Firms ready for second wave, as return to work progress and priorities revealed

The most pressing business continuity concern of the day is further disruption from a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 70% of companies polled in a study released today said this was their key focus in the coming days and weeks.

The survey, conducted by medical and security services firm, International SOS, polled over 1,000 professionals responsible for health, safety and security within their organisations. It showed that, just three days into the controversial new UK quarantine rules, international border controls had already disrupted operations for 56% of respondents.

In more surprising findings, just 20% expected COVID-related issues to continue to cause problems over the next 12 months; and about the same proportion still don’t have a pandemic plan or process in place.

On well-being and mental health the figures were less alarming, as just 16% of organisations said that employee mental health issues were affecting the performance of their businesses, and 44% said they were planning to put in place better mental health support for employees.

Dr Mark Parrish, regional medical director at International SOS, commented: “We are surprised that, while the great majority of companies are fearing a second wave of COVID-19, there are many who still don’t have a pandemic plan in place.”

Next steps?

Are organisations doing enough to return to work safely and combat a second wave? The survey found that the top two priorities organisations 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%).

Dr Parrish added: “It would seem that there are many who are missing out on protecting their people and their business. We should be mindful that there may be a layering of issues, such as security incidents and concurrent health issues, which all need to be addressed alongside the continuing pandemic and as we return to work and operations."

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