinse with hot water, washing between fingers, and for 20 seconds.

Organizations need to be on heightened alert and protect their employees, workforce, and office. Institute a robust health and strategy plan to help keep the business running smoothly and ensure team productivity.

Business Continuity Plan

  • Businesses and employers ought to have an emergency operations plan and be able to pull the trigger to get employees to work from home at a moment’s notice. Anyone who has traveled recently whether in the United States or out of the country.
  • Remote working and getting employees set up from home is crucial – employees at work should have access to hand sanitizers and disinfecting products at their fingertips.
  • Visitors and large scale gatherings or meetings can be done virtually. Helps to safeguard anyone from the disease and keeps people safe.
  • Anyone with a temperature of more than 100.4F needs to rest at home to recoup and wearing surgical masks if you’re coughing in public.
  • Upgrade computers, tools, and office devices. Webinars, chat messaging, and remote work plans are now more critical than ever.
  • Utilize a work operating system that enables staff to build custom workflows, run processes, and projects, and project manage their work at home — simplified ways of working more effectively with project apps and intuitive task management tools.
  • Use platforms that allow staff to organize work virtually and visually. Tools that make things easier and work is organized in a logical way.
  • Employees need immediate access to projects and use tools that integrates with other software.
  • Track work and follow-up on action items and integrate collaborative tools.
  • Get Dropbox set up on every computer for sharing files, whether at work or at home.
  • Use disinfecting wipes on equipment, work cell phones.
  • Identify a clear communication policy – managers should come up with set times to chat and converse with teams.
  • Set up a response team with various departments (HR, Directors, Shipping, Medical/Health Staff, Legal).
  • Employees should check in with managers, and temperatures should be checked daily.

HR management must update the benefits policy to cover paid time off and sick leave policies so employees can feel safe and confident and not penalized if they are sick. Employees should be paid if sick even if they have run out of days. It’s important for the company to clarify the policy and encourage anyone to stay at home and do not worry, and they will be paid for sick leave.

Nearshore IT Services

From ongoing staffing needs to a rich, 24/7 onsite/nearshore model, our Data Science premium support teams are tailored specifically to meet your needs. Hire an IT resource that’s relatively within the same time zone, cost-effective and easier to access than most offshore services.

Since we’re highly proficient Data Mining and Big Data specialists, our Nearshore team can extract the critical knowledge and insights you need from your structured and unstructured data.

LEARN MORE

Nearshore IT Services

From ongoing staffing needs to a rich, 24/7 onsite/nearshore model, our Data Science premium support teams are tailored specifically to meet your needs. Hire an IT resource that’s relatively within the same time zone, cost-effective and easier to access than most offshore services.

Since we’re highly proficient Data Mining and Big Data specialists, our Nearshore team can extract the critical knowledge and insights you need from your structured and unstructured data.

LEARN MORE

Top Task Management Software and Productivity Tools

  • ClickUP
  • Trello
  • Wrike
  • JIRA
  • Todoist
  • OmniPlan – Project planning app

Team Collaboration Software

  • Flock
  • Slack
  • Samepage
  • Confluence
  • MeisterTask

Work Planning Software

  • Monday
  • Trello
  • FunctionFox
  • Asana
  • ClickUp

Best Resources for Organizations and Web Enhancement

  • Capterra – Free service that helps businesses find the best software.
  • Evernot – Web Resources to help companies with productivity.
  • Spreeder – Free Speed-Reading app.
  • Coffitivity – Recreates the best smoothest ambient sounds to boost creativity and to work better.

Considerations to Keep in Mind

  • Executives need to seriously think of outsourcing the work.
  • Layoffs may be in the future due to reduced productivity and long extended time off.
  • Use video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings and events.
  • Check employee’s computers, ensure cloud-based software.
  • Set up a time to go over what each employee has access to, from software to speed and fast internet access.
  • Managers need to have access to employee cell phones, personal email, and keep communication open at all times.
  • Make sure supervisors have trained appropriately with executives and know the implication if a company is shut-down due to the virus and how to act.
  • Executives institute a plan of action and who will contact local authorities if someone becomes infected with the virus.
  • Get people to remote work, use near sourcing opportunities, and be honest with staff and teams and notify local public health authorities if exposure happened in an office or abroad.
  • Containment for 14 days of anyone exposed is necessary.

