Martin on Coronavirus Preparedness
Each day is bringing news of new outbreaks, in new countries, of Coronavirus. There are warnings being issued that the outbreak is bordering on a pandemic.
Whilst we know that the majority of people who contract the virus only suffer minor symptoms, the very presence of the virus could have major impact on businesses of all sizes. It may be tempting to think that such a pandemic has a remote possibility of impacting our own businesses – let’s face it we all run the gauntlet of the common cold annually that depletes our workforce during the winter months.
But if Coronavirus is officially declared as a pandemic then some of the decisions we make to keep our businesses running will be taken out of our hands.
We have already seen, most recently in Italy, authorities imposing movement restrictions to contain the spread of the virus. And with people unable to make their way into work, this will have an immediate impact on business. Restrictions apply to everyone – even those not infected and people who couldn’t have possibly come into contact with the virus!
The advice already is for people to self-isolate for 14 days in the event of exposure – soon it is likely that individuals will self-isolate for fear of being exposed to the virus. Certainly, if you have members of your family that are currently suffering health issues that would make them particularly vulnerable to such an illness, you would avoid all possibility of coming into contact with anyone that may be a carrier.
So, what can you do about it? Wait and hope? Keep your fingers crossed?
They are perfectly valid approaches to the threat – but I’d suggest having a plan as to how you and your team(s) can work away, remotely, from the office. This would be the sensible thing to be considering right now. The technology that you have probably been investing in over the years, and the fact that many people have decent broadband at home, enables this.
You can log on securely to your office network and make, receive, and transfer phone calls as though you’re in the office. The cost of implementing this is not such an investment if you consider that it would possibly enable you to continue running your business if restrictions are put in place. Downtime is costly, so it’s essential that you’re prepared for an event like this.
The choice between making these plans and having the ability to deliver a service as compared to having, hopefully, a healthy workforce sitting at home twiddling their thumbs but unable to come to the office would seem to be clear.
If you are concerned, talk to us and we’ll help you get prepared.