Business Continuance in a Post C-19 World: How to Return to Business as Normal?
As a result of conversations with some of our clients, we think that firms need a game plan as to the optimal ways to begin to recover and recall the workforce to the office.
It is natural to assume that some folks will want to get back ASAP (cabin fever) and some will be extra cautious or near paranoid.
However, this is a marathon and will require a long game approach:
· We are probably 18 months away from the general availability of antiviral vaccines
· The expectation of a waking up to a total “all clear” is impractical and premature, based on what we know today
· From a business continuance perspective, firms need to assess what they will need to do to return to as close to “business as usual” as possible.
My gut says that there will be no single approach or silver bullet solution to this, and that best practices will evolve.
Some examples of what firms might do may include:
· Monitor the advice from local and federal health authorities and the gradual lifting of emergency orders
· Contract with a health provider to routinely test the staff for elevated temperatures and other virus signs, prior to their return to work
· Require medical certifications for those staff deemed critical, as a condition to return to work
· Confirm that those returning to work have not been or are not infected - or – may have antibodies that make them immune to the virus
· Conduct rigorous cleaning of the office and building facilities, provide masks, gloves and other PPE to staff
· Split the staff (e.g., have ~80% continue to work remote and stage/gradually migrate the other ~20% critical staff back to the office), under the above conditions
· Distance those staff that work in open workspaces or on trading desks (e.g., someone in every other position)
· Continue to conduct regular and ad hoc conference calls with the staff (you can’t overcommunicate too much)
· Continue to educate the staff on personal hygiene, social distancing etc.
· Establish conditions and trigger points for restoring a shutdown, if the above approaches do not work
· Provide a governance oversight, program implementation and fine-tuning of the above.
We would urge you to keep your eyes and ears open to what firms in our industry are contemplating and what leading firms are considering. Needless to say, this is still very fluid.