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VoiceNation Helps You Stay In Business and Stay in TouchLeading communications solution provider VoiceNationSM helps businesses plan to succeed despite flu pandemic threats.
Standard business continuity planning that anticipates short-term, local disruptions will provide little assistance if the United States faces an avian flu pandemic. The World Health Organization warns that large geographical areas may be quarantined in the event of a pandemic, making remote location of critical operations problematic. Additionally, flu epidemics typically come in waves, spreading the impact over weeks or months. As a result, planning based on single, short-term events may be insufficient.
Perhaps more challenging than rethinking relocation and a quick return to business as usual are predictions of high absenteeism.
- A recent Gartner report encourages businesses to update their continuity plans using a 25-30% absenteeism rate.
- The International Monetary Fund predicts that absenteeism could reach 40% as a pandemic spreads.
- With waves of disease, record levels of absenteeism could persist for months with rolling closures of transportation systems, schools, and businesses.
- This sort of absenteeism will impact local infrastructure and burden existing communications systems-perhaps to the breaking point.
While the Congressional Budget Office predicts that a severe pandemic could cost the US $600 billion in lost productivity, VoiceNation urges that businesses can protect their bottom lines with careful planning today. Reeder recommends that business owners and continuity planners:
- Create policies and establish technology platforms that support employees working from home and utilize remote processing of transactions
- Leverage scripted live answering services to handle unexpected call volumes-both from employees and from customers
- Offer a 1-800 hotline for employees to stay informed about the business's status and expectations for employees as an epidemic unfolds
- Arrange teleconferencing options to maintain contact and work flow among staff, vendors, and customers
- Contract for automated call forwarding to enable customers and vendors to directly reach staff through the business's main line, even if no one's actually in the office.
VoiceNationSM is committed to helping businesses succeed by providing creative, cost-effective communications solutions. VoiceNation provides voicemail, virtual PBX, answering services and disaster recovery solutions to businesses of all sizes throughout the United States.
To reprint this article or interview VoiceNation business continuity experts, please contact:
VoiceNation Media Relations
Graham C. Taylor
866.766.5050, ext. 150