How To Handle Coronavirus As A Small Business Owner

Hysteria is ensuing around the globe as Coronavirus is deemed a pandemic. We've seen this before with SARS, Swine Flu, Ebola, and Zika Virus, so why do we act like Coronavirus is the end of the world? 

Coronavirus is different in that you can become contagiousthen show symptoms, which poses a few problems. Despite what you hear on the news, you don't need to clean out the grocery store of their toilet paper, water, and canned goods and prepare for the end of times. However, you do need to take a couple precautions like washing your hands, covering your coughs and staying out of crowded spaces. 

As a business owner, you're in a unique situation as you're not only responsible for your own safety around the virus, but your employees as well. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about what to do.

Decide if you are keeping your doors open

Many large companies are turning to the ever-growing remote work option. If you have an office-centered company, consider switching to remote work to keep you and your employees from bringing in and spreading the virus around. If you have a different work dynamic like a manufacturer or distributor does, consider having all non-essential employees work from home, and have only critical employees come in. 

Have enough resources to support a remote-centric environment

If you do decide to take things online and opt for remote work for the interim, be sure that you have enough licenses, bandwidth, and everyone has a working laptop, phone, and internet at home. For example, any web conferencing tools that you use should have a subscription large enough to handle your whole team, if needed.

Make sure all cleaning supplies are stocked up

If remote work is not for you, make sure you have soap, cleaning products, and tissues readily available in your office to make the spread of potential viruses minimal. If employees don't feel well and exhibit symptoms of the Coronavirus, encourage them to stay home. Self-quarantine prevents the spread of the virus to their coworkers and anyone else they come in contact with if they do end up having it.

Have a business continuity plan in place

 Having a business continuity plan gives you a safety net to keep your business up and running during a hectic time like a cyber attack or in this case, a pandemic. This includes having an offline backup of your environment, having documentation of who does what in certain scenarios, and testing the disaster recovery plan to make sure it runs smoothly.

Making this kind of decision isn't easy. In the end, it comes down to what's in the best interest of you and your employee's health and well being, especially if you have older employees who are more susceptible to illness. While it may only be for a few weeks, switching your business to remote is no easy feat. Taking the time to assess the situation and having a plan on how to do it will make for a smoother transition. 

If you have any questions on where to begin or what is needed to begin a remote workforce, contact us and we'd be happy to help guide you in the right direction. 

To stay up to date, visit the CDC or WHO's website for more information. 


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