b'FOGHORNFOCUS: HUMAN RESOURCESmental stress of not only caring for a sick family member butEstablish work/school spaces and encourage each other should that family member require hospitalization will un- to respect those spaces. If a door is closed because someone doubtedly cause even further stressor.is on the phone or a video conference call, do not interrupt.Employers can remind their employees that many healthEmployers should announce meetings in advance, insurance providers, such as BlueCross BlueShield andand employees should communicate those meetings with United HealthCare, offer additional services like virtualwhomever they share their home with so everyone is aware.support groups and access to mental health providers toWhen everything is fi nally open, whats the best way to transi-reach out to during situations such as these. Maintainingtion back to the way things used to be?good mental health is critical during situations of thisIm not 100% certain that businesses will totally go back to magnitude. the way things were. I suspect a new normal will positively What do you recommend for best success? emerge from this pandemic. I expect that many companies Flexibility and empathy are necessary. Employers mustwill fi nd that working remotely isnt just doable; in some understand that everyone is under a great deal of stress.ways, its more effective. Without long and frustrating Establishing routine work reporting as well as wellnesscommutes, employees are able to get to work faster and with checks will contribute to a successful and healthy at home/ less angst. Companies are discovering that having employees work environment. working from home reduces the need for expensive offi ce I also recommend that everyonebosses and subordi- spaces, and in most cases, employees fi nd themselves to be natescreate a workable schedule that fi ts their situation.more productive while working at home. All of which will I suggest creating a weekday routine. Set an alarm to getresult in a stronger, healthier, and more profi table workforce.up in the morning and treat each day like its a normalConversely, for those industries, like the passenger vessel work or school day as best as possible. Make a schedule forindustry, where going to a facility is necessary, the transition mealtimes, kids class time (including time for recess andwill have to be well thought out. Vessel operators should PE to allow kids to get outside and run off excess energy),create a roadmap for opening their business that works parents work hours, and family time. for their needs as well as their employees and customers. The plan should, of course, comply with all local, state, and federal government guidelines. I suspect that social distancing will stay with us for quite some time. Either because its mandated, or because many people, especially those who are in high-risk groups, will feel more comfortable with keeping their distance from others. The same goes for wearing masks.Do you have any other words of advice?Patience and communication. As the world continues to navigate this unprecedented event, we all need to be a bit more patience of everyones circumstances. We need to understand that support systems from multiple sources are essential to getting through this time. Taking the time to listen well to our employees, friends, and family is key. Everyone is impacted by this new normal, andnding positive, constructive ways to progress forward will firesult in success for many companies.nAbout the AuthorNikia Pounds, Owner and Chief Executive Offi cer of Integrated HR Solutions, has over 17 years of Human Resource Management experience, building fi rms Human Resources infrastructures and implementing policies and procedures. Her areas of expertise include organizational development, executive leadership development, change management, wellness program implementation, classifi cation and compensation, professional development, and employee relations. 14MAY 2020FOGHORN'