People are scared, fearful, and anxious with so many more cases that are discovered every day; everyone needs to diligent in their hygiene and educate themselves to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.  Anyone exposed to the virus will show signs from fever, cough to shortness of breath within 2-14 days after exposure.

Things to Avoid

  • People who are sick
  • Touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Traveling should be put on hold
  • Large crowds such as conventions, events or concerts
  • Hugs, handshakes and close contact with people
  • Hospitals and clinics, church

How to Protect Yourself

Don’t panic or be fearful. Education, follow local news and practice good hygiene guidelines and a good healthy diet and stay hydrated throughout the day.

  • Frequently wash hands and brush teeth and change your clothes if you have been with someone that was sick.
  • Cover mouth when sneezing and keep a stash of can food, soups, and dry food items in case you get seriously ill.
  • Buy bleach and Lysol spray – wiping down anything in the kitchen, bedroom, family room, and door handles. Spray bed covers with Lysol spray and avoid crowds.
  • Stay hydrated, keep water with you at all times, eat a variety of fruit, vegetables, and try to consume organic produce if possible.
  • Stay home if you are sick, cough into a tissue or your arm to reduce the spread of the virus.
  • Wash clothes, gloves, teeth, hands, and face immediately after using public transportation.
  • A solution of rubbing alcohol and half water is a good choice for disinfecting items at work, car, and at home.
  • Keep alcohol-based with 60-95% alcohol hand sanitizer in the car, purse and gym bag.
  • Cleansing the body by using detox kit. It helps to remove waste in the body and the build-up of toxins. Rejuvenating the body improves your health and wellbeing.
    • There is detox tea by SkinnyFit, Detox Bundle – Superfood for a 5-Day Cleanse
    • Enzymatic Therapy Whole-body Cleanse, Skinny Cleanse Juice, Drink Lemon Kind, or Raw Cold Pressed Juice cleansing can have health benefits.
  • Vitamin C helps to remove high levels of bodily toxins. Adding vitamin C into your diet will get rid of waste and cleanse the body from the inside out.
  • Magnesium and zinc are minerals that flush out toxins from the cells of your body.
  • Epsom salt draws out harmful toxins and balances the body and helps with weight management.

Contact our guy, Guy DeRosa today

He’s the Vice-President, and he wants to talk to you. Seriously!

We are committed to providing the highest level of capability and service. Since we’re highly proficient Data Mining and Big Data specialists, we can extract the critical knowledge and insights you need from your structured and unstructured data. Hire a nearshore IT resource that’s relatively within the same time zone, cost-effective and easier to access than most offshore services.

Whether or not you need our services or just want to have a friendly chat about your situation, do not hesitate to send me a message directly.

-Guy DeRosa, Senior Vice President

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DIY Survival Kit for Safeguarding Companies Against COVID-19

  • Traveling should be put on hold, if at all possible.
  • Managers need to set up an effective and robust telecommuting program by setting up clear, measurable goals and metrics, so everyone understands the expectations.
  • Check with each employee to make sure they can work from home and have the necessary software and tools.
  • Ask each team member to submit a checklist of what they have installed on their computer and what resources are needed to telecommute.
  • Employees need access to high-speed internet, chat messaging, video conferencing and webinar capabilities.
  • Email yourself all-important company information like phone numbers, names, so it doesn’t hinder productivity.
  • Events, conferences and large conventions, assemblies and get together summits put on hold.
  • All employees coming back from domestic or international traveling should be closely monitored or kept at home for 14 days as a precaution.
  • Know what your contingency emergency plan is and how it would be rolled out.
  • Organizations must have a work-from-home plan with workplace talk availability for group online conferencing and online training, and webinars.
  • Medical supplies like fever reducers, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and have an isolation containment room for anyone that is sick or not feeling well.
  • Encourage employees that good nutrition is important, resting when needed, and staying calm and informed and follow local authorities.
  • Wipe down cell phones, office equipment with antibacterial wipes, and good hygiene is the main takeaways for staff.
  • The virus can live on a surface, cell phone, or glass for up to 96 hours or four days. The virus can last on stainless steel and plastic 72 hours, laminate, granite countertops 36 hours as well as plastered walls.

