The imposition of travel bans and lockdowns around the world in response to the coronavirus outbreak has caused businesses to slow down or in some cases even cease operations. Italy’s nationwide lockdown has taken a toll on tourism companies like Savour Italy Tours whose clients (100 percent of them) canceled trips on its peak months from April until June, even going as far as September. UK car services operator Chauffeur Services Direct already lost nearly 80 percent of bookings as traveling becomes close to impossible. They even had to lay off workers to minimize costs brought about by a drop in clients. Some businesses who rely on China for raw materials are also in danger of running out of supply.

This cycle of delays, declines and eventually termination will continuously affect individuals, businesses and countries worldwide. But this doesn’t mean the industry will remain immobile. While Metro Manila braces for its community quarantine, here are things you can do to remain productive and operational. 

MEET WITH YOUR TEAM
Before you decide on any major changes in your business, consult with your employees. It’s important that they understand what the current situation is—why is there a lockdown? What is the next step? Is it still safe to run operations? Never leave your employees in the dark. Keep them updated on the decision of the management and constantly give them reminders on precautionary measures. More importantly, listen to what they have to say and consider their suggestions.

REORGANIZE AND VIRUS-PROOF YOUR AREA
It’s about time you catch up on inventory and databases. While you have the liberty to go over your establishment, check up on things you can fix and arrange: files, equipment and raw materials. Do a rundown of your logistics so you don’t miss anything. A general cleaning (including fumigation and disinfection) of your workplace will help in stopping the spread of the virus.

OUTSOURCE YOUR WORK
Since the rest of your team will be on lockdown, you can try to employ people outside your area especially if there are critical tasks at hand. Treat this as a backup plan in case there’s a duty you can’t delay. Always be prepared with a list of people you can trust to carry out what is expected of them. Be specific with delegating work as you may not be able to personally attend to it once there’s a misunderstanding on the assigned job.

UTILIZE TECHNOLOGY
We are well aware of the advice on social distancing—we can’t risk physical contact, even face-to-face meetings, with people from areas where the virus is confirmed. You can still carry on with your important meetings or conferences but it would be safer to do these tasks on digital platforms. Here, you are achieving the same output without jeopardizing anyone’s health.

PREPARE A WORK-FROM-HOME SCHEME
This is a reality most businesses have to face. Because you always have to prioritize the health and safety of your employees more than profiting from your daily operations, it is necessary that you devise a plan wherein you can still get the job done from your own homes. Communication is key when it comes to a smooth transition from office work to remote work. Coordinate this thoroughly with your team to ensure that everything works best for your employees and your business.

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