Second wave of COVID-19 feared as leading threat to business continuity

Second wave of COVID-19 feared as leading threat to business continuity

About 70% of companies’ primary business continuity concern is further disruption from a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent survey.


The International SOS Return to Work survey found that there is a keen focus on return to work measures, over a fifth (21%) of the respondents still don’t have a pandemic plan and process in place. Furthermore, over 20% expect mental health issues to also pose a major threat in the coming year.


The survey analysed responses from over 1,000 professionals responsible for supporting the health, safety, security, and wellbeing of employees.


Dr Rahul Kalia, Medical Director, International SOS India, said, “Most organizations currently are trying to balance the employee safety consideration with the economic compulsions of operating businesses. The current pandemic not only compels us to safeguard from the virus but at the same time poses many other health and security challenges for employees and businesses. Having a structured response plans for situations like these (Pandemics) is seen to be an important step in strengthening an organizations resilience. Plans should not only look at immediate reactive aspect of pandemic but also provide direction on potential new normal that the working environment is likely to experience. These changes may range from structural ones like temperature screening at access points becoming a norm on one hand to the need for TeleConsultations becoming a significant provision for employees working from office and from home on the other. Leaders will benefit from timely advice from experts while making these significant futures defining changes.”


As per the survey, the top two priorities organizations are implementing in their safe return to work are updating business continuity plans (60%) and on-the-ground support for colleagues (59%). These are followed by implementation of COVID-19 compliance monitoring tools (56%), health screening (50%) and mental health support (44%).



Step to be implemented

% of companies planning to implement the step

Updating business continuity plans and protocols


On-the-ground support for employees


COVID-19 compliance monitoring tools


Investing in fit-for-work health screening


Providing more mental health support


Site threat monitoring tools


Analytical tools for assessing return to work / ops


Investing in TeleHealth services for employees


Increased investment in employee healthcare




The survey also shed a light on the mental health issues. It was found that mental health is considered the fourth biggest threat to business continuity in the next 12 months, with over one fifth of respondents fearing that this will have an impact. This follows disruption from a potential COVID-19 second wave (73%), country lockdowns (67%) and international border restrictions (57%). Also, over 17% of those surveyed said that mental health issues had already impacted the continuity of their business operations.


Dr. Kalia stated, “Covid scenario is evolving rapidly in the region and with it, is exacerbating the mental health issues. Working from home, social isolation, anxiety surrounding access to care and generally fear of unknown is contributing to the stress faced by the working population. It will be important to address these Mental health issues and providing structured, confidential and timely access to good mental health support will help safeguard the workforce considerably.”



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