Getting the Technology in Place

  • Skype is old news and will be retired for business online, with Microsoft announcing its end-of-life date as of July 2021. Use an easy, fast, and reliable video conferencing with low-cost, high-value software. Simple to use, competent video conferencing solutions is a must and is a key component for success within teams, especially during the outbreak.
  • Remote Flexibility: Work-from-home plans won’t shut down operations and will allow people to feel at ease and work with confidence. Eliminates commuting, boosts productivity and saves time and money for employees and creates a well-rounded worker.
  • Companies provide laptops with broadband internet connection to the office and other services they should have access to like email, file-sharing, text messaging, voice over, and web with a processor of 1GHz Intel Pentium P4 processor or better. Connecting to the internet via cable connected to your DSL or Cable Modem (no wireless connectivity).

Utilizing Services and Applications

  • Make the most of IT Consulting services like Aptude and cloud service providers to help your team work efficiently for on-demand access to high-end networks, servers, software and storage. For cloud –connectivity, data set up and sustainability for all business needs.
  • DropBox application is a web browser to upload and interact with business files, data processing and store files remotely on the cloud. SaaS software, PaaS and IaaS are all cloud technology.
  • Cloud Migration Services builds the environment, leverages security and convenient and cost savings. Productivity application software installed on all computers for producing documents, worksheets, databases, charts, graphs, digital outputs, presentations, digital videos.
  • Companies need to prepare for the “what-if scenarios” — create a coronavirus team that includes IT, HR, Finance, Sales, Project Management, Legal and Travel Managers that can pull the trigger quickly if your organization is directly affected by the virus.
  • Cloud computing saves businesses money, gives teams a competitive advantage, increased security, highly accessible, super-fast performance, resources are instantly scalable, and allows teams to work from home with flexible and adaptable work environment, in addition to easy to use and reduced carbon footprint.

Best Video Conferencing Software

  • RingCentral Meetings
  • Intermedia AnyMeeting
  • Zoho Meeting
  • Click Meeting – Easy to Use, does extremely well with webinars
  • Microsoft Teams – Highly customizable, Easily integrates with Microsoft Office

Top Cloud Computing Services

  • Amazon Web services
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • IBM Cloud
  • Oracle Cloud

About Coronavirus Confirmed Cases

The virus is a public health danger that has spread globally, causing fear and anxiety across the country, with people stockpiling supplies and literally freaking out due to the everyday coverage.

Employers should have daily education and the latest information available for employees to keep the workforce informed and to help combat and fight the disease. Person-to-person transmission is to blame, and the disease can survive on surfaces for more than a week, and any person within 3 feet can be a victim of catching the bug.

Symptoms include

  • Fever, cough, respiratory symptoms, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing.
  • Anyone with an underlying condition is more likely to have trouble fighting off the disease.
  • Serious warning signs display severe acute respiratory, kidney failure, pneumonia

Daily Recommendations and Who’s at Risk

  • Protection measures like using bleach and disinfecting wipes
  • Routinely wash your hands/face and teeth
  • Do not touch your face
  • Keeping ethanol-based cleaning products for wiping down surfaces will significantly help keep the germ at bay.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone in public and no shaking hands or hugs
  • Older adults, diabetes, high blood pressure, serious illness are at risk
  • People weak lungs, with autoimmune disease, blood clots issues

Stock up on disinfectants, supplies, and medicine

  • Hand sanitizers
  • Rubbing-alcohol – adding lemon juice will improve the smell
  • Surgical Masks – if you have a cough already
  • Pain relievers, fever reducers, and decongestants
  • Ethanol-based wipes to isopropanol based wipes

Safeguard the workplace and home with smart, simple methods to stop the spread of COVID-19 by managing the risks. Prepare your team if in case your company is hit with the virus.

