CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE

Wednesday 18 March 2020

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 18.03.2020

We appreciate the coronavirus outbreak sees many of our members seeking guidance on how to operate during this time.

Our primary responsibility is to maintain the physical and mental health of The Communications Council community, specifically, our members, staff, and event and course participants. While the situation is constantly evolving, it’s important we stay positive, calm and professional.

Creativity is needed now more than ever, and we must remain confident in our industry’s ability to work together to keep commerce and culture alive.

The information provided below is for general purposes only. For current and specific advice, please follow https://www.health.gov.au, your State government announcements, and relevant employer policies.

ADVICE FOR INDIVIDUALS

Uncertain times provide challenges, but also opportunities for individuals to thrive. In order to maintain order and sanity during this period, consider the following measures:

Follow the advice of your workplace, relevant government and health authorities - Maintain social distancing measure, avoid handshaking, wash hands regularly, try to stay 1.5 metres away from each other, avoid large group gatherings.

Check your workplace policy around flexible working arrangements - While many may be implementing ‘work from home’ procedures, this is conditional on the policies of your organisation. If you plan to work from home, check out our tips below.

Stay calm, stay connected - Maintain a positive mindset and stay connected with colleagues, clients and stakeholders throughout the day, regardless of the environment you’re working in.


ADVICE FOR BUSINESSES


While the long-term implications of coronavirus are yet to be understood, its impact on how we do business is already setting in. No more hand-shaking, non-essential travel bans, empty office buildings; it’s enough to make anyone nervous. But for businesses that are agile and willing to embrace new processes, the crisis may present a range of opportunities.

The following guidelines will help maintain the overall health and safety of your staff and colleagues, and keep business moving.

Get the facts - For up-to-date advice for employers, check the advice of https://www.health.gov.au and your relevant State’s health authorities.

Be flexible - Embrace new ways of working and be ready to change quickly. Both staff and clients will be seeking stability and leadership during this period, and businesses must adapt quickly to changing conditions

Establish routine early - If social distancing measures are increased, we may need to prepare for entirely new ways of working. Ensure all staff are well-informed about how new routines will work. Try and maintain normality by maintaining regular activities but changing the way they are held - for example video-conferencing in favour of in-person meetings. Communicate changes clearly and ensure all staff and stakeholders are enabled to adapt to the new routines, particularly in regards to digital resources - ie. computer, internet connection, correct video conferencing software, etc.

Keep it clean - all offices should have hand sanitiser easily accessible and available to all staff and visitors. All staff to follow strict hygiene policies, and avoid hand-shaking and unnecessary skin-to-skin contact.

Stay calm, communicate clearly - Calm and regular communication will help alleviate anxiety and maintain regular routines.


TIPS FOR WORKING REMOTELY

Working from home is a dream for some, nightmare for others. Fortunately, these days many businesses are well set-up to work under these conditions, and individuals are accustomed to checking in with clients and colleagues remotely.

In order to stay focused, positive and connected while working from home, follow these tips:

Ensure you’re properly set up - Carve out a dedicated workspace, ensure a good internet connection, and have headphones and a microphone for phone/video conferencing if required

Start the day right - Check-in with colleagues on a central hub every morning (eg. Slack, Google Hangouts, etc) before 9:30am

Stay in touch - Update your status throughout the day - ie. at a minimum, people should know when you’re ‘available’, ‘out to lunch’, etc. Sign off and let everyone know when you’re finishing up for the day.

Be prepared - Have all relevant conferencing software downloaded before videos/calls. Ensure your microphones and speakers are working and establish a routine for regular meetings.

Be disciplined - Be strict about internal meeting times and make sure you’re ready for scheduled calls or video conferences.

The above is good practice for whenever you’re working remotely but will be especially important in the coming months when it’s likely we’ll have many people out of the office at the same time.

Thank you

The Communications Council team


TCC Courses and Events

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve rapidly, we will be taking our lead from the advice issued by the Australian and State Governments.

A core part of TCC’s business is to run educational courses and events. We have several planned over the next few months. It is important that we ensure we take appropriate measures to ensure our staff, volunteers, students and attendees can feel as safe as possible in the current circumstances.

Please note that TCC is fully committed to providing the best possible experience for all participants in our education courses during these trying and uncertain times and we're working hard to ensure a great outcome for everyone concerned.


AWARD Awards, AWARD 40th Celebration and AWARD Creative Festival
For all details about AWARD Awards, the AWARD 40th Celebration and the AWARD Creative Festival, please read AWARD Chair Cam Blackley's message.


AWARD School
We're very pleased to confirm that AWARD School will continue to run this year, as scheduled, but with some key changes.

Crucially, AWARD School will now be delivered online as an interim measure. Both Monday night lectures and Thursday night tutorials will run online. All tutors, speakers and students will be provided a briefing regarding use of the secure online platform in the coming days.

We have every intention of reinstating in-person AWARD School course activities as and when this becomes feasible.


AdSchool
We are committed to delivering all scheduled 2020 AdSchool courses and are currently developing contingency plans for these courses via online platforms to ensure all participants, lecturers and guest speakers can be confident of their personal safety and wellbeing. 

Further details will be announced next week. In the meantime, enrolments for all AdSchool courses remain open.

We will re-instate face-to-face AdSchool course activities as soon as feasible.


IPA Business & Agency Leadership
This course has been postponed. It will be rescheduled once we have confidence that a residential course is safe for all delegates.


Other Courses and Events
Please visit our website for regular updates on the status of all other TCC courses and events.




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