Disclaimer – the above information provided is general in nature and does not constitute specific or legal advice. Information on COVID-19 is changing frequently and so updated health websites should be relied upon. If you have more questions about COVID-19 and work specifically, contact email@example.com or Kylie or myself.
With thousands of businesses beginning to feel the effects of COVID-19, the amount of news and forecasts coming through can be overwhelming.
The impact on each business is slightly different, however hopefully the below summary of recommendations are useful to all of you for things you can implement right now.
- Check health sites daily – a good one is the Australian Government Department of Health. Issue your team members with good education about what is going on – suggest daily or every two day team meetings to discuss any updates and address any team members concerns.
- Remind team members about good hygiene, non-essential touching such as handshakes/hugging and the importance of staying home if sick. Lead by example in this area. Put signs up and ensure hand sanitiser is around if you can get your hands on any.
- Meet with your crisis management team (key people in your team) and discuss potential risks and to start with, the next upcoming 12 week requirements ie travel, events etc. We are recommending having a Phase 1 – that covers while team members can attend work and students can still attend schools and Phase 2 – if schools are shut down and/or team members cannot attend your workplace.
- Identify critical business functions that may be impacted with staff absence. Review those functions that may require work arounds should staff absences be high.
- Review any opportunities to minimise risk such as postponing travel, rescheduling events and/or any non-essential activity etc. If travel is required, ensure you regularly check travel warnings and are prepared for isolation periods.
- Review whether you have the ability within your business to allow working from home in any capacity and/or could make any changes to help facilitate this ie. provide laptops, Zoom meeting setups etc.
- Review outstanding team member leave and whether there is any opportunity to use this time to ask team members to use it. Make a decision as a business on what you are going to do for any team members who are casual or don’t have leave.
- Develop your business continuity plan – particularly highlighting potential catastrophes and scenarios ie what happens if the business needs to close down? What are the risks of allowing people to work from home? What happens if something happens to one of the owners? Think through actions from each scenario. This is also an opportunity to make sure that you are at least annually checking that people’s personal details and contact numbers are correct.
- If you have a reception area – think about how you can space this out to reduce impact and keep people at a distance. You may also choose to refigure your area with a separate desk to sign in and/or providing additional space between the chairs.
- Use this as an opportunity to document all passwords and ensure backup of skill sets for key areas such as payroll and IT.
- Think about preserving cash reserves wherever you can and review opportunities to do a cut back.
- Review whether the next 12 weeks may have any significant impact on your core base team and whether any restructures are required. For some businesses, unfortunately this will be a reality.
- Review whether there are any opportunities for your business to help support other businesses and /or team members and/or the public through this process ie this could open up many new opportunities for some businesses.
- Send a note out to clients asking where possible to organise phone or video contact and/or if coming in to ensure in good health.