• Nic Faurot

Supporting Employees During the Pandemic

By: Griffin Bower and Sebastian Elghanian

The coronavirus outbreak has already begun to dramatically change our working lives, and the impacts of the pandemic will likely be felt for months if not years to come. A study released by epidemiologists at Imperial College London earlier this week describes the dramatic sacrifices that we, as a society, likely must take to protect one another. Specifically, the report details a changed world where we may need to adopt extreme self-isolation measures for the next 12-18 months to flatten the curve and save lives.

It’s inspiring to see businesses, communities and local leaders rising to meet the challenges posed by coronavirus. Many businesses have already begun taking steps to protect their employees and communities, through self-isolation. As of mid-February, 46% of US businesses had implemented some type of work from home policy in response to the pandemic, with remote work soon to become the temporary new normal. We recognize the hard reality that working remotely or self-isolating is not possible for everyone, and according to an NPR poll released yesterday, “nearly 1 in 5 households have lost work” because of the pandemic.

For those able to continue work from home, acclimating to remote work can be challenging. Especially for parents with children now at home due to school closures. Plus, 70% of Americans now report being very concerned about the spread of the virus to their communities (up from 44% only a month ago). We’re combining a number of major changes (working from home, caring for children unexpectedly out of school) with stress from isolation, financial uncertainty and fear - which will likely make it hard for us to produce our best work. And, according to experts, this may just be the beginning.

So how do we support the complex, personal needs of employees during these unprecedented times?

With regards to the practical aspects of transitioning to remote work, we’ll defer to the mountain of helpful resources currently circulating. Here are three of our favorites:

  1. Transitioning to WFH: A practical guide

  2. COVID-19 WFH Toolkit for Employers

  3. 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership

Instead we’ll focus on an immediately actionable solution that can help every one of your employees feel supported in this time of crisis.

Today’s workforce spans more than 50 years across 4 generations. To meet the needs of such a diverse population, employers may try to stack numerous platforms on top of one another to provide a wide net of support. While we know a one-size-fits-all approach is no longer effective, neither is a tangle of rigid platforms that only meet some of your employees’ needs while neglecting others.

What if one platform could meet the basic needs of all employees?

We started JOON to make it simple for employers to cover all dimensions of employee well-being, in one place. In the wake of the current crisis, we’ve heard from our customers that our platform is the ideal solution for employers who may need to immediately disburse critical funds to help employees navigate challenges related to the pandemic itself, remote work and self-isolation.

To do our part, we’ve decided to eliminate all fees associated with our platform for the next few months. We want to ensure employers (to paraphrase Josh Bersin) are focused on care rather than cost, and can provide the support their employees need as quickly and seamlessly as possible. If employers wish to pay, we will donate 100% of all revenue to the COVID-19 Response Fund to help those impacted by the virus and health workers on the front lines.

How can JOON help your company right now?

JOON is a fully customizable benefit reimbursement platform, open to every possible vendor within any given expense category. In practical terms, if you wanted to help your employees provision their home for remote work, enroll in a stress relief program, pay for child care, order takeout or take an at home fitness class - we could help you set up those programs, define the benefit amounts, communicate the program to employees, report on engagement and make adjustments to ensure your team feels supported.

Our platform is extremely easy to use, and can be deployed to your employees within minutes. The goal is to empower employees through a clear, consistent and comprehensive experience that allows them to make use of critical benefit dollars immediately while automating the reimbursement process. Here is how JOON works:

  1. An employer chooses categories that are strategically important to their organization along with the monthly per employee allowance (eg. $150/month for at-home office supplies, fitness, and meal/grocery delivery)

  2. Employees then link their personal credit or debit card to JOON, and spend as they normally would within each approved category, as most relevant to their needs

  3. JOON automatically validates and reimburses purchases that fit within each approved benefit category

We know that time is our most precious commodity, especially during this crisis. JOON can help get resources in your employees' hands immediately, while consolidating multiple vendors into one and virtually eliminating the administrative burdens of reconciliation, reimbursement and reporting. Targeted, rapid resources can help your employees feel supported, grounded and more capable of tackling the unique set of challenges posed by today's pandemic.

We are living in unprecedented times that will likely require rethinking how we work, educate, socialize and care for ourselves and each other. Untold hours of hard work lie ahead. To do our best work, to rise to the challenge, we need to feel safe and supported. This is why we have opened our doors, to make our platform freely available to everyone in our community and beyond. We want to make it easy for employers to quickly get necessary resources into their employees' hands, to help employees feel safe, valued and equipped for the future.

We will all be called upon to make sacrifices for one another in the months ahead, and to whatever extent we at JOON can be of service to you, we would be humbled to help in any capacity.

Want to learn more about JOON?

Email: hello@fitpros.com or call: (815) 348-7767