It is safe to say that the current on-going health crisis is posing unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere. While entrepreneurs must ensure that their businesses keep operating through lockdowns, quarantines, and altered delivery schedules, there is now an additional responsibility to be taken care of.  In these difficult times, business owners need to touch base community members, beyond the confines of their day-to-day ‘shop talk’.

Implementing Social Distancing in the Workplace
Social Distancing

As a manager, you may already be anticipating how to navigate the office after the government-ordered lockdown ends. Here are a few best practices that you and your team members can adopt to stay safe and productive during the workday:

  • All employees must wear masks at all times. Some suggest that gloves also be worn while in the workplace.
  • Ensure there are plenty of hand washing stations and hand sanitizers available in every part of the office. Hand sanitizers should be regularly refilled.
  • Regularly re-broadcast virus transmission prevention alerts and other public service announcements.
  • Re-arrange seating and desks to comply with the 6 feet distance requirement.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all surfaces, such as desks and tables, and objects, such as telephones, monitors, & keyboards, be regularly wiped clean with a disinfectant.
  • Similarly, all office spaces, common areas, and bathrooms should also be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.
  • Meeting organizers must consider how to manage Covide-19 risks when scheduling meetings. One way to do so is by limiting meetings that usually occurred in closed conference rooms. Instead, select an open-floor plan area, opt for a walking meeting, or use video conferencing tools to host the meeting.

Demonstrating Empathy During a Global Crisis
Global Crisis


If you find yourself in a leadership position, now is the time to make an effort to get closer to other team members.

  • If your organisation is currently working remotely, one way to ensure clear communication is by announcing virtual ‘office hours’. During these scheduled ‘office hours’ your team members can individually (or in pairs) get in touch for a casual chat about work, life, or anything that falls in-between.
  • Brighten up their day by sending virtual care packages – digital subscriptions to preferred online streaming services or audiobook libraries.
  • Ask (and really mean it) how your co-workers and their families are doing during these days. These are unusual and stressful times with everyone overwhelmed by health concerns. Checking in on others, outside of what is required for the business, shows authentic care.

Extending Support to the Community

Extending Support to the Community

The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has highlighted where assistance is desperately needed in our respective communities. There is no cookie-cutter solution. While one neighbourhood may benefit from hygienic food deliveries for senior citizens, in other neighbourhoods, free-of-cost training sessions for fresh graduates could be welcome. These training sessions can help the prospective job-seekers on how to communicate better , how to write a resume as well as how to prepare for a job interview.  As a manager, you can pool ideas from your team and collectively figure out ways to assist the most vulnerable members of the community.

Like the old saying reminds us, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going!’ Now, more than ever, organisations have the chance to reach out to their immediate community and make a difference.

Mariam Shoaib trains senior management and their employees in achieving crystal-clear communication and maintaining optimum synergy between various teams in an organizational setting. Using a combination of experiential training games, role-playing, as well as team-building exercises, Mariam aims to bridge the gap between the organization’s team members and the external customers. In addition, she works with her team to design and produce bespoke tutorials that can elevate the skillsets of all those in a customer-facing role.