The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is advising businesses to consider offering staff the option of home working in order to stay afloat during the swine flu epidemic.David Frost, the private sector organisation's director general, warned that companies could be hit by "intense periods of staff absence" if projected figures for infections are borne out."Both supply and demand could be impacted, and businesses need to be prepared. The BCC will continue to work with business and the government to ensure that we plan for what could become a very difficult period of disruption, " he said."The internet and remote working will allow many firms to continue operating normally should their workplace be affected by swine flu."Frost was speaking ahead of a special online seminar hosted by the BCC tomorrow at 11:00 BST, which aims to help businesses prepare for the swine flu threat.The latest government figures suggest a worst case of up to 100,000 people catching swine flu every day until the end of August, and one in eight employees forced to take time off work.Rob Lovell, chief executive of hosted IT solutions provider ThinkGrid, welcomed the BCC's calls for firms to consider supporting remote working."Businesses that are making plans for employees to work from home should be thinking about how they can provide them with the same applications and IT experience that they would have in the office," he added."Although cloud computing is a relatively new concept, the flexibility it enables could really help ensure businesses do not suffer greatly from lost productivity."
Issue: 315 | May 2013
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