In a new survey, more than 70 percent of companies’ primary business continuity concern is further disruption from a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While there is a keen focus on return to work measures, one fifth (21%) of the respondents still don’t have a pandemic plan and process in place. Furthermore, more than 20% expect mental health issues to also pose a major threat in the coming year. The International SOS Return to Work survey reveals business operations impacts of COVID-19, as well as the key mitigation measures organizations are prioritizing to strengthen. The survey analyzed responses from professionals responsible for supporting the health, safety, security and well-being of employees.

Are organizations doing enough to return to work safely and combat a second wave?

The survey found that the top two priorities organizations are implementing in their safe return to work are:

  • updating business continuity plans (60%)
  • on-the-ground support for colleagues (59%).

These are followed by implementation of COVID-19 compliance monitoring tools (56%), health screening (50%) and mental health support (44%).



Updating business continuity plans and protocols


On-the-ground support for employees


COVID-19 compliance monitoring tools


Investing in fit-for-work health screening


Providing more mental health support


Site threat monitoring tools


Analytical tools for assessing return to work / ops


Investing in TeleHealth services for employees


Increased investment in employee healthcare


Mental Health at-risk

The risk to mental health is considered the fourth biggest threat to business continuity in the next 12 months, with one fifth of respondents fearing that this will have an impact. This follows disruption from a potential COVID-19 second wave (73%), country lockdowns (67%) and international border restrictions (57%). The results revealed that more than 17% of those surveyed said that mental health issues had already impacted the continuityi of their business operations.