CEO Online

Cooperation is Key for Businesses Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Right now, the whole of the Mainland, Hong Kong and the world is battling the coronavirus, or Covid-19, as it has officially been named. To help halt the spread of this potentially deadly illness, everyone must play their part.

Viruses can spread quickly through close contact among individuals, so social distancing is the best policy to slow the process down. Individuals should avoid going out unless necessary -- this protects not only yourself but also your family and the wider community.

In these highly unusual circumstances, employers should be flexible and understanding, and allow their employees to work at home wherever possible. Technology advances mean that there are many tools now available to enable remote access of in-house systems, video conferencing and many means of communication. Of course, not everyone has a desk job. For staff who cannot work from home, employers can also offer more flexibility in terms of working hours.

This is a big change for many Hong Kong companies, and patience and cooperation between colleagues of all levels will be needed.

To help members during this difficult period, we have gathered information on areas including home-office technology and legal obligations for our next issue of The Bulletin. We will issue a short, online-only version next week so our members will have this collated information to hand as soon as possible.

We are also developing a Coronavirus Business Help Corner on the Chamber’s website, which will also share useful information and experiences from members on everything from law to tax to HR and IT. We hope this will be valuable to help members overcome the various challenges and requirements with regard to managing these exceptional times.

To get a clear picture on how the situation is affecting you and your business, we will be sending out a survey on Monday. I sincerely hope you can complete this, because we will use the results to see what measures the Chamber, the Government and business community, as a whole, can implement to minimize the difficulties.

We are also working to change some of our events from roundtables to webinars. At our first webinar, which is free of charge for members only, you can learn about the Chamber’s recent Mission to Ghana and Morocco.

Looking at the bigger picture, cooperation and support within the business community is also important to help us through these difficult times. While many of us are concerned with the immediate issues facing our businesses, we should also consider the future. The September Legco elections are not that far away, and qualified HKGCC members are also eligible to vote for the Chamber’s Representative in the LegCo Functional Constituency election. This gives us a direct line to the Government to share our concerns and proposals.

The Chamber can only be as strong as its members, and the more people that vote in this election will increase the legitimacy of our LegCo representative.

I’d like to urge you all to register to vote if you are eligible and not yet done so, to exercise your civic right. Amid so much business uncertainty, it is particularly important that our voice is heard. In all aspects of life and work, we can continue to cooperate to create a better Hong Kong.

Please stay safe, productive and if you wish to share some useful information/articles with other members on dealing with the Corvid-19, please let us know.

Posted on 2020/02/14