The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is making businesses revamp plans, rethink strategies and reboot operations on a continual basis. Companies should ask themselves whether they have the mobility and agility to respond swiftly to real-time changes. This is the best time for efficiently streamlining procedures, shifting to a more customer-centric outlook, restructuring business offerings and redefining business blueprints. Businesses should look at steps to remain relevant in the post-pandemic scenario while prioritizing the health and wellbeing of employees at the same time.
Company visibility also matters immensely and that does not mean that you go all out on an advertising blitz in the UAE. Rather, build up your digital presence, refine all outreach and contact systems for customers in keeping with the new normal and make sure distribution, revenues and profits start returning to normal.
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Key steps for preparing your business in the current scenario
- Lay down guidelines for employees for referring to data/information from official sources like the WHO or UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.
- Keep a track of UAE and WHO advice along with Government advisories and communicate the same to all employees and partners.
- Update your emergency contact and contact details for all your employees.
- Have a plan of what you will do in case an employee falls sick owing to COVID-19. This should include putting the affected employee in a zone/room where they are separated/isolated from other people. Limit the number of people in contact with the employee, set up a procedure for reporting the suspected case to the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Dubai Health Authority or Department of Health Abu Dhabi.
- Have a process in place for identifying employees who may be facing risk and offer them all necessary support.
- Encourage and enable work from home.
- Consider whether liability insurance coverage of the employer will cover personal injuries of employees while working from home.
- Take into account measures to be established for safeguarding the confidential data of the organization and personal data of customers/employees.
- Check whether special IT infrastructure has to be installed at residences of employees and how employees will be supervised during this arrangement.
- Have continuity and contingency plans chalked out in advance to take care of scenarios where a large number of employees cannot work owing to sickness or travel based limitations.
Some other measures for stopping COVID-19 from spreading
- Disinfect all surfaces and objects regularly at the workplace.
- Promote and enable thorough and regular hand-washing on the premises, have posters and messages showcasing its importance.
- Make available paper tissues, facemasks and closed bins for respiratory hygiene needs.
- Take into account risks of holding large events or gatherings. Bypass them completely as recommended.
- Educate your employees on COVID-19 and its symptoms and what they should do if they have these symptoms.
- Take professional advice before allowing employees to embark on business travel.
- Ensure that people traveling to areas with COVID-19 cases are briefed by experienced health professionals.
- Employees should be encouraged to carry small bottles of alcohol-based hand rub while travelling.
- Employees who have low-grade fever or even a mild cough should self-isolate and stay at home.
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