Whilst the biggest concern of Coronavirus is the thousands of lives it has affected and the lives it has taken, your business will likely also be greatly impacted.

With the likelihood of it not going anywhere any time soon, you need to ensure your business is ready for any tighter restrictions to reduce the ongoing impact it is going to have.

If you haven’t already, ensure you have planned for the following points.

1. Keep your mobile employees away from each other

Many service companies have employees who visit customers. Those employees are the ones that earn the money the company needs to pay its bills. Imagine if one of your team was diagnosed with Coronavirus and everyone they had associated with in the past 5 days was legally required to self-isolate? Your company might not be able to do any work.

Try and keep your staff apart where possible. That weekly team meeting might not be such a good idea at the moment unless it’s online.

2. Allow flexible working

Speak to your team about trying to get some extra hours in the bank in case they need them later on, for example if the office is closed or they have coronavirus themselves.

The other big impact could be for those with young children if schools are closed. Do what you can to enable your staff to work outside normal hours even at the weekend.

3. Plan for working remotely

If there are people in your business who can do their job remotely if it comes to it, you need to start thinking about how you can set this up to ensure it runs smoothly.

There are several things to consider here:

  • Review your critical business processes to determine what is essential, what can be paused and if all of these can be performed remotely
  • Determine whether your employees have the appropriate laptops / computer they can use from home. If they do not, ensure that this is arranged soon
  • If you have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) then ensure that you can connect to your network and use remote desktop to connect to your machine.
  • If you don’t have VPN then you can use software like www.logmein.com or www.gotomypc.com which will need to be installed on your work computers and will allow remote access to your PC through a web browser
  • You can use software like Dropbox, One Drive or Google Drive to sync your office files to your home
  • Determine whether you have IT support and that your IT infrastructure can deal with the amount of people who will be working from home

4. Test your plans for working remotely

Even if you think your team is ready to work remotely, practical problems will arise that you didn’t think of. Pick a few members of your team to work from home for a day now. This will highlight the areas you need to work on to ensure remote working is smooth running. These are all things you need to address now.

5. Reduce amount of paper in the office

Following on from the previous point, you need to start scanning important papers in as if people can’t get into the office, they won’t be able to see these documents and can’t work remotely on it.

Look at paper in the following light – if it hasn’t been shredded then someone must need it. If someone needs it then can it be accessed remotely.

6. Allocate at least one person who will be able to get into the office

If your office is closed due to coronavirus, you will need to allocate at least one person who will be able to come into the office to open the post, scan papers, ensure the computers are running and so on.

It’s also a good idea to have a few ‘back up’ people in case the one person you have allocated becomes ill.

7. Set up somewhere you can easily communicate with your team

If you don’t already have something like Skype, Slack or Microsoft Teams to communicate to your team, think about setting this up now. This allows your team to easily communicate and increase productivity by still having their team to talk to via instant messaging, calls and video calls.

8. Make sure you have everyone’s contact details that you need

9. Don’t forget physical security 

There are always unscrupulous people ready to take advantage of any situation. If your office or premises are unattended for a long time, they might be vulnerable to a break-in. Ensure security procedures are sound, sensor lights are working properly, CCTV if you have it is working.

If you need any advice on anything related to your business whether connected to the Coronavirus or not, contact your Principal Adviser or Client Manager on the usual number. If we don’t know the answer, we will usually know someone who does. Alternatively, email enquiries@a4g-llp.co.uk.