The Unexpected Side Effects of Swine Flu – On Businesses

WRITTEN BY Sally-Ann White ON 13 May 2009

If Swine Flu turns out to be the pandemic predicted by officials and journalists alike, then be prepared to see incredible alterations to life as we know it.

It is suspected that as many as half of London’s seven million inhabitants could catch swine flu and that 94,000 could die in a worst case scenario. If the virus proves itself as communicable and if it evolves to be less reactive to the anti-viral treatments being used to keep it at bay presently, then many lives will be at risk, not just in the capital, but around the world.

Employers do have a duty of care to ensure that their employees are kept as safe as possible from any threat to their health or well-being. There is lots of buzz at the moment about the adoption of teleworking on a much grander scale across the business world in order to minimize the amount of time people will have to spend in close proximity and hopefully aid in slowing or eliminating the spread of the virus. Also, with nearly half of employees expected to take at least two weeks off of work over the coming months due to personal illness or to care for a friend or family member, working from home may become a necessary part of everyday operations for most companies. It is suspected that if the flu spreads as is predicted, then workplaces and schools alike can be expected to be shut for long periods of time. Many businesses will need business support networks to cope with this reality as they become more and more dependant on teleworking.

With so many employees set to be displaced from main office headquarters, a Virtual Office can help you to maintain a unified front and provide personalised telephone answering and call forwarding to employees no matter where they happen to be working from.

A single telephone number for your company and the ability to reach any of the employees helps keep communication simple for you and your clients if much of your operations are switched to a virtual office concept.

Though the prognosis may be upsetting, it is still best to be prepared to continue business as closely to normal as possible throughout the next few months because much as there is no guarantee that we will make it out of this episode unscathed, there is also no guarantee that doomsday is upon us just yet.