The majority of businesses in developed economies have reacted well to the Covid-19 pandemic, moving swiftly to protect staff, a survey suggests.
The majority of businesses in UK, USA, UAE and Singapore were well-prepared and have adapted well during the lockdown, the research shows.
More than eight out of ten (83%) businesses surveyed by Aetna International, the global healthcare provider, had already taken some form of action to support employees when the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a worldwide pandemic in March.
Almost a third (31%) had already given employees the option to work remotely, and 44% had issued health tips to employees, even before the WHO’s announcement.
According to the findings, larger businesses (those with 5,000 employees or more) were quicker to respond to the global issue.
In the UK, prior to the government’s advice to work from home on 16 March, over a third (36%) of businesses had already offered this to employees, while over half (56%) had issued health tips to minimise risk and advice for self-quarantine.
A quarter of UK businesses had already banned all travel and 50% had issued a policy on how they were dealing with it, according to employees.
Richard di Benedetto, President at Aetna International, said: “The spread of COVID-19 across the globe has been rapid, and its impact on all our lives – both personally and professionally – has been significant. Despite the economic challenges facing many businesses, it is testament to the resolve of business leaders that they reacted so quickly to support their employees’ health and wellbeing.
“Whether through simple messages and tips, or bringing in remote working early, clearly they were doing what they could in unbelievably challenging times.
“As this complex situation continues to evolve, we will continue to assess how companies are adapting during this period of uncertainty, to ensure we are doing all we can to help them safeguard the mental and physical health and well-being of their employees.”