New wave of COVID-19 top threat to business continuity in India: ‘Return to Work’ survey – The Economic Times

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NEW DELHI: A significant majority of companies in India indicated that their primary business continuity concern is further disruption from a potential second wave of COVID-19, as per a survey. According to the ‘Return to Work‘ survey by International SOS, 70 per cent of companies in India indicated that a new wave of COVID-19 is the top threat to business continuity in the country.

The other issues currently impacting the continuity of operations include: lockdown measures cited by 79 per cent of respondents, international border controls (21 per cent), inadequate home-working infrastructure (35 per cent), mental health issues (10 per cent) and the lack of robust business continuity planning (13 per cent), the survey said.

Of these factors, the risk to mental health is considered as the fourth biggest threat to business continuity in the next 12 months, with 14 per cent of the respondents in India fearing that this will have an impact.

The survey, which was conducted recently, analysed responses from over 1,000 professionals responsible for supporting the health, safety, security, and wellbeing of employees.

“The current pandemic not only compels us to safeguard from the virus but at the same time poses many other health and security challenges for employees and businesses,” India International SOS Media Director Rahul Kalia said.

Having a structured response plans for situations like these (pandemics) is seen to be an important step in strengthening an organisations resilience, he said.

Kalia further encouraged organisations to implement ways to support the emotional and mental wellbeing of employees as they adapt to the new normal. Confidential support should also be extended to them, as it will be critical in building workforce resilience, he said.

Meanwhile, the top three priorities for organisations when it comes to ensuring a safe return to work were: updating business continuity plans, implementing COVID-19 compliance monitoring tools and providing on-the-ground support for colleagues, the survey said.

Over 47 per cent of respondents in India will also be implementing mental health support measures for employees when they return to work, it added.

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