While bills to support small businesses are still being debated in Congress, there is help through the SBA’s loans for disasters. This program is in high demand but it is worthwhile to get yourself into line now if you may need such help. More information on the Small Business Disaster Loans and other Covid-19 info via Alexandria’s Small Business Development Center –
Aleandria SBDC Covid-19 info

Working from Home (WFH)

Many organizations have gone to full work from home operations at least temporarily. Others may have a blend, depending on the field they are in. Some have had to close and lay-off almost all employees.  Support your local restaurants and retailers if you can.

If you have people working remotely but it is a new method for many, you need to consider how to support your staff in teleworking effectively. Twitter has provided a lot of ‘epic fails’ stories to laugh and cry over – naked spouses in the background, kids and animals interfering, and so on.  Few of us want to be ‘that guy.’

Many smaller companies and associations are holding all-employee meetings each morning. If you want to do something like a regular ‘all hands’ or ones by function, think carefully about the planned time – what family demands may some employees be facing? How long will it be? Short is always better – for focus, effectiveness.  Periodically add in some time and actions to help employees feel connected. Although I cringed as a recent daily list of what one organization was planning which featured some time each day where one day everyone had to be in costume and another showing animal pictures, the concept behind them was good. Make sure yours are tailored to your culture. And don’t push too hard, some aspects will come up naturally.

Provide plenty of training and tips on telework and cybersecurity. There are good tip lists coming out in many resources – your industry, service providers, small business organizations. LinkedIn has a variety of short videos and training options –
learning to WFH successfully

Be flexible about the actual timing of work wherever possible. Many people are juggling family care needs too. Talk individually with your staff about their needs and what they each see as a possible routine schedule. Do remember that employees who are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, often called hourly or non-exempt, must still document their hours worked for both proper pay and legal compliance.

Keep your employees informed on estimated office opening dates. I am seeing dates that range from early April through June as what employers have planned for in terms of re-opening their offices. Tell people your expected date and remind them that it may change depending on what is happening locally. Update as needed.

Mental health is a challenge for many now. This APA resource is very useful for all of us now –Workplace Mental Health Resources

Families First Coronavirus Emergency Response Act
This is a temporary act which applies to all employers with less than 500 employees effective April 2, 2020 through the end of the year. Employers with less than 50 employees may be exempted, stay tuned for more details on that aspect. Here is a good summary of the paid sick and family leave requirements –
Families First Act

Let me know if you have any other resources to share! Or questions.