The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is certainly causing a disruption that can be felt around the world. We are starting to feel the effects in Orlando with the cancellation of many events that are critical to small and medium business owners. Enterprise Connect, an annual event where we meet with industry representatives, has been rescheduled and will now take place August 3rd in San Francisco.
I am sure when all is said and done, there will be businesses that didn’t survive the mandated closures and unexpected cancellations. With that, as always, we must prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
What does this mean for you and your organization now? It is time to ensure that your processes and procedures are up to date and in place. Disaster recovery and business continuity plans are not just for tornado, floods, fire, hurricanes and other natural disasters and this is a good case to reference.
The CDC recommends that businesses plan for a possible outbreak in the US. With that thought in mind here are some items that they recommend considering:
Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.
Separate sick employees.
Provide tissues and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.
Perform routine environmental cleaning.
Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps:
- Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices the CDC website.
- Check themselves for symptoms before starting travel stay home if they are sick.
- Ensure employees who become sick while traveling or on temporary assignment understand that they should notify their supervisor and should promptly call a healthcare provider for advice if needed.
- Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
Identify essential business functions, essential jobs or roles, and critical elements and explore whether you can establish policies and practices for flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees.
Establish a process to communicate information to employees and business partners on your infectious disease outbreak response plans and latest COVID-19 information. Anticipate employee fear, anxiety, rumors, and misinformation, and plan communications accordingly.
Remember that there are many cloud-based solutions that can be used for communication and data access. If your organization has not had the time or expertise to migrate your services and solutions to platforms that are readily accessible remotely, there are many solutions that can be performed in a matter of days to migrate offline systems to remotely accessible options.
The most important item to consider is what is the cost of your business being offline vs. paying more upfront now to ensure that business can go on whatever the situation is.
If you want to discuss your options, contact any of our staff members at Advanced Systems Solutions. As we always say, it’s free to talk.
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Disclaimer: The above information is not intended as technical advice. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an IT Professional before acting or relying on any information in this communiqué