How the Coronavirus is Affecting (or Could Affect) Staffing Plans?

How the Coronavirus is Affecting (or Could Affect) Staffing Plans?

First identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019, the worldwide coronavirus outbreak is refusing to show a loss in momentum. Amidst tumbling business operations and plummeting company revenues, organizations are being forced to rethink their staffing plans. Staffing plans help companies evaluate their requirements of employees in different departments.

More than 780 million people in China are already restricted in their movement due to the outbreak. Moreover, now that the coronavirus has spread to over 67 countries, the situation is only going to get more dire until the outbreak is controlled effectively. It is, therefore, time for companies to take some hard decisions about their staffing.

Here are some ways in which the coronavirus is affecting or could affect staffing plans:

Employees in quarantine

Staff members of several companies around the world, who have recently been on business or personal trips to China or other countries where the threat has spread are being asked to stay at home for the set quarantine period. Therefore, a lot of foreign staff members in these companies cannot make it to their jobs until the quarantine period persists. This means that companies would be looking to hire more local personnel in their own city to replace the ones who cannot work in this situation. The new hires could be temporary or even permanent, depending on the nature of the job and applicable laws.

Halt on international business travel

Considering the risk of their employees contracting COVID-19, many companies worldwide have themselves started putting the much-needed stops to all non-essential international business travel. This helps protect their employees from contracting and spreading the disease. However, in this situation, many companies that run elaborate business operations in other countries may have to think about hiring local staff members from within the host countries of their operations instead of sending staff from their own country.

Employees seeking remote-working opportunities

The problem with COVID-19 is also that its symptoms are so similar to regular flu that many people may easily get panicked even if they just have the seasonal flu. This will also affect the morale and productivity of the staff. Many are also seeking work-from-home opportunities to protect themselves. However, working remotely is not feasible for all job positions. Such responses from employees are bound to affect any company’s staffing plans.

Legal ramifications

Companies must also make a careful assessment of the state of their employees before temporarily dismissing them from work. They must also not discriminate against the employees

who have unfortunately contracted the disease. Leave cannot be denied to personnel seeking to

visit their family members who may have been affected by the outbreak. Failing to take these due diligence measures while amending your staffing plans can have legal ramifications as well.


Given the extent to which the coronavirus outbreak has spread across the globe, it is difficult to guarantee that your company and its staff will not be influenced by the aftermath. It is best to think of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on your staffing plans in advance, in case the outbreak

somehow manages to reach your organization.