Many practices will not have developed a formal Business Continuity Plan, so the basic steps are:
People – improve the workplace so it caters for heightened hygine and cleanliness, basic steps will include providing hand sanitisers, adopting a more thorough cleaning regime including cleaning computers, keyboards, mobile phones and minimising personal visits in the office or travel on public transport to site meetings/clients.
If practical, encourage staff to work from home. Remote working brings challenges so before offering consider:
IT requirement to support remote working including access to shared IT resources
Telecommunications to support video conferencing, voip, call forwarding
Back-up and data storage for remote working
The government’s working worst case scenario assumes that up to 20 per cent of the workforce will be off sick at any one time. The scenario assumes an average 14 day period of absence. In addition, the Government has recommended that people self isolate for 14 days if they display any of the key symptoms of covid-19 (new cough or high temperature) so more staff members could be off sick at any time. It is therefore important to identify and log the critical services which need to be delivered to each client so that other staff are fully aware of each project’s workflow.
Communication – with a remote workforce it is essential to be able to communicate easily and effectively. It’s worth setting up systems to communicate between Partners/Directors and staff, with clients and with other team members or site workforce.
Identify the key practice functions – and ensure these are still being carried out. It’s important that key relationships are maintained in the event of remote working or staff absence.