The Takeaway

How COVID-19 Spreads and Ways to Prevent Getting Infected

When a person coughs or even exhales, small droplets of fluid infected with the virus goes into the air and the environment.  Someone within one foot will catch COVID-19, affects all hard surfaces in the area, and the virus will infect anything close by.

Practicing good preventive measures and personal and hard surface hygiene staying hydrated, frequently washing your hands, face and teeth, and wipe down surfaces such as kitchen surfaces, door handles, cell phone numbers, and computers.

How Businesses Can Stay Productive

The CDC has announced that the United States will eventually be hit a wave of Coronavirus and protecting yourself, and staying healthy is key to defending against the virus.

  1. Execute a Comprehensive Emergency Plan
    • Quarantine Employees – Employees that has traveled outside the United States or in the US in the last 14-20 days.
    • Anyone who has been in areas of the country that are highly affected areas with the COVID-19, need to work from home for the next 14 days.
    • Staff should wipe down their office equipment once a day with a sanitizer.
    • Designate a containment room
    • Have local authority numbers readily available
  1. Employ a Cross-Functional Health Team

The Human Resources department needs to have a center of intellect team is a highly developed group that includes very intelligent and knowledgeable people within the company HR Manager, Legal, IT, Operations Director, Lawyer, Medical Staff

  1. Working From Home Arrangements
  2. Hiring IT Consulting Firm
  3. Have a Backup Health Plan
  4. Institute an Infectious Disease Control Policy – It’s smart for Human Resources to establish a disaster preparedness policy.
    • If a workplace were to shut down due to a communicable disease or natural disaster such as a tornado, hurricane, and windstorms even preparing for fire, factory combustion due to chemical spill or gas leak is highly recommended.
  1. Education and Knowledge – Stay informed with organized Lunch and Learns. It will help keep your employees informed on any updates and the latest developments on COVID-19.
    • Building a sense of connection and confidence will continue your workforce at ease and feel confident that the company they work for is actively taking steps to protect them.
    • Follow the advice from your healthcare provider – national and local authorities are equipped with the most recent changes and newest information.

Keep Moving Forward with Aptude

Aptude is your own personal IT professional services firm. We provide our clients with first class resources in a continuous, cost-containment fashion.

Our support services will free up your senior IT staff from the overwhelming burden of day-to-day maintenance issues. Now they’ll have time to launch those new projects and applications you’ve been waiting for. Simply put, we can free up your resources and contain your costs. Let’s have a quick chat to discuss our exclusive services.

CONTACT US

Keep Moving Forward with Aptude

Aptude is your own personal IT professional services firm. We provide our clients with first class resources in a continuous, cost-containment fashion.

Our support services will free up your senior IT staff from the overwhelming burden of day-to-day maintenance issues. Now they’ll have time to launch those new projects and applications you’ve been waiting for. Simply put, we can free up your resources and contain your costs. Let’s have a quick chat to discuss our exclusive services.

CONTACT US

What Are You Working On?

Looking for intelligent technological solutions? Seeking consultation on your upcoming projects? Need a quote for services? Contact Aptude’s executive team directly. It’s amazing just how much one little email can rapidly accelerate your productivity.

Guy DeRosa

Senior Vice President & Director of Operations
EMAIL GUY
p: 630.692.6700
ext. 406

Srinath Parepally

Vice President of International Development
EMAIL SRINATH
p: 630.692.6700
ext. 402

Uday Mehta

Vice President of Development
EMAIL UDAY
p: 630.692.6700
ext. 403

Diana Guzman

Client Advocate & Communications Administrator
EMAIL DIANA
p: 630.692.6700
ext. 409

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Aptude provided Build.com a Java, MySQL, Webservices and other UI based solution in the business domain of analyzing and reporting on user activities for our ecommerce website. Utilizing Omniture’s APIs to download, parse, and regenerate and upload back so that we could be more effective in our marketing. I was satisfied with their project work and delivery and would consider utilizing them for future projects.” Build.com

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