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As businesses around the world prepare for continued uncertainty with the coronavirus, it is critical to have a business-preparedness checklist that spans all aspects of a company’s operations. Consider using this resource to ensure your business experiences minimal disruption while maintaining the health and safety of your workforce, business partners and clients.

Human resources

  • Clearly communicate your sick and paid-time-off policies and ask that, as a precaution, any employee feeling ill or who has symptoms such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath seek medical care as needed and only return to work when well and without symptoms.
  • Monitor and communicate any changes in travel requirements and absenteeism policies.
  • As the need may arise for employees to seek alternative working arrangements, consider communicating work-from-home guidelines and expectations.
  • Include and encourage common practices for remaining healthy, such as frequently washing hands, accessing hand sanitizer and keeping your immediate work area clean and disinfected.

Information technology

Ensure all employees are well-equipped with the necessary tools and connectivity to work remotely. Consider the following:

  • Increase network capacity as necessary.
  • Ensure remote connectivity and virtual private network access.
  • Be prepared to defend against new evolving security threats from those looking to capitalize on the coronavirus.
  • Provide a strong security stance for your remote-user workforce.
  • Communicate how employees will receive ongoing information regarding work environment status, such as an alert system, a specific email address, or an intranet portal, and how they should get in contact should they experience any technology issues.


  • Ensure a collaboration tool set is in place to support heightened productivity for remote users.
  • Weave video and collaboration tool sets into internal and external engagements to keep the pulse of your business progressing without downtime.
  • Consider reaching out to suppliers and customers to set expectations regarding supply and delivery.

Jason Albuquerque is chief security officer and chief information officer at NWN Carousel of North America Inc., an information technology services firm in Exeter.