With the Government advising people in Britain to self-isolate to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, hundreds of employees could have to stay out of the office for the recommended 14-day isolation period.

However, we urge employers not to panic as it can be business as usual for many firms even if they have several employees off, as staff could work at home instead for the duration. In fact some businesses have recommended that staff work from home where possible until the spread of Coronavirus is under control.

Coronavirus could have an impact on staffing levels especially if it continues to spread. But for many companies working at home is an option for their employees, so if there is any risk that someone may have the virus it’s best to be on the side of caution and encourage them to work from home.

Companies can reduce disruption on managers and colleagues left in the office and keep track of who is off by investing in absence management software. This software enables managers to have a company-wide view of who is out of the office and for what reason, helping them plan staff rotas and cover.  This means it’s business as usual even if staff are self-isolating or working at home.

This software also tracks sickness absence and can flag up root causes of absenteeism by highlighting trends such as someone regularly off on Mondays or taking more time off than usual. The system prompts return to work interviews, enabling managers to find out if there are any underlying issues. It’s the ideal tool for facilitating flexible working too, as well as managing holiday leave.

We’d recommend for companies who don’t already have absence management software that now could be a good time to invest. Not only will the system help if the Coronavirus situation escalates but the business will benefit by being able to reduce absenteeism and better manage flexible or home working in the future.


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