Vodafone NZ makes Covid-19 contingency plans

By Allen Jack

Vodafone New Zeland has announced the completion of its ‘business continuity test’ - a trial shutdown of its Auckland Smales Farm HQ of 1,200 staff. 

The trial was enacted to test whether the company’s operations could sustainably be managed by staff from remote locations in the event of a Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak forcing a closure of the office.

Companies similarly worried about the disturbance of regular operations could learn a valuable CSR lesson from Vodafone NZ’s proactive approach, which will allow management time to pinpoint and fine-tune any issues arising from such an eventuality. 

Maintaining a flexible approach

Katie Willians, HR Director for Vodafone NZ, emphasised the importance of planning ahead and protecting the welfare of staff. 

“Being faced with the possibility of a threat to the health and wellbeing of our people such as Coronavirus has forced us to activate our business continuity plan and ensure our systems and processes were all able to cope with a worst-case scenario,” she said.


“We have had flexible work policies and smart-working tools for a number of years now but it was important for us to test these at scale and ensure that in doing so we can still maintain a great network service for New Zealand.

“This test has helped us assess our internal communications, as well as the capacity of our IT systems and processes and we are pleased with how it has gone.”

Protecting people and the economy

In a previous article, Business Chief explored Air New Zealand’s response, which included executives taking pay cuts to weather financial fallout, adjusting flight routes/locations and liaising closely with medical authorities on the best way to proceed.

Although it is unlikely that businesses would be able to operate at maximum efficiency under self-isolation circumstances, making plans now, whilst the situation is modestly contained, could pay dividends for companies with the foresight to do so.

For more information on business topics in ANZ, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief ANZ.

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