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What the Corona Virus means to the workforce

what the corona virus means to the workforce
Source: USAToday.com, Coronavirus, explained: Everything to know about COVID-19, the deadly virus alarming the world

The Corona Virus is having deadly consequences and spreading fast. Companies and travelers are taking work continuity seriously. Here is what you can do.

The Corona Virus, also known as the Covid-19 virus, is spreading globally at alarming rates. Travelers find themselves locked out or locked down in certain areas. Companies are scrambling to keep their employees safe so business can continue. But this is increasingly difficult. In this article we detail what the Corona virus means to the workforce and to you.

It could happen to you

Consider you are having a family vacation, everything is going well. Suddenly, there is a rush of medical staff and armed police at the your resort. What do you do? This is exactly what happened recently at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife, Spain. A recent article in Travel Agent Central described the recent turn of events. Although regional health authorities stated the 1000+ hotel guests are not “in quarantine” a perimeter of armed police making sure no one enters or leaves suggests something else. According to the same authorities, there could be a “formal ban” on people leaving and entering the hotel. If the police are involved, it sounds like the ban is already in effect. What would you do if you found you were in lockdown for an undetermined future? Could you work remotely?

In China, where the virus originated, factories are shutting down as employers are sending their workforce home, in light of fears of spreading the deadly virus. While this crisis sounds dire, it is proving a distributed workforce, in fact, works. Thousands are doing this now. Employees are required to call in daily to report if they are exhibiting any sign of fever or other symptoms. With factories shutting down, companies are seeing a halt to product needed for already-committed orders and future inventory is at risk. Companies around the globe are taking this seriously and are issuing statements or new policies to protect their workforce making them aware of the threat and what to do.

Benefits from the Corona Virus?

Companies like Zoom are benefiting from the outbreak. Fear of contagion is moving people to virtual meetings, instead of traveling or going face-to-face. Zoom recently reported a 50% increase in stock price due to a sudden influx of customers, directly attributed to the Covid-19 outbreak. This new dynamic in business meetings has long-term benefits as more grow accustomed to using virtual communication and conferencing tools versus traveling. It also paves the way for institutionalizing the remote workforce.

Workforce and travel impact

So what does this mean to digital nomads, business travelers and families on vacation? It actually means a lot. Now there is another level of planning and situational awareness. Everyone needs to institute measures for their own personal safety. Plan now to work remotely if you find yourself quarantined. Maybe you are at a resort, hotel or on a cruise. Perhaps your company sends you home due to someone else showing symptoms. For the near term, growing lists of cities under quarantine are found on the internet, particularly in travel hotspots like Italy, Spain and others. The infected person in the previously mentioned Tenerife hotel was from Lombardy, Italy, where several people died from the virus. Telecommute and teleconferencing tools whenever possible.

What do you do?

Planning around those areas help, and can be avoided. But what do you do if you are in a situation like the 1000+ guests at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace? This not intended to single out this hotel, as it happening around the globe. Be sure you have a laptop, tablet or at the very least a cell phone capable of conducting your basic work should you find yourself “detained” for an extended period of time. This could save your job. Also be aware of those around you, at a resort, co-working space, or even in restaurants. If someone seems sick, get up and leave, your personal health and safety are too important. Here is more information on how you can work remotely.

Use a Travel Agent

If you are traveling, using a reputable, experienced travel agent should be the norm for the foreseeable future. Many travel-related vendors and travel host companies are sharing updates about the virus and quarantined areas. Knowledge is king here. Contact a reputable travel agency like Wheeler Vacations for more details before you travel.

Summary

Now you know what the Corona Virus means to the workforce and several steps you should take to minimize exposure and ensure business continuity. Awareness is a key right now. Be safe, be aware and stay informed so you can continue to travel and work and vacation safely. It may be hard for workers who get a taste of working remotely to go back to the cube.

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