Blue Collar Work in Times of COVID-19

When humans work together, there is always a chance of passing diseases. Every winter, when the flu season starts, companies have to face the fact that their employees can spread bacteria and viruses among the entire company. Blue-collar work in times of Corona is not getting easier. Many companies have been shut down. But the blue-collar workers from construction companies or logistics are still holding up and have to work sometimes even more than ever. Amazon just announced that they will hire up to 100,000 new employees to keep up with the current online shopping demand. Some companies are starting a special Corona task force to meet the current situation. We know that it is a tough situation for every company and you probably can’t use all the tips we will deliver to you in this article. We still hope that it is an inspiration for you and it helps somehow.

1. Communication is king

Be the source of truth for your workers. They trust you and your news the most in this crisis – even more than the government. Take this situation seriously and stick to official information. Do not use any media with unclear sources.

2. Revise your training and onboarding

Probably your regular onboarding and training process is not working anymore with the new standards, e.g., in terms of keeping distance, forming smaller groups, and working in different shifts. We have collected a few best practices on how other companies deal with the situation during COVID-19.

Read the full guide here.

3. Take the situation of your employees seriously

Many, many people in the world are concerned these days. Listen to your workers about their fears. Be proactive and address, e.g., concerns about sick days. In some countries, it is also possible that your workers do not have any health insurance. Help them if there is any governmental support for your workers, which they might not know about. Especially if you have international workers, they might not be familiar with the local laws. Be their partner.

4. Be thankful

Appreciate that they are still there to help your company through the hard times. In several surveys, workers rank “appreciation” higher than many other benefits. It is not easy to go out every day and also risk infecting your family. The situation is mentally really tough, and the least you can do is say, “Thank you for being here today.”

5. Clear hygiene routines

Explain to your workers over and over again how they can secure themselves by using basic hygiene rules. If available and also useful, offer additional equipment like gloves and masks. Print instructions and hang them in several places like toilets, break rooms, etc.

6. Social distancing is important

Try to have a few workers in one place as possible. Think about splitting shifts or even making the shifts smaller. Let the same worker work at the same time every day. You can also offer different break times to avoid crowded canteens. Maybe it is even good for everyone to bring their own food and do the break outside.

7. Close your company for external visitors

Don’t risk the health of your employees by having external visitors. It is crucial to have only a few contacts, and if the visits are avoidable, postpone them to another time or think if it is possible to do them remotely