The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is having ripple effects felt across the global economy. As companies prepare their responses, they are going to be faced with difficult decisions. Here in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s February 26 update has heightened the agency’s expectations of increased transmission within our own borders.

However, now is not the time to panic, it is the time to prepare.

For many companies, preparation means using common sense and listening to employees in various countries. Right now, Globalization Partners’ team in Singapore is working from home, under advisement of their local government. Additionally, teams in China and South Korea have decided not to travel to an internal global conference this week to reduce the risk of potential illness.

I thought it would be helpful to share some of the measures we have put in place, including:

Working remotely: We are a global company and one of the benefits of modern technology is the ability to connect with employees around the globe. But even more so now, we are encouraging our employees to work remotely in any of the high-risk areas, in accordance with their governments’ recommendations.

Travel: We are monitoring coronavirus updates and alerts and are also asking employees not to travel to areas with an increased threat such as South Korea, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and mainland China. We are continuing to track the situation closely and suggest our clients do the same.

Healthy best practices: We encourage safe healthy best practices like washing your hands, not going into the office if you feel sick — especially when feeling coronavirus symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing — seeking medical care early, and staying informed about the latest developments.

We believe it’s important to support policies intended to protect the safety of the larger global population and treat the affected individuals, while respecting human dignity.

At Globalization Partners we are working with our customers and people globally to pass along what we think are the wise choices recommended by our in-country HR advisors. We are taking this in stride with our team members and trust the judgement of our colleagues to pay attention to the risk in their own countries.

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