With more than 100,000 cases around the world as of March 10, the virus has forced schools to close, postponed or cancelled planned tradeshows and events, and has generally disrupted business and life as we know it.
How does this affect you? For starters, it doesn’t mean you have to run out and completely shutter your business until a vaccine is found. Instead, be proactive and take extra precautions to keep your employees healthy and safe in the coming months and all year round. Below are a few tips to get you started:
- Create space on your company intranet to centralize coronavirus-related communications and information (see this example)
- Consider remote work or work-from home policies for employees, including:
- Reviewing existing remote work policies
- Evaluating options for additional accommodations if possible
- Reminding employees about their options
- Review existing sick day policies and remind employees about their options (Some companies are offering employees unlimited sick leave for the coronavirus so that people are not afraid to stay home if they’re sick)
- Assess the potential impact of school closures and evaluate options to support parents
- Review mass communication tools and processes for communicating with employees in the event an office needs to be closed
- Double check the level of company supplies for bottled water, toilet paper, etc. in anticipation of shortages
- Check health plan benefits to see what is available and included for stress-related resources and provide employees with appropriate contact information
More information can be found from American Health Lawyers Association to help you develop a strong business continuity plan. Remember, if enough people are out sick, it could have a potentially severe impact on the business, so taking appropriate, proactive steps to mitigate risk and properly address employees is critical to keeping your business up and running.
Additionally, here are some general health and safety tips to consider from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
For more guidelines and updates around COVID-19, we encourage you to visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Otava and its partner ecosystem are here to help you with any IT assistance or business continuity help you may need! We’re offering free consultations to help you thoroughly assess your risk, and we chelp you recover quickly through our disaster recovery and backup solutions so your business is running not just during a health scare, but all day, every day. Contact us to get started or to learn more.