Health officials are still discovering new coronavirus cases around the world. The coronavirus is affecting productivity and has caused a drawdown in global financial markets.
Firstly, what is coronavirus?
“Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.”
Since the latest outbreak of coronavirus poses an existential threat to all of us as businesses, we have to take the threat of coronavirus very seriously and make adequate preparations for it.
To help deal with this threat, we’ve written a post on 5 steps you can take to protect your business.
More electronic contact, less physical contact
This is especially for businesses with online and offline presence. You should definitely scale down offline operations in favour of online. This includes communication, payments etc. Make your customers understand that you prefer online contact at this time.
Circulate WHO’s public health advisory on coronavirus
Since certain businesses must physically interact with customers and the coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person, adhering to WHO’s public health advisory on coronavirus is a good place to start. Below are some images you should share with your employees.
What if you absolutely cannot have any employee at work or you can’t have more than 20% of your staff available because they’re quarantined? Does your business have to shut down? To test this, set up a day within the coming days where you have most employees work from home and only the most essential staff (limit to a maximum of 20% of your workforce if you’re a tech company) are at work. If this test goes well, consider implementing this system until the spread of coronavirus significantly subsides.
Ramp up regular cleaning
Increase the frequency of cleaning all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, and doorknobs. Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces (for example, doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks) can be wiped down by employees before each use.
Cancel all non-essential business travel
You should definitely cancel all non-essential business travel to even countries without an outbreak yet because people from countries with an outbreak just might be at the same airport in transit. Also if new travel restrictions are enacted by other countries while you or your employee is there, it may limit your ability to return home if you become sick while on travel status. Also consider cancelling large work-related meetings or events.
In summary, ensure your business can operate effectively with the minimal number of employees required, actively limit physical contact with customers. Employ best hygiene practices and also actively limit physical contact with the outside world unless absolutely necessary.
Check out the following resources for more information:
About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)