According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the SARS-COV-2 virus known as COVID-19, has the potential to cause extensive outbreaks that resemble influenza viruses.
As experienced, there are multiple areas in the United States and other countries facing the impacts of COVID-19 at the same time. As a result, workplaces, such as your mailroom or delivery management process, may be affected.
Read more about the predicted effects of COVID-19 on your mailroom from OSHA's Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 PDF . Read the full OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 PDF here.
Effects of COVID-19 on your Mailroom or Delivery Management Process:
- Increase in absenteeism
- Changes to patterns in commerce and surges in services
- Unexpected interruptions of supplies and deliveries
Absenteeism In Your Mailroom Caused by COVID-19
As you may have experienced, your mailroom or delivery management process may be affected by employees missing shifts resulting in unexpected staff shortages. There are a few reasons to consider as to why your mailroom employees may be choosing to stay home:
- They are sick. Depending on your city and prevalence of COVID-19 cases in your area, your employees may be at a higher risk of getting sick. As such, they will stay home to recover or seek medical attention.
- They are caregivers for sick family members. Some employees may not have a choice but to stay home and care for ill family members, depending on the severity of symptoms.
- They are caregivers for children now home from school or daycare. Depending on local restrictions, your employees may have children that are no longer able to attend school or daycare facilities. Closures to schools and daycare centers may mean that they have no choice but to remain home.
- They have at-risk people at home. Employees who are care providers to at-risk family members such as elderly parents or grandparents may feel compelled to remain home to reduce the chances they bring pathogens into their homes. Absenteeism due to this reason may increase if those at-risk individuals are immunocompromised.
- They are afraid of getting exposed to the COVID-19. Because mailroom workers frequently interact with a variety of individuals from mail carriers, couriers, coworkers, and mail recipients, they may worry that they are increasing their chance of contracting the virus. They may also worry about pathogens spreading from their contact with frequently-contacted surfaces, such as mail, packages, and work-related equipment.
Changes in Patterns of Commerce Due to COVID-19
According to Forbes, "U.S. retailers' online year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth is up 68% as of mid-April, surpassing an earlier peak of 49% in early January." Additionally, "there's been a 129% year-over-year growth in U.S. & Canadian e-commerce orders as of April 21 and an impressive 146% growth in all online retail orders."
OSHA cites that shoppers may shift their shopping patterns, including increased usage of stay at home delivery services to reduce person-to-person contact.
These spikes in eCommerce and predictions mean you and your delivery management process could be facing unexpected surges, leaving your facility and staff unprepared.
Interruptions in Mailroom Supplies & Deliveries Due to COVID-19
As COVID-19 continues to stress countries worldwide, expect supplies and shipments to experience unexpected interruptions by severely-affected areas. Ensure your mailroom is well-equipped with safety equipment such as gloves, EPA-approved cleaning products, surgical masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes.
If your order these products, expect shortages and limits on purchase orders so your team can prepare.
Lastly, it is essential to have a communication platform that can send updates to package recipients to manage space in your facility if packages arrive unexpectedly.
PackageX Scan & Track Will Help You Better Manage Your Mailroom Management Process
We hope you found these tips helpful as you continue to manage your delivery operations during COVID-19. PackageX Scan & Track is a contactless delivery management and pickup solution powered by machine vision. Learn more about how Scan & Track can help you stay efficient and build confidence in your package and mail management process as you navigate this uncertain time here.