AcousticSheep® Response to COVID-19
June 15, 2020
Dear SleepPhones Customer,
Your health is our first priority. In order to protect you, we protect ourselves, which filters to our community, our region, and ultimately, back to you. If this virus proves anything, it's just how interconnected we all are and how we depend so much on each other. We recognize our employees' contributions and are committed to keeping everyone physically and economically healthy. We founded our business to help you sleep better and to contribute to a well-rested, happy world.
As you may know from the SleepPhones® headphones invention backstory, I am a family doctor. My original fascination was in viral epidemics, and I almost took a job with the CDC as an epidemic intelligence officer 15 years ago. I have been following this situation closely, blogging here and on Medium, giving presentations, radio interviews, and webinars. We are thought leaders and spearhead business best practices, holistically integrating government guidelines and viral science.
Here are some of the actions we have taken:
- All employees were given 5 extra PTO days, in addition to their 30 PTO days, in order to encourage staying home when sick or suspect an exposure.
- All office employees work from home.
- When distancing measures began in PA and minimal numbers of employees were allowed to work, we kept and continue to keep all (part-time and full-time) employees paychecks whole.
- Manufacturing, warehouse, and shipping are split up into two shifts, with no contact between shift workers on or off shift.
- All employees are checked for a fever at the start of their shift.
- All employees wear face masks at all times, except lunch which is segregated by time and space.
- We encourage taking extended conversations outside of the building. Weekly meetings are taken at individual computers, not the conference room.
- Any illness experienced on-shift or notification of potential exposure does not require proof or managerial confirmation. Employees are encouraged to just leave and notify their manager from their car.
- Each employee cleans their own workstation at the end of their shift.
- We deep clean at the end of each shift, following an extensive checklist, using hospital-grade cleaning supplies. Our cleaning crews were given PPE, including gowns and gloves, with training on usage.
- We stopped allowing guests at our facilities, including walk-in purchases, vendors, and friends/family. We also implemented a no contact policy, where hand shaking is no longer permitted.
- Based on ongoing scientific research, we reduced the holding time for mail and deliveries to 1 day. Employees sanitize their hands after handling deliveries.
- All regular employees have been given a combination of cloth, surgical, and N95 masks as well as disposable gloves for personal and on-the-job use, with training on usage.
- All employees are encouraged to keep track of travel and discouraged from traveling and large gatherings.
- As per the FFCRA, all employee rights and benefits are posted. If diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19, employees are eligible for paid self-isolation. Expanded FMLA is also available.
- Reminders for common COVID-19 symptoms and optimal handwashing techniques are posted in the relevant areas.
- From previous flu seasons, we have always had ample hand sanitizer for all frequented areas.
We believe that excellent public health practices such as wearing masks, staying home when sick, and notifying contacts will reduce the number of ill people. With less illness in a community, the more confident everyone can feel about returning to work in a safe, socially-distanced environment. In order to return to a thriving economy, we must help everyone feel safe by actually being safe.
Our customer service is available via phone (877-838-4790), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or LiveChat (button on bottom right of page) Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm EDT.
What Do We Know About the Coronavirus?
Our founder and CEO, Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, has been following the situation closely since January. She has been a business community thought leader in this outbreak, featured as a medical expert on podcasts, radio interviews, webinars, and discussion groups. Her qualifications are as follows:
Provided patient care for 10 years as a board-certified family doctor
Offered job as an Epidemic Intelligence Officer at the CDC
Graduated from the University of Virginia Medical School
Graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in Cellular Molecular Biology
2016 Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year in PA (SBA) as well as other entrepreneur and product awards
Dr. Lai's Coronavirus posts:
-Coronavirus Predictions and Business Impact: How Fast It Will Spread, Creating a Business Continuity Plan, and What You Should Stock Up On Written February 28, 2020, updated March 14, 2020.
-Updates on the Coronavirus Pandemic Most Recent
Graceful etiquette while exercising social responsibility
Set boundaries and take your mind off of the virus (1). Boundaries around coronavirus can sound like:
"I am choosing to stay at home and limit my physical contact with people."
"I understand you are trying to be helpful with your suggestions, but I just need space to experience my emotions."
"If you are not feeling well, please don't come over."
"I appreciate how informed you are, but I don't want to receive links to articles and media coverage."
"I am currently not shaking hands, but we can air-five!"
"I don't want to talk about the coronavirus right now."
"I respect your opinion on this situation, but I am allowing myself to come to my own conclusion."
SleepPhones YouTube Channel with playlists for lucid dreaming, binaural beats, sounds for sleep, meditations, and sleep tips.
Tips for Working from Home
Don't work in the same room or area of your house that you sleep. Set aside a place to get into work mode.
Maintain your usual morning and evening routines.
Sunlight is your friend. Try to work by a window.
Get fresh air. Now more than ever it's important to get outside and go for a 10 minute walk or bike ride.
Maintain work-life balance. When it's time to shut down, don't look at work emails or messages even though they are easily accessible.
Google has shared helpful information about working from home now that this is the status of most workers. Here are some of our favorites: