Pragmatic tips for dealing with the coronavirus

Pragmatic tips for dealing with the coronavirus

In recent weeks, the topic of coronavirus (also SARS-COV-2 or Covid-19) has been on everyone's lips. In this article we would like to answer the questions that have been put to us. In the appendix to this article we refer to reputable sources on this topic that can support your evaluation and development of measures and are updated regularly.

Companies that have established a Business Continuity Management System are at an advantage in the current situation. Among other things, they have prepared themselves for the scenarios of building failure, loss of personnel, loss of production (if it spreads further) and supplier/service provider failure.

The following measures are recommended for all others:

Preparatory measures:

  • Evaluation of your own dependency on suppliers in severely affected areas, early identification of alternatives and preparation of response measures - Your response time is crucial here;

  • Check the business continuity and crisis plans to make sure they are up to date; 

  • Check whether a sufficient number of remote accesses are available for working from the home office;

  • Check whether there are requirements / measures from customers, suppliers or authorities;

  • Check your travel policies and adapt them if necessary. Travel to high-risk countries should be avoided. A complete travel ban is currently exaggerated and can lead to uncertainty among your staff;

  • Review your company's options for dealing with your employees' personal challenges (health risk groups, welfare and care obligations);

  • Ensure adequate hygiene education in your company;

  • Review alternatives to the use of meeting rooms in your company (e.g. canteen, meeting rooms). A ban on use is currently excessive and can lead to uncertainty among your employees.


Communication

Communication should meet the information needs of your staff, suppliers and other stakeholders and provide overall process assurance in an appropriate and objective manner:

  • Inform your staff about recommended hygiene measures and any changes in travel policies:

    • Rules of conduct for process safety, what are the official requirements / recommendations, what measures does the company recommend.

  • Inform your staff about dealing with home office, meetings, personal challenges etc. (according to your internal preparation and strategy);

  • Designate specific internal contact persons (e.g. heads of department, health and safety, HR, crisis team);

  • Keep your staff constantly informed about developments;

  • Inform your customers and suppliers about the changed travel guidelines and further measures / requirements taken;

  • Communicate regularly with your most important suppliers in order to recognize changes in the ability to deliver in time;

  • Make sure that you have the contact details of the local authorities.


Monitoring

  • Establish message monitoring to evaluate the current situation;

  • Sensitize your department heads and use your reporting system;

  • Follow the recommendations of the national health authorities.


You can find instructions for handling and other information on coronavirus or similar viral diseases here:
 

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