This week we've seen global companies, such as Amazon, CNN and Google, restrict travel for employees. Meetings are being cancelled. Events are being postponed. Airports are empty.
Covid-19 is disrupting 'business as usual'.
I'm no health expert so cannot comment as to the spread or predicted spread of the virus. However, I see employers rightly taking necessary steps to protect their employees.
As the virus continues to spread, companies are fast looking at contingency plans for their workforce in order to continue operations as smoothly as possible.
Whilst many jobs (including retail, manufacturing, healthcare) require people to be physically present, other organisations are now embracing video conferencing, Slack and Teams as a way to communicate remotely.
Where remote working was once positioned as a flexible benefit for employees, it's now becoming the new 'business as usual' during this tough period.
From my first job with IBM I have always worked with European and international colleagues. Conference calls at 6am and 11pm were (and still are) normal for me.
Flexing around business and personal commitments is (and always will be) 'business as usual' for me personally.
Same goes for Tribal.
We've always been a remote working team and that was a conscious decision - even as we grow.
We embrace platforms (Zoom, Xero, Teams, Asana, HubSpot) so we all have a clear picture of our business health no matter which desk we're sat at.
I feel this international epidemic (perhaps soon to be pandemic) may force and fast-track many organisations into realising the advantages of remote working.
Many businesses (not all!) can still operate with a distributed, remote workforce as long as the right technology and digital culture are in place.
2. When should we exclude workers or visitors from the workspace? As discussed, employees should stay home or go home if they have symptoms of coronavirus infection. But dedicated staff often resist taking sick days, instead dragging themselves into work where they may infect others. Given the threat this epidemic presents, managers shouldn’t hesitate to send employees who present with Covid-19 symptoms home. Likewise, employees or visitors who are symptomatic or at high risk for Covid-19 should be kept separate from staff and helped with arrangements to leave the workplace and obtain medical evaluation while minimizing their public exposure. For example, they should avoid public places and public transportation, and, ideally, should stay six feet away from others unless they are wearing a mask.