Experts tell us that a second wave of Covid-19 is inevitable and in some places it is already here. Now is the time for your business to review the lessons you have learned in the past few months, and prepare for future disruptions. More people have safely returned to work but even though it seems more like normal there is still the threat of a second wave. It is a tough prospect for businesses already suffering from the impact of the first wave but making plans for further disruptions are necessary if they are to survive at all. Here are some things that companies should consider.
- Make sure that all members of the response team who have been working non stop take some downtime to rest.
- Make an honest assessment of the weaknesses experienced in the first wave. Everyone was learning so use what was learned and plan what could be done differently and more successfully the second time around. Areas of concern should be logistics and distribution of equipment for people working remotely.
- The response team needs to continue to compile best practices for a return to work so that employees can do so safely. Regular meetings and communications with employees is important so everyone stays in the loop.
- Plan for the financial impact of reduced hours or closure. The past few months have been devastating for many businesses even though they have been helped by government subsidies. The decline in business could be even greater the second time around so it is important to be aware of programs still in place to help. Revenue may not be the same as it was before the pandemic so business plans should be made with this in mind, reducing unnecessary spending and creating a financial cushion are most important.
- Creating a phasing out plan so that non-essential employees who have returned to work can quickly pivot to working remotely again and plans can be made for more essential workers to phase out of the office if needed to minimize interaction. The phase out plan should also include how the organization will continue to operate including supply chains and communications to clients or customers. It also may be necessary for your company to stockpile supplies.
- Probably the hardest part of planning for a second wave is preparing mentally. Employees at all levels will suffer anxiety over a loss of wages in event of a partial or full shutdown while they are still trying to adapt to the new normal. It is important to create a healthy work environment for employees and if possible the company should consider providing counselling for its workers to help them come to terms with the changes.
From an article by Ethan Rotberg