Amid coronavirus concerns, Aflac testing contingency plan to have half its employees work from home

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Columbus-based Aflac has confirmed they are testing their ability to have employees work from home as coronavirus concerns continue to leave markets unsteady and business in flux.

WRBL News 3 reached out to Aflac Wednesday afternoon about the possibility of large numbers of employees working off site.

Teresa White, Aflac U.S. President released the following statement just before the markets closed for the day, reading:

“In response to the Coronavirus, we have stepped up our measures of preparedness. To that end, several departments are currently testing their systems by having a percentage of individuals work from home, temporarily. This is to ensure business continuity in the event of a greater need for employees to work remotely. Our goal is to adequately measure our ability to have 50% of our workforce work from home.”

Teresa White, President, Aflac U.S.

The company says their first concerns are the safety and security of their employees and customers, and continuing to provide outstanding service for their customers.

The statement from White comes after inquiries were made regarding the effect of the virus in international markets, considering Aflac’s primary business performing in the U.S. and Japan.

Aflac also says it is continuing to monitor the situation. The coronavirus global effects continue to remain fluid as countries work to address health and preparedness concerns.

Aflac released the following statement on Feb. 28:

“Like many companies, Aflac Incorporated is concerned about the wellbeing of all people, especially those in our two key markets the United States and Japan. We have business continuity plans in place, and an integrated team of leaders have been actively monitoring and planning for a variety of contingencies since January. Our restrictions limiting international travel in both the U.S. and Japan to only critical instances remain in place until at least March 31. We are using alternative types of communication, including video conferencing and teleconferencing to help mitigate risk of the virus spreading and its impact. We evaluate our plans daily and have communicated the travel restrictions and preventative hygiene measures to our employees.”

Jon Sullivan, Aflac Director of Corporate Communications

Aflac’s stock fell to $36.94 per share, losing $2.28 per share or 5.81 percent on Wednesday’s trading. This loss was consistent with the 5.86 percent loss the market suffered as a whole on Wednesday.

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