Adapted from: HBR| Prepare Your Company for the Next Covid Wave| Patricia Toro, Jeff Levin-Scherz, and John M. Bremen
“The pandemic is not done, and corporations must be prepared for whatever the pandemic throws at them next, with the Omicron BA.2 strain and its progeny growing prevalent and protection to infections and immunisations fading.” Patricia Toro, Jeff Levin-Scherz, and John M. Bremen
According to the authors, most of us suffer from pandemic fatigue after more than two years of Covid-19 and its derivatives. This includes corporate leaders who want and need to focus their expertise and actions on business-critical areas while giving the epidemic less consideration, time, and energy. However, the solution is not to ignore the outbreak; it is to put in place a framework to deal with it. Do not ignore the pandemic; have a system in place to handle it.
Reduce restrictions when the situation allows.
As restrictions decrease, employers should continue to maintain certain baseline safety practices such as getting full vaccination, staying home when ill, and maintaining a notification system for workplace exposures. Encourage employees to protect themselves and support their health.
Plan NOW for another surge.
Choose metrics and thresholds that would trigger changes in the company’s Covid-19 safety protocol by assessing the risk of where employees live rather than the worksite itself.
A predetermined, balanced approach will allow organisations to respond promptly to developments with a minimum amount of new decision-making where you reactively design a response to every turn in the pandemic.
Embrace remote and hybrid work.
This allows for flexibility and benefits both you and your employees, especially for unvaccinated or high-risk individuals.
Encourage in-office time on certain days of the week or promote specific events or all-staff meetings that build community while still limiting the overall risk of transmission.
Communicate pandemic plans effectively.
Offer regular updates on the company’s plan to support safety even as you acknowledge that fewer measures are needed while community case rates are low. Routine communication will enable a faster company-wide response when/if circumstances change.
Businesses can create a competitive advantage through proactive and flexible planning. Need help with any of these components or with creating a competitive advantage? We can help. Let’s discuss.