Business preparedness for swine flu – oh, come on!

Yes, I know that it’s easy to be cynical, but when you receive an official email from a Government quasi-Quango, with particular responsibility for business continuity in the small to medium enterprise sector, containing important guidance on how to deal with swine flu, you just know that it’s going to be a laugh!

Well, Business Link, in a remarkably quick response, have jumped on the bandwagon, and issued advice on just that topic. You can read:

  • Recommendations for workplace hygiene.
  • Putting contingency plans in place.
  • Managing employee absence.
  • How to Communicate with your employees.
  • Now, apart from the fact that this is addressed to SMEs, where it is as likely to be the owner/sole trader who is ill as it an ’employee’, and who can presumably communicate with him- or her-self while recumbent in bed just as easily as when slaving over a hot desk, I doubt if reminding this individual to wash their hands after they have been to the loo is really going to do a lot for the prevention of flu of any kind, let alone swine flu!

    However, the idea that to counter this dreadful contagion you should “create a list of the transferable skills of each employee and consider who could be retrained or redeployed in the event of staff absence.” is obviously a good one. No doubt your husband or wife will find it helpful being reminded how to answer the phone and reassure customers that it’s not really fatal – unless there are underlying health problems (and you don’t know of any), but if your partner should not get back to them in a couple of weeks assume the worse and find another supplier. Actually to save spreading the disease through unsterilised telephone systems, perhaps it would be better to record an answerphone message instead.

    Perhaps the most important thing to remember though is that before you succumb, you are advised to “ensure IT systems can cope with high numbers of employees working from home.” In other words, when the cantancerous old so-and-so is on the mend, make sure that they have their laptop plugged in and connected to the broadband, because as a swine flu survivor they are sure to want to tell everyone about their miraculous recovery and the fact that their business survived too!

    Have a laugh, read more here:

    Best wishes

    Working behind the scenes, helping leaders achieve things they never dreamt they could
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    1. I agree – but speaking as the husband of an infection control nurse – you can't tell people too many times to wash their hands – because lots of people do not! Indeed – most people don't wash their hands well enough – what about the finger tips and the thumbs and the backs of hands? Those areas are often overlooked!

      All the best to you Graham!

    2. Hi Graham

      I'm very impressed with your web site and activities. However regarding the Business Link web site link you have, please note that cantankerous is spelt with a 'k' (and not two c's).

      Kind regards

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