The novel coronavirus crisis has put a whole new spin on “think global, act local.” There is a lot to be learned from how companies around the globe are reacting with respect to people, processes and business.
This is particularly significant as there hasn’t been a standard workplace playbook for viral outbreaks until now, but after this, there will very well have to be one.
Despite the various geographies, there are some elements common to all, that can fall under “COVID-19 crisis management best practices.”
Here are a few ways that companies across the world are handling the crisis.
1. Travel restrictions:
Companies are following real-time updates on the spread of the virus from credible sources and applying them towards employee travel restrictions. For instance, Apple supplier Foxconn has ordered employees who were visiting Taiwan for the Chinese New Year to extend their stay and not return to their Wuhan plant in China. JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup are allowing only “business-critical travel.” Many companies have restricted international travel.
2. In-house prevention and monitoring
Foxconn also ramped up employee health monitoring in their Wuhan factory and provided employees with face masks to prevent the spread of the virus. Employees must also have their temperature checked daily.
3. Implementing remote-working
Major players like Microsoft, Chevron, Amazon, Twitter and Hitachi and several more large and small companies across Asia have implemented remote-working for all their employees while the crisis is on. Facebook is also providing training to managers on better supervision of teams working remotely.
4. Doubling up on the housekeeping
HSBC and Facebook are particular on deep-cleaning offices and increasing the frequency of cleaning. Google is providing copious amounts of hand sanitiser around common areas like conference rooms and kitchens.
5. Putting interviews on hold
Several companies are postponing face-to-face interviews indefinitely, and using video link-ups instead.
6. Putting together a task-force and talking to experts
Uber recently assured its employees that it is putting together an internal task force to deal with coronavirus-related issues, and that it is seeking an epidemiology expert consultation to handle the issue. It also urged employees to remain calm in this situation.
7. Not cutting wages
Though the work-from-home policies are impacting ancillary services like cafeteria workers, vendors, drivers and such, Microsoft’s Seattle office is continuing to pay them full wages despite reduced hours.
8. Financially supporting afflicted workers
Uber Australia has announced that it will compensate its local drivers who are diagnosed with the coronavirus or in need of isolation. Drivers can apply for 14 days of compensation through the driver app, and provide the appropriate proofs also through the app. In addition, Australia is scoping out ways to help casual workers that cannot afford to take too much time off as they are not eligible for paid sick leave from their employers.
Do take some time to think about your individual business. Take cues from these strategies that you, too, can employ to prevent your operations from being impacted by this international crisis.