We are starting to see businesses thinking longer term - focusing more on preperations for what may come next.
Why are businesses preparing for the next pandemic already?
- There is a 47-57% chance of a global pandemic on the scale of Covid happening in the next 25 years.
- Regional level pandemics will likely occur every ten years.
- There is a risk that the frequency of pandemics will increase due to environmental factors like human expansion into wilderness areas, climate change, and higher levels of interconnectedness
Businesses will need to take precautions
The impact of Covid on businesses has been massive. Whilst some businesses have done quite well, others have been left behind. Regardless, many businesses have suffered from at least one or all of these:
- Staff shortages due to illness
- Staff shortage due to inability to hire foreign labor
- Loss of revenue due to enforced shutdowns
- Being sued by employees for not doing enough to protect them from Covid.
- Employees are anxious about returning to work
- Employee or family bereavement
All of these things blindsided businesses. However business leaders have learned a lot over the last two years.
This is good, as looking forward there will be less excuses for not being prepared the next time.
Shareholders and boards will demand that businesses have continuity plans that factor in being pandemic prepared.
What does being pandemic prepared look like?
Knowing what we know now, it’s safe to say that some if not all of the following should be considered in a robust business continuity plan:
- Sufficient Business Interruption Insurance (BII) that includes some kind of pandemic or health event cover.
- Further adoption of cloud-based technology so work can be done remotely.
- Holding stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizer.
- Having robust contact tracing training and technology in place to stop the spread of a virus.
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