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Navigating The Workplace During The Ukrainian & Russian Conflict

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As the tragic events in Ukraine continue to wage on, employers face some new uncertainties regarding business sanctions as well as employees located in specific parts of the world. The major concerns are the safety of workers, the sanctions impacting your business, and the rapid onset of anxiety among your employees. It is important to consider these effects as the situation in Ukraine evolves and make sure your risk management team is taking the right initiatives to minimize the impact. 

Employee Security

During periods of conflict, it is always important to put your employee’s safety first. The areas that are affected by the conflict are being shut down completely with relocation taking effect. In Ukraine, all males from the ages of 18 – 60 are restricted to leave the country and must serve in the military for the duration of the conflict. Relocation can take long periods of time due to flight restrictions, congestion at borders, and a lot more. If you have employees or vendors in these areas of conflict, it is important to maintain strong communication lines and be willing to accommodate as much as possible. You should strongly consider reassigning affected employees’ tasks or increasing deadlines. Backup communication lines should be put in place as well in the event of a compromise.  

Financial Restrictions

Many countries are placing restrictions on certain Russian entities like banks. These restrictions can make it difficult to virtually impossible to receive or send payments to and from Russian entities. Companies that have Russian affiliations or employees should take a close look at these restrictions to see if any billing patterns will be affected. The impact on employees, vendors, and services should be kept in mind. 

Mental Health

The geopolitical climate may add any amount of stress and anxiety to workers in any location around the world. This comes at a very rough time due to many just recovering from the effects of a pandemic on society. Stress can compound very easily and it is important to be aware of this. Remind your employees of all the resources available to relieve stress and practice good mental health habits. Routinely review workplace behavior such as speech, social media, and so forth for potentially controversial and harmful content. It is important to avoid political beliefs and personal conflicts from arising in the workplace. 

Cyber Vulnerabilities 

Unfortunately, many harmful entities are posing and asking for people to spread awareness of the conflict around the web. These entities are looking to attack wealthy individuals and companies to fund their own private efforts. Be aware of faulty fundraising links and graphic content that may ask for support. 

I hope this helps!

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