How to Thrive Amidst the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak: Ensuring Business Continuity

Image Source: The Straits Times (JASON QUAH)

The recent outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has created significant concerns for businesses in terms of ensuring the continuity of services. However, with the constantly evolving nature of the outbreak, it may be challenging to proceed with typical business operations. Hence, this article summarises several methods to stay relevant in this time of uncertainty.


While It’s apparent that the recent coronavirus outbreak has affected various industries in aviation, hospitality, retail, shipping & logistics, some industries are likely to strive during this downturn, such as:

  1. E-commerce
  2. Software technology providers offering platforms for webinars, virtual seminars, e-learning, automation tools, Chatbots, HR productivity tools, etc
  3. Robotics & automation
  4. Cleaning/Air management companies
  5. Manufacturers & distributors of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
  6. Healthcare & pharmaceutical

However, regardless of the industry, businesses can see the glass as half-full. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance, Ms Indranee, mentioned in an interview that “there is room to turn crisis into opportunity”, where companies can take advantage of the slower pace of activity to build their capabilities. 


With the exponentially increasing number of 2019-nCoV cases globally, more businesses are looking to send employees to work from home where physical contact between staff is minimised. However, businesses may be new to using telecommuting to carry out typical business operations. Hence, below lists several methods on how to maintain productivity of remote workers:

  1. Establish a teleworking policy: Conducting discussions within each division can help to set the tone and come to a consensus on the expectations and responsibilities of the staff, ensuring that all members are clear on the relevant procedures.
  2. Create a weekly schedule: Creating weekly to-do lists can help employees break down large projects and stay on track with the company’s timeline, overall improving productivity.
  3. Leverage on Cloud technology: Organisation is especially crucial when many embark on independent work, hence cloud storage services such as Google Drive or Zoho Drive can help to organise documents.
  4. Utilise a common communication platform: Utilising platforms such as WhatsApp or Skype can help to ease communication as well as keep employees accountable.
  5. Adopt positive reinforcements on employees: Affirming employees based on Key Performance Indicators (KPI) such as volume of sales or customer metrics can boost motivation and thereby encourage staff to continuously improve.

Overall, business continuity is vital during this period. In spite of the recent happenings, businesses should remain positive and innovate new ways to cope with the impacts of the outbreak. We can either succumb to the challenges or we overcome it. It’s a business choice.

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