The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. As a result of over 144,000 cases around the world, government agencies and healthcare facilities have been pressed for a swift response to contain the outbreak of COVID-19. This includes a more effective strategy to limit its spread at the workplace and large public gatherings.
Given the major strain federal and healthcare departments now face, what responsibility does the leadership now have in ensuring COVID-19 can be contained? Given the relative flexibility of IT departments as to remote work, what steps are organizations taking to ensure their employees are kept out of harm’s way?
In this brief study, Pulse asks 100 IT executives what plans of action are now in place to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Breakdown on respondents
*Data gathered between 03/09/2020 and 03/13/2020
How prepared are IT executives across the country? And what specific plans are they putting into action? The data suggests that, although it’s not time to panic, many are putting into place strategies to buffer any long-term impact that the virus may have on the organization.
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Leadership teams are now employing a myriad of actions to prepare themselves for the bigger effects of coronavirus, including cancelling all non-essential travel (24%) and foregoing conferences and corporate events (21%). 11% at this stage said that they were monitoring the situation but haven’t taken any action so far.
cancelling all non-essential travel
foregoing conferences and corporate events
monitoring the situation but haven’t taken any action
have asked non-essential staff to work remotely.
At this stage 15% of organizations have put in place a dedicated rapid-response team that can act in crisis situation and 10% have rapid-reporting cycles to deal with any possible business consequences.
One of the measures currently being asked of workers is to work remotely during the COVID-19 epidemic.
When asked what percentage of their workforce is currently working remotely, 26% of IT leaders said that at least half their workforce was currently working remotely. 31% said that between a quarter and a half of their workforce is currently working remote.
END OF MONTH
This drastically changes when projected towards the end of the month. By the end of March 2020, 18% of IT executives imagine more than three-quarters of their workforce will be working remotely. This pessimism persists to another 33% who said that over half their workforce will be working remote by the end of the month.
Diving in deeper to see which categories of worker will be most affected, Frontline Workers (33%) were said to be those most likely to still be at work onsite.
Which teams are leading the effort to plan for the remote workforce during this coronavirus pandemic? IT and HR out in front in ensuring for a smooth transition to a remote workforce.
As markets get more jittery, many are expecting major losses to come as a result of a wider COVID-19 outbreak.
IT leaders are more cautious in their appraisal of the hit their business may take as a result of a larger crisis. 29% believe that their organizations wouldtake a small hit of 1-5% whereas 16% believe there would be a loss of less than 1% in revenue.
REVENUE AFFECTED BY
This being said, at least 21% of IT
leaders believe that they will lose more than 15% of revenue as a result of the epidemic.
40% of respondents also said that the coronavirus outbreak is now affecting
the organization’s hiring process. 47% said that their hiring process remains
unaffected whereas the remaining 13% are unsure.
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On the spending side, given the uptick in remote work, spending on video conference tools has increased with 77% forking out more as a result of the pandemic.
Despite greater anxiety of the spread of coronavirus, IT executives are not in full panic-mode yet. This being said, there’s enough concern among IT to make sure that as many staff remain remote as possible with many believing this is likely to increase this month. Many are also bracing themselves for a downturn in revenue as a result of the outbreak.