Three Low-cost Ways to Support Employees During a Pandemic

Millions of small-business owners across the world are facing similar challenges as the COVID-19 outbreak shut down the global economy and customers have to stay at home because of social distancing protocols. To stay in the business, entrepreneurs have to adopt new business models and find ways to make their operating models work.

Sadly, many startups and small businesses failed despite their efforts. While others choose to shut down permanently, others remained resilient and survived by being creative in terms of transitioning to an online business, recreating their goods and services, and finding financial relief programs.

One example is the Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs to sustain or launch a company’s growth. This type of lending service offers different loan options to fit the needs of any business.

As a business owner, the most important investment is not your equipment nor the latest product on your shelf. In most companies, the workforce is the most critical asset to drive the business to succeed. After all, employees have to handle everything, from communicating with customers, marketing the company’s product and services, and making sure the business moves forward.

To protect the greatest assets of your small business, here are some low-cost ways to support employees during the pandemic.

Allow work flexibility

As the social distancing protocols forced businesses to transition to a remote work model, many employees are worried about how it will affect their employment. This means employees living with their families have to balance their work-life and their domestic responsibilities.

Although working from home work for most businesses, employees found themselves distressed in terms of work-life balance. Unexpected meetings created inconveniences for many working parents. For example, instead of making breakfast for the kids, the employee needs to accommodate an early meeting. This situation can cause fatigue and burnout if the employee cannot set the balance between their work and domestic life.

Employers should consider how remote working can affect the personal lives of their employees. Most businesses today are adopting flexible work hours, where employees can make their own schedules. This approach allows employees to choose their preferred shifts instead of following the typical nine-to-five schedule and to accommodate their family responsibilities for the entire day.

When setting meetings, make sure to ask employees about their preferred time. Workplace flexibility comes in different forms; employers may allow employees to wear casual clothes during video meetings, use their preferred devices, or create their own schedule. The more flexibility an employee has, the easier for them to balance their work and home life.

Offer low-cost employee perks

Employee perks don’t have to be grand or expensive, especially if you’re managing a small business or just starting out. To know the best compensation for your staff, ask the employees themselves. The last thing you want is to spend money on something your employee don’t consider useful or don’t like. A great tip is to assign a committee or lead to collect feedback or vet ideas from the team.

An example of a low-cost yet meaningful perk is a paid subscription to a food delivery service. Food deliveries are becoming popular since most people refuse to go outside during the pandemic. But since delivery fees are costly, the employer can cover them for the employees so employees can take out meals without spending more on delivery.

You can also offer basic resources to support employees’ health. Subscribing on telemedicine platforms will help employees seek medical help for any injuries or illnesses without traveling to a healthcare facility. Gym franchises provide group discounts if you plan to offer a gym membership for the employees. Online workout subscriptions are also available so employees can maintain their health and well-being while at home.

Keep lines open

Keeping communication lines open is the easiest and affordable way to demonstrate employee support in these difficult times. Online communication channels allow employees to share stories, relevant articles, and other useful resources to keep employees engaged and happy while working from home. Employers can let their staff loosen up by allowing them to interact with their coworkers by telling jokes or how they’re holding up during the pandemic.

Communication channels are also a great avenue to post reminders about current happenings in the workplace, benefit plans, and development opportunities.

Investing in employee support often keeps business owners from meeting the needs of their employees. In these tough times, employers should express their support and understanding about their employees’ situation. These efforts can go a long way to help the business overcome challenges and inspire employees to propel the business towards success.


Sudarsan Chakraborty is a professional writer. He contributes to many high-quality blogs. He loves to write on various topics.