Business Continuity during the Coronavirus / COVID 19 Outbreak
How is axisfirst tackling business continuity during the current widespread health alert for COVID 19?
axisfirst is committed to ensuring that we are maintaining services for our customers in the event of any major infectious disease outbreak whilst providing appropriate working conditions for our staff. The company’s plans are drawn up within the framework of recommendations as provided by the British government, the NHS and the World Health Organisation.
The company has developed an action plan involving three levels of protocol, stages 2 and 3 of this protocol involve significant degrees of home working however we do not anticipate that the physical location of our staff will have any significant impact upon our ability to deliver our services or maintain our ICT business continuity.
We may not be in one or both of our physical buildings, but that in no way should impact upon our service delivery for you. You might not be able to meet our staff face to face, but they will be available by phone via main Company phone numbers (including Direct Dial numbers where applicable) regardless of working location and have access to all of the Company’s line of business applications.
We recognise there is a widespread risk to health in the form of Coronavirus – COVID-19. We have taken steps to change certain housekeeping procedures to reduce the risks of cross contamination, and we have reminded our staff of the need to be diligent with personal hygiene.
We have also divided the organisation into teams so that in the event of disease escalation those with the same skills sets are not be in the same team and therefore not in the office at the same time. Teams will operate on a weekly rota basis, with the office cleaned over the weekend between team’s occupation with one team working from home and one team in the office. This we hope will ensure that we continue to be able to supply customers with the ICT support that they are entitled to expect from us.
If, with the progression of the disease throughout the population, the Board consider the risks to health warrant the decision to reduce the amount of staff physical attendance in the office, we have provided that all appropriate staff are able to work from home to maintain service delivery and carry out the requirements of their roles. We will regard this as level 2 response to the health risks. Staff who are visiting customers will continue to do so for as long as our customers wish, and we hope that you, our customers, are taking suitable precautions for your own staff and visits from our employees do not put either party at a greater level of risk.
Some staff may begin to work full time from their homes if they have underlying health risks, or a family member has been required to self-isolate. Clearly through all this, honest and real time communication is going to be key, between all of us. As business communication is imperative, all meetings and diary commitments should remain unchanged. If a meeting is possible to do remotely/ over the phone, we will try our outmost to do so and staff will be keeping in regular contact with colleagues and managers to maintain communication and information sharing.
Our level 3 response would be invoked if we have a confirmed case of the virus within one of our staff households or if required to do so by government. At this point, all staff apart from essential staff will work from home for a quarantine period. Essential staff will comprise of one or two members of staff to maintain the operation and security of each building rostered on a calendar week basis.
All face-to-face client meetings which fall within three weeks of the Company initiating the Level 3 protocol will be postponed to a date which exceeds three weeks from that date (to avoid asymptomatic carriers infecting others).
If you have any concerns about any of this notice, please speak to your Account Manager or to Amanda Brent, Director of Compliance and Resourcing.