One of the major concerns of businesses in case avian flu breaks out as a pandemic and spreads throughout the population is continuity of operations. A recent study by the World Bank pegged the cost of a possible outbreak to reach the equivalent of US$ 800 billion per year, including possible losses incurred.
One scenario faced by businesses is the possibility of extremely high absenteeism rates, as up to 25% of the population or 15 million individuals may be affected if such an outbreak occurs. This may not only be in the homefront, but also in cases where some business processed are outsourced—such as customer service operations in Asian countries.
Company formation and business solutions experts believe a total suspension of business hours should not necessarily be the case with an outbreak of avian flu. On the other hand, businesses should adequately take advantage of technological solutions that would make working remotely—say from home—possible. For instance, business can use Voice-over-Intenet protocol, email, and even instant messaging to keep in touch.