One of the biggest stories of the year is the growing impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus contagion. The global response is mind-numbing; the public is scrambling, the stock market is all over the place, and there are hundreds of stories published each day discussing the changing death rate, new cases, and even new strains of the virus. Making matters worse, the novelty of the virus, combined with the wildfire spread of emerging news, has made reliable information hard to come by. This historical episode is disrupting lives and business, and great worry is setting in about the ramifications that lie ahead.
As individuals, we can do our best to protect ourselves by washing our hands, covering our coughs, and changing our habits as we live within our communities. Behavioral changes help us reduce the spread of this virus, but also future potential outbreaks. It has been projected that the impact of widespread infection may overwhelm our healthcare services and infrastructure due to the sheer number of people that will require advanced care. The fact is that the more we can do to reduce the spread, the better positioned we will be to deal with its impact on the healthcare system.
The virus is also changing the nature and priorities of how we work. Travel restrictions and canceled events – including Mobile World Congress, Facebook’s Global Marketing Summit, and more – are affecting airlines, sales opportunities, and the bottom line for many companies. The stock market had its worst week since the start of the 2008 recession due to fears associated with the coronavirus and supply chain disruptions.
The coronavirus has ignited what Bloomberg calls the “world’s largest work-from-home experiment.” Companies are suddenly having to enable an increasingly mobile workforce. Rife with technical ramifications and considerations, the notion of remote work has emerged a necessity, requiring businesses to consider:
• Which employees must remain in an on-site presence
• How to protect these employees
• What, if any employee functions can be deferred
• Technical discovery and requirements for remote work, including bandwidth surveying
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