Contingency planning during the Coronavirus outbreak
As the Novel Coronavirus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread globally, it’s crucial for enterprises to have plans in place to both safeguard employees and continue serving shareholders. From travel restrictions, to remote work policies, to employee wellness, businesses need to create a contingency plan, provide guidelines, and communicate the plans and policies to employees and clients in a timely and transparent manner.
A robust contingency plan must address both the needs of the company and the needs of its employees and customers in a way that protects people and maintains stability and productivity.
Components of an Effective Contingency Plan
- A robust contingency plan must address both the needs of the company and the needs of its employees in a way that allows business to continue without putting employees, partners, and clients at risk of infection. Define the standard line of communication for executive leadership.
- Communicate this plan to employees in a timely and transparent manner.
- Build an explicitly stated travel policy that can be circulated throughout the organization, including any bans or freezes on non-essential travel.
- Develop operational contingency plans to support customers by shifting internal workloads to meet client needs.
- Fine-tune company policies on remote working standards and set aside the necessary resources for remote employees to perform their duties from home.
- Encourage proper hygiene practices to reduce risk of infection, including regularly washing hands for at least 20 seconds. It may also be prudent to review employee healthcare benefits to verify what treatments are covered.
- Share accurate information from credible resources (Centers for Disease Control, state and federal public health agencies) with employees to keep them informed.
- Keep open lines of communication with local, state, and federal agencies. Ask for updates and pass this information off to the rest of your organization.
Enabling Remote Communications
The right tools and programs can make the key difference in coordinating departments and teams across multiple remote locations. You can start by reaching out to your service provider to talk through available remote meeting solutions based on your current technology. Partnering with external providers and leveraging their expertise to find the ideal solution is the best way to enable an effective remote work system for your organization.
Helpful Tools for Remote Work
- Video and audio conferencing: Available to many modern organizations, video and audio conferencing technology allows teams to meet remotely and from any device, including laptops and smart phones.
- Simultaneous ring: This feature allows a single phone number to ring up to ten devices simultaneously. Answer confirmation is also available, which indicates to the receiving party or parties that the call is for work purposes.
- Remote worker call centers.
- VoIP-based softphones.
- Collaboration applications: Bring together messaging, file sharing, video meetings, white boarding, calling and other tools.
With careful planning and preparation, as well as close cooperation with the expert providers of your telecommunications technology, your enterprise can weather the storm of the Coronavirus outbreak without compromising employee health or client satisfaction.