As the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) escalates and becomes the world’s leading social disruptor, businesses must rethink operational resilience. Until recently, most companies did not have a public health risk ranked as the top contender for creating such havoc.

Business continuity and disaster recovery have evolved throughout the years. “Disaster” has taken on a new meaning through cyberattacks, floods, ice storms, tornadoes, wildfires, human error, disgruntled employee sabotage and now a global outbreak.

Is your organization prepared to respond to a significant disruption like COVID-19 that may result in your employees and contractors being unavailable or needing to work remotely for an extended period?  One way to shield your company during this time of chaos and uncertainty is to implement an effective business continuity program.

An established business continuity program results in a clear understanding of the most critical processes: increased confidence in the company by customers, business partners, employees, investors and the board; compliance with laws and regulations; and competitive advantage.

You want to ensure that your company is prepared for a disruption before it occurs so you can serve your customers when your competitors cannot.

Have you considered how to continue operating if all employees are required to work remotely due to a public health risk? Your company needs to document this information and train employees on how they should continue to operate in a remote work situation. Remember, one of your most valuable assets is your team.

While the Coronavirus may prove to be a unique business challenge, establishing and testing business continuity and disaster recovery plans can help sustain operations through any disruption. Stinnett takes risk seriously. We can partner with your group to ensure that your business continuity plan is fully documented and deployable.

In the interim, follow these quick tips to reduce the impact to your operations in the event of a pandemic or a quarantine of your personnel.

  1. Communicate to your employees about remote work. Implement a remote work policy. Instruct employees to take their laptops home every night.
  2. Have your IT department conduct a test to ensure remote access is properly sized and structured. Make sure your employees are trained on how to remotely access systems.
  3. Identify and document backup personnel for key employees. Determine whether key employees and their backups have all the equipment and system access needed  to work remotely.
  4. Ensure there is an updated contact list for all employees. This includes cell phone numbers, personal and emergency contact information.
  5. Reassess your HR policies to address extended employee leave or other items related to a public health risk.
  6. Post signage throughout the company to remind employees of hygiene practices. Refer to CDC websites for guidance.
  7. Send routine announcements to employees regarding this public health threat so they are educated on best practices and to maintain frequent communications with  your staff.