CAHRS Top 10 - Special COVID19 edition


CAHRS Members:As we navigate through this new world of the COVID-19 pandemic, CAHRS is in the process of putting together an HR Tool kit, including, research from our faculty, important links related to remote work, managing through disruption, learning from a distance, and more. We will be sending out this Tool kit to our Main Contacts to share with their team. Feel free to reach out to us at if there are other specific resources you would be interested in seeing in this type of document. 

In the meantime, here is a special Top 10 related to COVID-19:

1. Harvard Business Review: 8 Questions Employers Should Ask About Coronavirus

Summary:The coronavirus thatcauses Covid-19 and originated in Wuhan, China has now spread to dozens of countries around the world and affected thousands of people. This epidemic has become a wake-up call for companies to seriously review the strategies, policies, and procedures they have in place to protect their employees, customers, and operations both for this virus and future ones as well. The article highlights the most important questions companies should ask when preparing and responding to the spread of the coronavirus. Moreover, while diligent planning for global health emergencies can help better protect organizations, companies should use this situation to both optimize and test their plans for the inevitable next agent in thefuture. 

2. Chicago Tribune:Coronavirus Crisis Could Be ‘Watershed Moment’ for WFH - Working From Home - If Employers Pull It Off Right

Summary:COVID-19 concerns, resulting in shut down offices, could potentially determine if remote working gets adopted more broadly long-term. Currently, around half of U.S.employers have jobs that could at least be partially done remotely. With more employees being told to work from home at this time of crisis, those that do experience greater freedom and autonomy may have a difficult time letting that go in the future. However, whether this pandemic-driven change to remote work will create a more permanent shift in remote working or not will depend on whether the experience is positive for both employers and employees. This could also potentially lead to shifting the overall mindset about what it means to work collaboratively. Overall,remote work as a whole is simply going to be different, and as a result, teams will have to agree on new norms and rituals. 

Take a look at what CAHRS Director and expertin remote learning has to say about Mobile Learning in this short video clip.

3. Willis Towers Watson: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Impact On Metric and Goal Setting

Summary:As uncertainty regarding the extent of COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues, companies are prioritizing the physical and financial well being of their employees in the worst affected areas. In light of the ripple effect being felt around the world, this article discusses the findings from a February pulse survey of over 200 companies about how companies are reviewing their policies (e.g. travel bans, mandatory quarantine periods when returning from high risk areas, work from home advisories), and their compensation implications. Fewer companies expect moderate or large negative impact overthe long term, and most are adopting a wait and see approach with respect to goal setting and compensation plans. 

4. Forbes:8 Steps Employers Can Take To Protect Workers from The Coronavirus

Summary:With the World Health Organization officially declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, a large percentage of HR departments have had to both review and revise their procedures to better protect their workforces. This article offers eight different ways that employers can do their part in protecting their employees from the coronavirus. It includes ensuring that work sites are disinfected, asking sick employees to remain at home, encouraging employees to work remotely and conduct virtual meetings, communicating contingency plans to employees, preparing for worksite closures, revising corporate travel policies, evaluating plans to host conferences, and training employee supervisors to be able to answer employees’ questions andescalate concerns up the chain of command. 

5. Human Resource Executive:Answering Your Legal Questions About Coronavirus

Summary:As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, employers are entering new legal territory and asking a variety of questions about the outbreak. This article addresses common employer questions as well as various legal requirements. With regard to travel, employers are able to restrict an employee’s ability to return to work but cannot restrict employees from travelling for personal reasons. As a “serious health condition,” eligible employees would be able to have FMLA benefits apply to them if they need time to care for themselves or an immediate family member. Moreover, employers in particular geographic areas or industries that are affected disproportionately by the illness are also encouraged to follow commercially reasonable practices in order to reduce potential tort claims. 

6. New York Times:The Workers Who Face The Greatest Coronavirus Risk

Summary:As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States, people with jobs that put them in physical contact with many others are at the greatest risk of becoming sick. Health care workers are at the greatest risk as they can encounter diseases and infections daily while typically working in close proximity to their patients. Personal care aides who work with the elderly, the population most susceptible to the illness, are also vulnerable. First responders who are exposed to individuals with possible coronavirus cases are also at high risk. However, the risk is not limited to those on the front lines. Many people with service jobs face elevated risks. Workers in a number of professions facing elevated risk earn less than the national median wage, many without paid sick leave. This New York Times article provides the risk levels of various jobs. 

7. USA Today:Is Zoom Ready For Most of America to Work Online?

Summary:Coronavirus isputting remote work to the test as companies are implementing policies that encourage employees to work from home as the number of infections rises. As the number of people depending on home internet connections rises, service reliability and download strength are more vital thanever. For providers that can’t support the immediate impact of a remote workforce, service disruptions or temporary outages could be imminent. For this reason, the capability of the popular remote work software platform Zoom is being put to the test as COVID-19 disrupts daily life. The company has stated that its service was built to withstand double its daily average of users, so it should be able to serve users without interruptions. 

See what CAHRS Advisory Board member has to say aboutVirtual Work and the Future of Work.

8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

Summary:CDC is working across the Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. government in the public health response to COVID-19. This interim guidance is designed to help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. It recommends strategies for employers to use with respect to sick employees, environmental cleaning, and travel considerations, outlines how companies may plan for a possible COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., and details important considerations for creating an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan. Not much is known about the virus that causes COVID-19, and the CDC will update this interim guidance as additional information becomes available. 

9. HR Magazine:HR Leaders Revising Pandemic Procedures

Summary:According to HR Magazine, a survey by Lewis Silkin has revealed less than 10% of businesses had a workplace or HR policy covering a diseasepandemic.However, approximately 80% of HR departments now have a policy or plan to introduce one in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. James Davies, apartner at Lewis Silkin, stated: “These are unprecedented times and employers are having to quickly adapt, evolve or scale up their workplacepolicies in response to Coronavirus.” Businesses will need to collaborate and learn from each other to know how best to move forward, withthe well being of staff and business continuity on the forefront.

10. MIT Sloan:Leading Through COVID-19

Summary: The coronavirus that causes the disease known as COVID-19 has caused, and will create, global economic disruption. People are hoarding supplies, markets are gyrating, and governments are restricting travel. The need for organizational continuity in this time of crisis requires leadership that guides people into the future despite its risks and uncertainties. Drawing on fifteen years of field research in crisis leadership, the author of this article outlines three areas of activity that help foster high performance by teams - and the larger enterprise - through turbulent disruptions: Adaptive Capacity, Resilience, and Trust. The article explores how companies can build these practices in order tolead through disruptive events in general, and COVID-19 in particular.

For further reading about the changing nature of the world, take a look at this compilation ofCAHRS Global Trends Research.