Despite the valiant efforts of essential workers — including public safety personnel — the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to sideline and/or alter much of the US workforce, forcing many businesses to fall back on remote infrastructure and, sadly, significant internal cuts to remain financially viable. While COVID-19 has obviously served as the wake-up call for corporate America to take continuity planning and remote functionality seriously, solutions derived from this crisis should result in permanent change for organizations going forward.
Amidst these changes, as costly and/or difficult as they may be, businesses should remain forward-thinking in terms of business continuity. This means planning in earnest for when the country has finally “re-opened” in its entirety. Additional risk assessment, heightened security protocol, and general employee wellbeing should highlight several immediate focal points in a post-coronavirus world.
Planning for new risks
Risk assessment, a timelessly important facet of business continuity, has risen to the forefront of COVID-related safety protocol — but “risk,” in this sense, represents a whole new series of environmental factors. In a post-COVID context, these factors include all measures aimed at mitigating and lessening the impact of new outbreaks (especially if a vaccine has yet to be finalized), but they may go beyond cleanliness alone. Primarily, workplaces will want to take a firm preemptive approach for new case scenarios, preparing all staff and safety personnel for the security implications and logistics. These plans should include interactions with individuals and other entities outside the company, who collectively present a unique risk in terms of potential exposure. Until the virus is fully in remission and/or a vaccine has been fully realized, these types of security factors will need to remain at the center of otherwise routine obligations and activities.
Structural workplace changes make up another crucial post-pandemic consideration. Many workplaces are currently inactive or remote due to pandemic-related mandates, but when these institutions re-open in their entirety, they may need to dedicate parts of their safety protocol to physical redesigns — at least on an interim basis. These changes may include wider corridors, increased air filtration methods, and generally distanced floor layouts to reduce unnecessary contact and promote a healthier work environment. Paired with updated educational and training measures for safety personnel, these measures would likely serve as a transitional phase en route to normalcy.
Though the professional world remains in flux due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preemptive continuity measures will ensure a safer and more organized return to form.