What if we All Have to Stay Home for A Couple Weeks?
By Jon Aldrich
In today’s post, I am going to take a break from writing about the markets (we all know it is crappy right now, but as I have continuously mentioned, we will get through this) and discuss what we have done here at Focus to prepare for possible disruptions caused by the coronavirus.
As the days go by and we realize that the COVID-19 virus is gaining more of a foothold here in the U.S. the odds increase that we all may possibly need to “shelter in place” for a couple of weeks to slow the spread of the virus. In countries where this is being done or has been done, it has shown effective results at slowing its progress. That is why you are seeing large events such as SXSW (south by Southwest) being cancelled and sporting events like the Golden State Warriors NBA home games going to be played without fans. (As I am writing this, I got an alert that the NCAA will hold both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments without fans.)
We take business disruptions that could be caused by natural disasters, terrorism, pandemics or other major items very seriously and have implemented and successfully tested our own business continuity plan. This plan allows us to continue every-day operations from our homes in the event that we do get cooped up for a bit. Our plan is documented and has been tested.
Janet, Martha and I all have the resources at our homes to work from home and we had a great test run of these capabilities last year in the winter of 2019 when we had that miserable run of days with the air temperature getting down to about -30F. We shut down the office for 2 days during this stretch and all worked from home. The phones continue to ring through to our homes, and since all of our software applications are based in the cloud, we can work from anywhere and do not need to be in the office. We can even hold virtual meetings with our screen sharing software if we need to have a meeting when the physical office was closed.
In fact, technology has made it so that I am every bit as efficient working from home as I am at the office. The only thing that is not as efficient is that Ande wants to go out a lot more and chase squirrels, but his feet get awfully dirty, so I have to clean him up every time he goes outside.
So, if we do all end up being kept in isolation for some time, we will still be operating business as usual. All of the companies we do business with including Schwab & Fidelity have their own plans in place and would likely be utilizing them as well.
We hope that you all stay safe during this turbulent and unsettling time, but we want you to rest assured that we will still be able to assist you with any needs that you may have even if our physical office is not open.