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How industrial employers deal with COVID mandates in St. Louis

February 1, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many industries since it took hold on the US two years ago. Supply chains have been affected front to back as production was initially slowed, which has made it difficult for stores to keep shelves stocked and customers happy.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many people took the supply chain for granted. In fact, many people didn’t think of the logistics industry much at all. The New York Times even confessed to not having a logistics newsbeat before the pandemic. Today, manufacturers, warehouses, transportation providers, distribution centers, and retailers are all topics of mainstream media. Times are changing—so is the supply chain.

At Action Logistix, we’ve gone to great lengths to keep tabs on how industrial employers in the St. Louis region are dealing with COVID mandates and trying to meet demands for production and supply. Read our short guide below to learn more.

Shuffling staffing

Many industries have been short-staffed since the start of the pandemic. Initially, companies were forced to shut down operations in an effort to quash the spread of COVID-19 and keep workers safe. While paying people to stay home was an effective method for preventing the spread of the virus, it didn’t put an end to the illness.

Many workers were comfortable staying home because they were getting paid more not to work than they were previously to go to work. This level of comfort led to many people quitting their jobs or looking for work elsewhere, which continued to leave many employers unable to meet needs for staffing. In addition to a desire to find other work, workers have tried pushing back against vaccine and testing requirements.

As a way to meet needs, many employers have been forced to shuffle staffing. Companies that typically have staffing spread evenly across three shifts are now heavy on first and second shifts because they don’t have the workforce to fill a third shift, which isn’t nearly as popular as the first two. Companies that have tried to maintain equal distribution of their staff have had to require employees to work longer hours to pick up the slack and meet demand.

Temporarily shutting down production

With the recent insurgence of the Omicron variant, many companies have tried to get ahead of the curve by shutting down production. The goal of sending employees home and stopping production is to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant, which is considered to be more contagious than the original strain of the COVID virus.

While this would normally be an ideal approach to keeping employees safe and healthy, it has again put a kink in the overall supply chain and will put a strain on production in the future. There will be gaps in supply until production starts up again, then workers will, again, have to scramble to catch up to demand.

Offering PTO for COVID-related problems

There are a variety of issues that come with COVID, even if your employees don’t get infected. Everything from taking time to get vaccinated to recovering from what can be significant side effects of the vaccine to quarantining after exposure, employees can miss a considerable amount of time.

Employers are starting to take into consideration the effect that COVID has on their team’s ability to make it into work and will offer paid time off specifically related to COVID. While incentivizing staying home from work for a few days without illness isn’t ideal, it can effectively reduce the infection rates within your company. It’s better to have one or two people miss a few days of work rather than have an entire team out.

Contact us to learn more

Supply chain challenges will continue well into 2022, since demand continues at all time high levels. If you’d like to learn more about how industrial employers in the St. Louis and western Illinois regions are addressing COVID with their workers, get in touch with us at Action Logistix. We can help provide you with some guidelines and tips that we’ve seen to be effective in preventing a mass spread of COVID within companies. Give us a call at 314-293-4210 or send a message using our online contact form.

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