CORONAVIRUS: A STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR BUSINESSES

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Fiona Stewart
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5 minute read
Coronavirus: A state of emergency for businesses-Image

Whether you’ve been a nervous nelly from the get-go or are now just realizing that coronavirus (COVID-19) is going to impact each and every one of our lives in some capacity, it’s imperative at this point that we prepare ourselves for a range of socio-economic effects.

What's happened thus far?

  • Families, businesses, health service providers, entertainment venues, restaurants and countless more, are engaging in urgent discussions and important decisions are being made regarding how to carry on during this unprecedented time.
  • Scott Morrison has declared a national human biosecurity and announced a ban of non-essential events of more than 100 people
  • Australian citizens and permanent residents who have travelled overseas are being forced to self-isolate and many office workers are voluntarily self-isolating, and many face with the challenge of adapting a new way of working 
  • Many airlines have dramatically reduced their flight schedules by 60 percent and are on the brink of bankruptcy 
  • The Australian Government have announced a stimulus package for businesses within Australia 
  • Working from home equipment such as standing desks and monitors have sold out across the country
  • Victorian Government have launched a stimulus packaged to help businesses with cash flow and keep people in jobs
  • Hotline to support Victorian businesses announced by Daniel Andrews
  • The Prime Minister announced on Sunday that some businesses would have to close by midday on Monday because people were gathering in some of them against social-distancing guidelines.

What’s coming next?

 
  •  Australia still has less patients with the virus than many other parts of the world and our healthcare system is comparitively strong but our own curve is also accelerating. New cases have more than tripled in the past week alone, climbing from 112 on 12th March to 454 as of 17th March, and 1,832 as of 24th March.
 
  • The industries seeing the greatest immediate impact from the fallout are:

        - Hospitality and travel (89%) 
        - Education (87%) 
        - Media and entertainment (80%)
 

 
  • The Australian dollar sunk to a fresh 17 year old low of $0.59215 on Wednesday 18th March
   

What can we do to maintain business as usual?

No-one can guess the full extent of the economic impact as a result of this virus but the show must go on. There are many businesses that have and can empower their employees to continue as normal from the comfort of their own homes should the prospect of mass self-isolation become a reality Even beyond this current crisis, organisations that are set up to provide flexible working arrangements have a much better chance of withstanding unexpected disasters from basic power outages to bushfire emergencies and any further global pandemics.

Managers who once lived or died by how many bums they could see on seats in the office are learning to oversee remote workers and manage the digital tools that manage their time. Suddenly, names like Teams and Webex are tripping off the tongues of executives who, three months ago, came out in a rash when someone mentioned 'digitisation'. 
 

For an organisation to manage this, at a minimum, all employees should have access to the files and folders they need to work with, saved within an online cloud platform, and with the opportunity to conduct meetings from the safety and comfort of their own homes.. While it won’t work for every type of business, focusing effort on a digital workplace now, rather than physical operations, will enable many different types of companies to ensure they can continue business as normal and eliminate the risk of uncontrollable employee downtime. If you would like read about our recommendation on how to get started follow this link.

Fiona

Fiona Stewart

Marketing Manager
Fiona has a background in marketing and client services across multiple sectors in Ireland, United Kingdom and Australia. She is responsible for Marketing and Operations at Digital First, providing guidance on the strategic direction of our business and how we engage with our customers.