Middle East & Africa: Global Comparison
HR and Staff: MEA lags behind the rest of the world in terms of HR and staff measures undertaken during the current Coronavirus outbreak. The top implemented measure by organizations in the region is ensuring some staff work from home (61.5%). Only just over half (58.2%) of organizations have a plan in place if a staff member is diagnosed with the virus (global: 69.7%). However, the area where the region is most lacks measures taken is in allowing staff to take care of family: just over a third (36.8%) have implemented leave policies to allow staff to care for sick relatives (global: 49.1%) and only 35.3% have implemented a policy to allow staff to work from home to look after children in the event of school/nursery closures (global: 68.8%).
Health and Hygiene: MEA is on a par with the rest of the world in terms of basic health and hygiene measures: most organizations have provided messaging to staff around hygiene and have hand sanitizer and wipes available for staff to use. Organizations would be advised to consider more detailed planning should a staff member become ill in the office: less than a third (31.3%) have engaged a cleaning company to provide deep cleaning services if required (global: 41.6%) and only a quarter (25.0%) have a room available for staff to isolate should they start to exhibit symptoms at work (global: 28.0%).
Travel: MEA organizations are being stricter than other regions when it comes to travel: 87.1% of organizations have implemented a global travel band (global: 77.8%) and 75.8% of organizations have banned staff from travelling domestically (global: 67.0%). However, for fewer organizations than the global average are allowing staff to alter their hours to use public transport at off-peak times (24.2% vs 31.1%) which, like the HR and Staff questions shows the region is slightly behind in terms of staff welfare during the crisis.
IT, Technology and Communications: Despite the region’s organizations implementing domestic travel bans more readily than the rest of the world, just 77.1% of organizations have moved meetings to conference calls/virtual environments where appropriate (global: 87.4%). Another area where organizations within the region may which to consider reviewing plans is within cyber security: only just over half (57.6%) have reviewed the cyber security arrangements of staff working from home (global: 78.6%) and less than half (46.7%) have reviewed cyber security arrangements to ensure systems are secure in the case of mass staff absences (global: 64.9%).
Supply Chain: It is of concern that only 42.6% of organizations have reviewed the business continuity plans of key suppliers to ensure continuity of services during the crisis (global: 55.6%). Interestingly, however, over a fifth of organizations (20.3%) have changed suppliers to ensure products and services can continue to be delivered compared to 18.2% globally implying that reviewing is happening, even if unstructured in some instances.
Business Continuity Arrangements: Measures regarding business continuity lag behind the rest of the world, particularly when it comes to long term planning. Only 56.0% of organizations have activated their incident and/or strategic crisis management teams (global: 68.2%) and only 52.6% have considered how sustainable the business continuity response is (global: 60.9%).
BCI Publication: Coronavirus Organizational Preparedness Middle East & Africa Addendum 20.03.2020