It’s not a matter of if, but when… The United States is no stranger to the flu and how it affects business productivity resulting from fatigue, absenteeism, and the never-ending cycle of spreading the disease. It impacts productivity, profit, and in some cases viability of a business. The current outbreak of the Coronavirus and how it has shut down areas of China and is spreading to the U.S. is a reminder that companies need to look internally and prepare; not just for this potential issue but any threat to a disruption in business.
In order to limit the disruption to business operations as a result of the flu or other issues, here are a few items to consider:
- Review the company’s IT readiness including constant data, email, and network back-ups,
- Review and adopt business contingency, continuity, and succession plans for the company,
- Review vendor contracts and assure your company’s ability to use substitute vendors,
- Review and adopt sick leave policies to ensure they both comply with the law and are functional,
- Identify key individual functions of the business and cross-train employees to fill those functions,
- Encourage all sick employees to stay home and work remotely, if possible, and
- Encourage etiquette in the workplace (ie cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze) and hand hygiene (it’s not expensive to have hand sanitizer around the work-place but it can be very expensive if employees are not healthy enough to work).