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Guidelines for Businesses Operating in COVID Impacted Zones

By Avetta Marketing
April 02, 2020
4 minutes
Guidelines for Businesses Operating in COVID Impacted Zones

With each passing day, COVID-19 is spreading like a wildfire across newer epicenters around the globe. As a result, the majority of businesses are facing an uphill task of mobilizing their business continuity plans. The impact COVID-19 has created across the globe is unprecedented. It is predicted that the pandemic will cost a staggering USD 2.7 trillion to the global economy in output, which is equivalent to the entire GDP of the UK.  

Given the unpredictability of the disease and absence of an established COVID response plan, most businesses have little to no preparation for managing and mitigating the commercial risks posed by the pandemic. What’s reassuring, however, is that there are best practices to emulate from others operating in impacted regions.

The following are some of the guidelines and best practices that suppliers/contractors need to follow to ensure they respond to the unfolding events effectively:  

Create Crisis Management Teams 

  • As a first step, organizations should create strategic teams tasked with crisis management in specific geographies where the supplier/contractors are located.   

  • These crisis management teams should convene regularly to develop contingent business response plans, provide information to leaders, create COVID-19 awareness among operators and on-site workers, and offer useful information on mitigation, management and workplace hygiene.  

  • They should develop contingent business continuity plans for all executives and workforce in the event of a lockdown.  

  • They must restrict employee access to company facilities, except for those who are engaged in critical operations.  

Guidelines for Businesses Operating in COVID Impacted Zones

Chart out an Effective Business Continuity Plan  

  • As a preventive measure, organizations should focus on continuing critical operations only.  

  • They need to institute mandatory work-from-home or remote work policies as and where applicable.  

  • Organizations need to make provisions for tools that can allow employees to work from remote locations seamlessly.  

  • In the event of a lockdown, organizations can shift critical operations to regions that are unaffected.  

  • Operators need to ensure that team members are cross-trained to execute critical business functions in case of sudden absence or quarantine of a team member.  

  • Operators need to also document critical functions, procedures, and policies pertaining to insurance requirements and workflows for operational contractors.  

Manage Overall Employee Health & Well Being   

During the outbreak, it’s critical for an organization to assess the risks it might have on employee well-being. 

The risk mitigation efforts may include:

  • Making revisions to work-from-home policies, worker compensation plans and other policies pertaining to employee benefits.  

  • Granting paid time-off to symptomatic employees and employees who must look after family members diagnosed with COVID-19.    

  • Increasing paid time-off or sick leave for employees. 

  • Restricting employees from taking public commute.   

  • Devising flexible shifts for employees to help them avoid busy commutes.  

  • Making employees aware about the need for social distancing. 

Take Proactive Measures

In order to sustain business operations, it is important for organizations to:  

  • Regularly monitor supply chains and identify potential threat vectors that may affect normal operations.  

  • Conduct regular supply chain risk assessment and operational impact assessment.  

  • Onboard alternate suppliers from unaffected regions if required.  

  • Provide buffer for project delays resulting from issues in transportation and worker shortage.  

If you are not a current Avetta member, we encourage you to join the network to take advantage of all of the offers within the Avetta Marketplace.

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