Preparation for a critical situation in the event of a pandemic

The current pandemic is a threat to business operations we have never previously considered. Even if this pandemic does not represent a worst possible scenario in which lives are at risk, we should at least consider taking time off work. This will certainly occur in the event of a pandemic influenza. Most probably, after the pandemic is over, the vast majority of employees will return to work. Organizing the business workflow in the absence of employees is certainly a challenge.

 

We have prepared some guidelines to help each organization make arrangements to at least roughly and quickly organize and prepare for a crisis situation.

 

We recommend reviewing the guidelines listed below.

Preparation for a critical situation in the event of a pandemic

 

First, formulate the general requirements to manage business continuity in the event of a pandemic:

 

1. General

2. Absence management

Create lists for each organizational unit:

- A list of employees who can work from home and,

- A list of employees who live close enough in the event that any possible quarantine would restrict other employees’ arrival at work.

 

Crisis management

Organize a crisis management team at your company. The team should have regular, at least daily contact and make decisions on necessary measures and publish them. The crisis management team consists of:

- All directors of organizational units and

- Department for public relations.

 

The crisis management team communicates through the following communication channels:

- Mobile phones, 

- E-mail, 

- Communication systems like Skype,

- Internal portals.

 

After designing the basic measures for business continuity management in the event of a pandemic, take the necessary steps that will, at least to a certain extent, ensure the functioning of the company's core business.

 

2. Measures

Measures to prepare for a crisis situation are divided into 3 stages, depending on the urgency. Emergency measures need to be implemented immediately and shall draw appropriate conclusions. For other measures, the organization of activities is carried out and an appropriate response is prepared.

 

1. Emergency measures (immediate execution):

1. The company shall prepare a list of on-call services for the most critical systems. On-call duty is without time limitation. The staff on duty are those employees who live in the same region as the location of the company and could still get to work in the event of a quarantine. The measure shall be implemented by decisions taken immediately.

2. All employees who use laptops for business purposes are required to take them home daily. The measure shall be implemented by decisions taken immediately.

3. All employees must check the latest status of measures on a daily basis, before arriving at work via the agreed communication channel, in particular whether they commence the implementation of working from home or are expected to get to work. The crisis management team is responsible for the announcements. The measures shall be implemented by decisions taken immediately.

4. Business trips to Italy have been cancelled. Such measures shall be implemented by decisions taken immediately.

5. The HR department must determine how it will handle absences in the event of a quarantine and inform all employees.

6. Laptops shall be prepared for the needs of on-call services.

 

2.Less urgent (prepared decisions, implementation when first cases of infection occur in Slovenia):

1. Business trips around Slovenia are prohibited, replaced with the use of other communication tools (Skype).

2. The company shall limit the concentration of employees at workplaces, allowing and recommending suitable employees to work from home.

3. Employees who must be present at the workplace shall be provided with hand sanitizer and face masks.

4. Free parking is provided for those who come to work by own car or otherwise use public transport.

5. The service department may be closed.

6. Work from home is organized for on-call services.

 

3. Other measures (prepared content, implementation is possible at any time):

1. Employees are encouraged to:

- Reduce the use of public transport;
- Not to eat in catering establishments;
- Carry out room ventilation on regular basis;
- Use paper handkerchiefs for coughs and sneezes, which must be deposited in special bags for waste tissues.
- Use hand sanitizers and face masks.

 

2. Employees can work in the most flexible working hours, for example: come to work in the afternoon, if their work allows it.

 

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