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Managing international business during the coronavirus pandemic

The necessary changes have made it nearly impossible to travel overseas leaving many business owners clueless as to how to proceed. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to stay afloat and manage your international operations while remaining safe and saving lives.

The coronavirus stepped on the scene and instantly changed the landscape of business around the world. In an effort to save the lives of millions and slow down the spread of the virus, government officials and business leaders across the globe have mandated quarantine, stay at home, shelter in place, and travel restrictions forcing many business owners to have to rethink and make changes to their current practices. 

For businesses that operate internationally, this poses even bigger challenges. The necessary changes have made it nearly impossible to travel overseas leaving many business owners clueless as to how to proceed. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to stay afloat and manage your international operations while remaining safe and saving lives. 

Cancel all non-essential travel
It is not worth the safety and wellbeing of you, your staff, or their families to plan business trips that aren’t essential. So, the first thing you should do is cancel any upcoming business trips that aren’t urgent. 

Arrange virtual meetings and conference calls
To remain compliant with social distancing regulations and stay at home orders, it is highly recommended that businesses adapt to the necessary software to host virtual meetings or conference calls to handle international dealings. Such software is very affordable and easy to install and operate from virtually anywhere so all necessary parties can be in attendance. 

Setup a remote workforce
If you need to regularly interact with your international teams it is best to develop a remote workforce so that you can continue working while remaining safe at home. Using tools like online chatrooms, team management applications, filesharing services, and project management software can make it easy for your team to collaborate on projects, hold meetings, talk to clients, and complete tasks virtually. 

Check travel restrictions and coronavirus updates
Though much of the world is on lockdown, not all travel destinations are off-limits. If you feel that your business trip is of extreme importance, just be sure to check a few things before taking off. Check to see the latest updates on travel restrictions and coronavirus updates. Steer clear of places that are categorized as heavily impacted. Also, be sure to follow any requests when traveling to places that aren’t heavily impacted. 

Reserve a room in an award-winning hotel
If you never paid attention to the award plaques in the hotel lobbies during your travel, now is the time to do so. These plaques essentially mean that these hotels are ranked high in their industry for quality customer service. These are the hotels you want to reserve a room with during your international travels. Should you have to self-quarantine after traveling internationally, you want to know that you’re in a hotel that is clean, safe, and has all the accommodations you’ll need to remain comfortable during your stay. 

Take care of business
If you had to travel for business during the coronavirus pandemic, it is important that you not take this as a time to enjoy yourself, but to handle business and get back home safely. Skip any plans you had for leisure activity during your travels. Get to and from the places you need to be to conduct business and then retreat back to your hotel to remain safe. It would be a shame to contract the virus so far away from home and cause more issues. 

Follow health tips and social distancing regulations
During your international business travels, be sure to keep yourself and others safe by following health tips and social distancing regulations. This means covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, washing your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, eliminate shaking hands (or reduce it), and stay at least 6ft away from others. If possible, also make sure that you have a few things on hand to remain sanitized like hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, gloves, and a mask. 

It goes without saying that this coronavirus outbreak has had a negative impact on businesses from all industries. If you’re trying to adapt to these changes and keep your international business afloat, it is imperative that you take the extra precautions such as those listed above to protect yourself, your employees, your families, and residents in the destinations you’re traveling to.

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