We are all in the middle of outbreak. As the Coronavirus continues to spread and the World Health Organization labels the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, companies need to evaluate their ability to conduct business as usual during this time. Properly assessing this requires revisiting business continuity plans,.This effort will help organizations determine if they can support a greater number of remote workers, gain visibility and gauge the short- and long-term effects of a pandemic on the tech industry.

Why coronavirus is a threat to business

As of today April 10th, we have more than 1.6 million cases of COVID-19 confirmed globally, along with more than 95,400 deaths. As organizations embark on or revisit their response to pandemics generally and to the Coronavirus specifically, Gartner said they should plan for 25% absenteeism an estimate based on the fallout from other viruses, such as the ones that cause SARS . It is important businesses should be prepared for disruption to worker productivity, travel, product availability and more.

Business continuity and pandemic plans

H1N1, or swine flu, which happened a decade ago. Companies didn’t learn much on having their pandemic plans. Although much has changed since then in how businesses operate, including the rise of remote working, the increased use of software as a service and other cloud-based applications. It is critical organizations should create and execute on a workplace pandemic preparedness plan along with business continuity plans. Also familiarize employees and emergency teams with the plan.

Besides many things, Companies should also focus on line of business managers and coach them how to include them in pandemic plans. It’s also important for organizations to have backup plans in case the managers themselves are unavailable.

One of the most important elements of pandemic planning, especially when assuming a high absenteeism rate, is to understand how employee skills complement one another. Conducting a skills inventory will illustrate which employees could back up others if they are affected by an illness.

Scaling up remote working, virtual desktops and collaboration

One of the best defence’s a business should have for preventing the spread of disease in the workplace is to have a comprehensive remote work strategy that ensures all users can securely access the tools they need to work remotely. This includes access to business systems including HR, payroll, ERP and CRM; Videoconferencing and collaboration tools; as well as email.

Some companies may have generous work-from-home policies matched to network configurations with enough bandwidth and licenses, but most provision for VPN use by 10% to 20% of staff. Therefore, a pandemic can easily overload the VPN and affect worker productivity. IT in an organization has to scale up in supporting users in the across. Remote workers will likely embrace remote work as the new normal, so companies would be wise to invest in Video Conferencing and other collaboration tools

When it comes to HR . Everything surrounding the Coronavirus is changing rapidly, and it is imperative that employers and HR managers understand the VOCABULARY of pandemic plans. For remote work to be successful, HR must proactively manage remote work procedures and communicate productivity expectations, being realistic that there might be a learning curve for some employees who are less familiar with remote work technology. 

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