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How to Support your Community During the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

According to mental healthcare provider Ginger, 69 percent of workers say the COVID-19 pandemic has been the most stressful period of their careers. Not only have never-ending news cycles and social media misinformation stirred up uncertainty, but there’s been a spike in anxiety and depression as many of us see members of our own communities get sick, struggle through isolation, or worry about losing jobs.

In the best of times, our community’s health and well-being should be a priority. Now, it’s a central focus. Because behind the headlines, statistics, and charts are real people with real concerns about being able to care for themselves and their families. It’s on employers to recognize the needs behind the numbers.

What employers can do

By staying in constant communication with your workers and extending empathy, you can do your part to alleviate their stress.

1. Communicate

Keep workers up to date. What’s going on in the company and what changes can they expect? Even if that means telling them you’re not sure yet. Proactive communication lets them know they’re part of the team and that their concerns are yours, too.

According to Erin Wheeler, Director of People and Culture at One World Direct, the company has added COVID concerns to its daily safety discussions. Rundowns about general warehouse safety now include conversations about social distancing, hand washing, and protective gear.

We’ve also been clear about the importance of following safety regulations and taking extra precautions to foster a supportive and protective environment for workers and clients alike. For instance, no visitors are allowed in OWD facilities. If a client has to come to the building to drop off or pick up inventory, we ask them to wait outside the building while we bring the goods out to them. In addition, we’re waiting an additional 24 hours before handling inbound products.

“Overall, the response has been positive,” Wheeler said. “The overall feeling of the facilities has gone from fearful in the first couple of weeks of the pandemic to a calmer and more secure feeling. Our employees are still worried about the virus, but we’ve taken visible steps to show our concern about our employees and their loved ones.”

2. Listen

Ask your employees and contractors how they’re doing. What are their work-related concerns, and how do those concerns intersect with personal-life worries? Stress, anxiety, and isolation don’t affect everyone the same. Actively listening lets workers know they’re not in this alone.

One World Direct conducted a COVID-19 employee survey to determine the biggest areas of concern so we could get to work addressing them. Employees wanted protections like hand sanitizer to be more readily available, but they also wanted management to know how uncomfortable some protective gear could get on the job. Face coverings are essential, but they can definitely get hot.

And ultimately, they told us they wanted more communication about the state of the business — specifically from OWD co-founder and CEO Thomas Unterseher.

3. Provide

Based on employees’ answers, be prepared to get innovative and take action. Are there policies, processes, and deadlines that can change, even temporarily, to accommodate challenges in workers’ day-to-day? How can you help workers access and navigate COVID resources? And beyond the necessities, are there perks you can offer to help brighten their days?

OWD has stayed nimble throughout the COVID pandemic and has avoided closing for a single day so far. “As the safety orders and guidelines were issued, we adapted our protocols the same day,” Wheeler said. “In fact, most of the time, we were ahead of the curve. We put together a sanitizing and social-distancing protocol many days before the local mandates were issued.”

And we kept moving once we got the employee survey results back. We responded directly to workers’ concerns about hot face coverings. While we had to follow safety mandates, we put out large floor fans and ice water stations throughout the buildings. We also ordered cooling towels for workers to wear around their necks. And we distributed OWD washable water bottles to all employees so they could keep a cool drink with them at their workstations.

Workers also wanted hand sanitizer in more locations throughout our buildings, and they got it. Our dedicated Ohio team even shipped homemade sanitizer to their colleagues in other warehouse locations when national supplies were scarce.

That community spirit has only grown. When masks weren’t readily available, both employees and their families jumped into action. Including Wheeler’s mom, who loves to quilt and works for a fabric/quilt shop in Beaumont, California. “She and my brother made 100 fabric masks for our Mira Loma crew. Everyone received two masks each.”

South Dakota warehouse employee Teresa Romans made dozens of masks for our warehouse teams in both South Dakota and Ohio. Romans, and OWD supplies manager Dawn Feyereisen, also made masks for our customer service center employees. They delivered the masks they could and mailed the others to our remote workers.

And who doesn’t love a gift basket, especially when it includes precious rolls of toilet paper? Feyereisen worked with OWD’s paper suppliers to order 100-count boxes of toilet paper — “a small mountain,” Wheeler said — to assemble baskets for employees. In California, workers’ toilet-paper gift bags also included water and cloth face coverings. Customer service center employees received colorful spring treats with their TP. And while some workers loved the idea of getting a big lunch at work, others were thrilled to get gift cards to local fast food establishments.

Perhaps one of the most valuable responses was hearing directly from Unterseher.

“Tom sent an email letting everyone know that OWD is open, operational, and our clients were paying their invoices, so we all still had a job,” Wheeler said. “This email was especially powerful since it also communicated with our multiple at-home employees, who had been absent from the myriad of on-floor discussions in the warehouses and who also couldn’t see the changes taking place.”

Fulfillment Costs

Fulfillment costs are based on three criteria: size, weight and delivery time.

OWD offers five service levels: economy (7-10 days); Standard (5-7 days), 2-Day, Overnight and International.

Starting At

$3.99

Per Unit

FAQs

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International Shipping

The old way to ship internationally

DDU means Delivery Duty Unpaid – where the buyer pays for all of the import fees at delivery.

Unexpected import fees give buyers sticker shock – not good. When they refuse to pay, you’ve lost a sale and must pay to return your product, or abandon it.

DDU is an old idea whose time has passed. For these reasons and more, OWD doesn’t recommend DDU for e-com sellers.

The best way to ship internationally

DDP is an acronym for Delivery Duty Paid. DDP means that the seller pays for all the duties and import fees.

With DDP, your customers won’t be surprised with unexpected customs charges – good!

With OWD’s landed cost calculator, your foreign customers will know exactly what their various VAT, customers and duties will cost. No unhappy surprises.

Ship flat-rate anywhere in the world starting at:

$16.39

One World Direct, B.V.

For large-scale operations needing a full solution in Europe, there’s OWD Europe, based in Amsterdam.

We Make Contact Center EASY

Sell More with Live Agents

The Services

OWD handles phone calls, e-mails and web chat eighteen hours a day from our own state-of-the-art facility.

We’ll handle your inbound sales and customer service contacts.

You get career agents who speak American English and know how to sell.

The Costs

$99 gets you 200 calls, e-mails or chats handled every week.

You get your own phone number and custom e-mail.

We do a lot more. Call for details.

More than a Call Center

Get Virtual Assistants as needed

  • Credit Card declines
  • USPS and FedEx claims
  • Shipper Call Tags
  • Charge Backs & Credits
One World’s contact center in Mobridge, South Dakota.

The Voice of Your Brand

We Make Returns EASY

Returns? Yuck.
One World has a simple solution.

All-Inclusive Returns

OWD’s all-inclusive Returns service provides simplicity and high-end customer service. OWD includes a pre-printed return label as part of your packing slip. Your customer need only drop it in the mail.

What’s included: packaging slip with return label, QC inspection, re-bag, re-tag and return to stock. What’s excluded: postage cost, poly bags and any special packaging.

Base Price

$4.95

Add-On Services

  • Cleaning: (basic wipe down) $0.66
  • Apparel Steaming: $6.55
  • $0.50 for additional units

Call For Quotes

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  • Destruction Certificates
  • Lint Rolling