The following is a summary of the status updates and actions in preparing for the Recovery Phase and addressing new risks which have been identified since the COVID-19 Pandemic outbreak. We have now entered into the Business Recovery Phase, which is estimated could now last until the end of the 2020 calendar year, and businesses need to know how to prepare and actions to be taken.
As all businesses are all working in a new challenging environment with new risks as the result of the Pandemic and need to ensure staff policies are in place in the new environment as most staff are now working from home. They also need to address how management keeps the staff working from home motivated, staff performance is monitored and that Work Health and Safety (WHS) requirements are in place. Furthermore, regular communication updates to staff need to be provided and stress management, including staffs leave requirements, need to be addressed by Human Resource Teams
Businesses need to think about requirements to re plan their office environment and layouts; Activity Based Working (ABW) and Hot Desks are likely to disappear and be replaced by allocated work desks to comply with social distancing and strict office cleanliness requirements, increased office social distancing as well as changed policies for visitors and staff entering the workplace.
ROADMAP FOR THE BUSINESS RECOVERY PHASE
What are the new challenges and how will businesses achieve a coordinated and phased recovery of staff and the business? As a startpoint, now is the time for businesses to finalise updates to their Business Recovery & Continuity Plans containing the new requirements and actions.
Prepare a new Business Recovery Plan containing the new requirements and actions required as follows:
- What are the new challenges and what do you want to achieve via a co-ordinated and phased recovery of staff and the business?
- Working from home – what are the fundamental changes and new Risks and Resilience?
- How are Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) requirements maintained for those working from home?
- Where do staff working from home go if they have an unscheduled major incident in their home office workplace? Is it necessary to maintain a dedicated Alternate Site?
- What is the new era of workplace layouts, desks, meeting rooms, common areas required to meet the new social-distancing requirements?
- The frequency of professional cleaning of all office areas needs to be increased and ‘deep cleaning’ arranged if there are confirmed workplace cases
- Human Resource Policies need to be reviewed and updated, including: Staff Sick/Absenteeism Policy, Personal and Business Travel Policy, Work from Home Policy,
- IT Operating Models need to be updated to address long-term remote working, including access to key systems for business units, maintaining cyber and information security, and upholding data backup, replication and archiving standards and policies.
- Finally, and most importantly, don’t forget that an unscheduled Incident or Disaster event can occur whilst staff are working according to COVID-19 practices, and so the Business Continuity and/or Business Recovery Plan needs to take this into consideration.
Principal Consultant, OpsCentre
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