We have had a number of conversations recently with clients and partners regarding our approach to coping with the COVID-19 virus and how we tackle business continuity in the face of an event like this.
Uncertainty is not uncommon in business. In fact, being comfortable with feeling uncomfortable is one of my favourite mottos. It is rare however for such a large percentage of us to feel uncomfortable about the same item, at the same time. The last time we collectively faced a common threat on this scale was the 2007/8 global financial crisis (GFC).
We are fortunate to be in an industry where distance and remote working is effective. Retail, tourism, manufacturing and healthcare don’t share this advantage and unfortunately cease to operate if they are unable to have their workforce at their place of work.
Good planning and a commitment to being nimble and able to evolve helps survive these uncertain and worrying times.
We have already begun taking action to minimise our risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19, through the removal of common area food, increased frequency of office cleaning plus the addition of hospital grade cleaners now being used, restrictions on internal meeting attendee numbers, the addition of multiple hand sanitisers in our offices, adopting good health policy on coughing and sneezing, the addition of awareness posters around our offices, isolation of our team if they exhibit any feelings of illness etc, a ban on business based domestic & international travel, 14 day self isolation for all staff returning from personal travel (both domestic & international) and a range of other actions. We have been proactive in making every attempt to avoid becoming a victim of this virus.
We are progressively reducing our face to face client and partner meetings and will continue to expand this over the coming days and weeks. These are being replaced with phone and video calls instead.
All of our processes, systems and tools are designed to allow our teams to work anywhere they have an internet connection. If our team members have a laptop and an internet connection then they can operate as normal. Face to face meetings can be replaced with video chat. Our teams work across our offices in Australia, India and the UK, hence our experience and competence with a distributed workforce is strong. This approach sees next to zero impact on our day to day operation.
If the situation gets worse and we need to, our workforce can work remotely from their home offices, without impacting our quality or project outcomes. During this event our phones can also be diverted to individual team members as required.
We have performed a key-man risk assessment and developed plans to cope with an event where a key-man is unable to perform their normal duties. We have expanded this plan to cater to worst case scenarios where multiple key resources are removed from day to day operation, ensuring our project and campaign delivery continues.
We are committed to our staff, our clients and our partners throughout this period and will continue to communicate clearly and work with everyone to collectively get through this event.