Stock markets are plunging, supply chains are being collapsed, oil prices are dropping, small- and medium-sized businesses are struggling with frightened workers, nervous consumers, and an unknown future.
The economy is so bad. President Donald Trump is set to meet with Senate leaders to discuss cutting payrolls, supporting small businesses, and helping hourly workers.
Ever since the coronavirus began infecting people in China, Eric Plam, president of Skyroam, has been busy figuring out how to keep his workers healthy and how to run its business.
Impact of Coronavirus Going viral
Through a global attempt to fight the pandemic, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, and schools were closed down from New York and Los Angeles to Paris and Dubai. Citizens of Germany were asked to cancel all vacations as Canada and other countries closed their borders to all tourists. The airlines cut flights, shed jobs, and demanded billions of dollars in loans and grants from the governments.
Dubai’s business and travel hub said that it was closing all bars and lounges until the end of March. Thailand plans to shutter schools, pubs, movie theaters and even cock-fighting arenas.
Britain has asked manufacturers including Ford Motor Co, Honda and Rolls Royce to help produce healthcare equipment, including ventilators to deal with the epidemic and will look to use hotels as hospitals.
With cases continuing to grow and markets sending people and companies in a panic, it is not too late for companies to set up remote workforce, connect with workers, and prepare for a worsening epidemic. Here are some things you can do right now.
Connect with staff
Every worker is concerned about their health and how they can continue working as more things get shut down.
As an entrepreneur, you can instruct HR department to pull together information pertaining to the coronavirus to create an instructional guide for employees, which not only educates them about the viral infection but also enlists way to avoid it.
Employees communication strategies need to be in place and should be multifaceted through all available platforms, with the ability to tailor specific communications for specific audiences and measure impact and outcomes. Even in countries where no infections are identified, organizations take precautionary steps and rely on internal communications and HR playing a key role.
In a nutshell, communication is key to how companies deal with the outbreak whether or not they are currently impacted, Waiting to respond until something has happened is not an option.,
Companies should invest in work-from-home technology because even though most people have telephone, computer and an Internet connection but do not have enough bandwidth to do the kind of work they do at the office at home.
Although Plam has just 20 staff in San Francisco, work-from-home is highly encouraged. However, many are at work at the moment. If someone wants to work from home, whether in the USA, China, France, or Germany, they can use Skyroam’s own technology that generates Wi-Fi signals by tapping into local data networks.
Most of the businesses in the world still rely on software and machines that are housed in physical offices and cannot be conveniently used any other way. On the other hand, for several, including the multinational company working with Merlini, the solution has been services such as Amazon WorkSpaces that rely on server-filled data centers, where companies can store data and software and stream it online to users anywhere.
In the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, Amazon Web Services, the online retailer’s cloud computing unit, said it has received several enquires but refused to collaborate.
Create a crisis-management policy
“A lot of businesses have not prepared on this scale for a crisis, but as many find out now, they need one,” says Sherman, a Washington, D.C.-based partner. A successful strategy will cover a variety of issues, including remote-work procedures. It should explain how people will be working from home and what resources they will need to get the job done; how to manage travel; what to do with meetings and more.
Sherman also says, “It’s also important to include things such as insurance coverage for business closures or trip cancellations, how to get financing when no one is investing, what lines of credit are in place, supply chain alternatives and more.”
As an entrepreneur, you need all the elements of crisis-management plan in place. You always yourself a question, “If something were to happen, do I have the right alternative business models in place?”
You should know how to communicate and how to keep business running in difficult times. For example, while COVID-19 tends to get worse in the US, Plam doesn’t panic because it has a proper crisis-management plan in place, and even workers are set up to work wherever they can.
Sherman says, “We remain optimistic that we’ll get past this and the economy will roar back to life.” He also adds, “We may have to catch up on some things, but employees are prepared.”