As reported on the BBC, the government predicts that, “Up to one fifth of the UK’s workforce may be off sick during the peak of a coronavirus epidemic.” The article also states that among the measures anticipated could be “school closures, reducing social gatherings and working from home.”
The overriding method currently being used worldwide to tackle coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is isolation. But this can have a detrimental effect on both internal and external channels of business communication.
Safeguarding the ability of your business to communicate effectively with employees, customers and stakeholders requires careful planning, using the skills and technology available for such an emergency. So are you fully prepared to meet the business challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak?
Actions for communication
There are two main areas to consider if the need arises to temporarily close your offices in favour of remote working, namely:
- How to communicate internally both efficiently and securely
- How to inform and update customers and other stakeholders on the status of your business
Online channels of communication are ideal in an emergency situation, and we would advise that your business considers the following areas.
Adapting the company intranet
As an internal channel for informing and communicating with the workforce, a company intranet is a very useful tool. With an office closure that facility could be lost, and apps such as SharePoint or DropBox would probably not be effective substitutes for most businesses.
An effective solution to this problem would be to adapt and develop the existing company intranet to create an extranet, in other words a more outward facing version bringing in both employees and other stakeholders, such as customers and suppliers. In doing so, it is vital that company data is not compromised and that certain information is only made available to nominated users.
Information about intranet and extranet development can be found on the BBI Brandboost website.
Updating the company website
In a situation such as a coronavirus epidemic lockdown, the company website becomes even more important than normal for communicating information and messages for a business. In fact, it is vital.
All stakeholders need to be aware that the business is operating smoothly and efficiently, what steps have been taken to deal with the emergency and any required details about contact points and schedules. The public at large also should be informed about aspects relevant to them. Messaging needs to be clear, prominent and delivered in a way that inspires confidence.
Different content management systems have different levels of flexibility and ease of use. Businesses may choose to manage their website content internally or decide to outsource the work to a third party.
In either case, BBI Brandboost can provide support and training when necessary. We are experienced and skilled in the functionality of all content management systems on the market and additionally have the marketing and content writing expertise to advise on appropriate messaging and updates.
Please contact us to find out how we can assist your business with its online communications during any period of emergency.
Office closure readiness checklist
|Need to update website
||Website admin in-house
||In-house team already trained
If you have any questions about website maintenance during a prolonged period of office closure, or any other concerns about managing communication with staff, clients and other stakeholders, please contact us.
For more detailed information about steps the UK government is planning to minimise the effects of the epidemic, please click this link to its “Coronavirus Action Plan.”