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BMJ’s Business Continuity Strategy for responding to COVID-19

BMJ has put in place a Business Continuity Strategy to ensure that the health risks to our staff are minimised and that we continue to service the requirements of our clients. The evolving circumstances and associated government guidance is, however, changing on a daily basis now and we will continue to review and update our plans in light of these to mitigate the impact.

BMJ’s two offices in London and Glasgow have a long experience in using cutting edge IT to share resources between them to smooth out the fluctuations in project resource requirements. The measures we have put in place to specifically address the COVID-19 challenge build upon the systems we have established over many decades and will help us to mitigate the impact of the unprecedented constraints imposed on the company by the COVID-19 emergency.

All BMJ staff have been provided with a company computer that provides direct access over a VPN to the BMJ network, our software licences and our BIM server, allowing all staff to continue to deliver project activities remotely from home should they be required by government guidance to remain there. All machines are provided with on-line team-working software for effective communication and collaboration. Arrangements have been put in place for their ongoing IT support at home remotely by our IT service provider, who are themselves all It-enabled to work from home. A survey of all staff has confirmed that they all have access to the internet at home and all staff can access BMJ email via business or personal phones.

Our BIM software ArchiCAD allows us to cache all relevant BIM files used by each member of staff onto their computer prior to them taking it home - this will facilitate fast and responsive synchronising of their updates with the BIM server by minimising the volume of data sent over the their domestic internet. We have also provided secure remote desktop access to shared workstations in the office with specialist software.
BMJ are closely following government advice and we have already directed our staff to take a number of steps in this respect including the following measures:

• Advising staff to follow UK or their local government guidelines in relation to self-isolation requirements.
• Testing and assessment of remote working hardware and software in advance of any requirement for staff to work from home.
• Suspension of all non-essential travel and attendance at large business related meetings and conferences.
• Virtual attendance of meetings by conference calling (using software available on all BMJ machines)
• Liaising with Directors to ascertain measures necessary to allow safe physical attendance at meetings or on site if it is required
• Requiring staff and visitors to use hand sanitiser when entering our offices.
• Putting in place policies for staff with a dependant with coronavirus that requires care

BMJ’s board is monitoring government advice across our two office locations and is meeting regularly to review our policies and processes and to put in place mitigation plans accordingly. BMJ are committed to continuing to support you and your business and we will work closely with all our clients and contacts to maintain continuity of service over this challenging period. We hope that by all working together in a professional but caring way, and by keeping open and regular communication, we can rise to these challenges as the epidemic progresses.

If you have any questions, please let us know and we will endeavour to answer.