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RTE asks employees to work from home due to Covid-19 fears

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Employees at Donnybrook have been asked to work from home

Employees at Donnybrook have been asked to work from home

Employees at Donnybrook have been asked to work from home

RTE has asked a number of its employees to work from home due to concerns about the coronavirus.

A spokesperson for the State broadcaster stressed that none of its staff are currently self-isolating, however.

"Like every other organisation and business, RTE is preparing continuity plans in the event of a widescale outbreak of Covid-19 in the community," the spokesperson said.

"The ability of RTE to provide a news service is core to our public service remit, therefore RTE has asked a number of journalists who are normally based in the Donnybrook newsroom to work from alternative locations at the current time as a contingency measure,"the spokesperson added.

Disruption

Employers are taking various measures to reduce disruption from the virus.

Around 1,000 Dublin-based staff at recruitment firm Indeed were last week told to stay away from their office indefinitely.

The company said it does not have any confirmed cases of employees with the virus, but that precautions were necessary.

In a statement last week, Indeed said: "As the Covid-19 coronavirus evolves into a global health concern, we have made the decision to ask all employees to work from home until further notice."

Another major employer, Facebook, which has 4,000 Irish staff, has cancelled "social" visits to its Dublin office, but remains open for business.

Elsewhere, last Thursday Google Dublin reopened its doors to almost 8,000 workers after an employee who had reported flu-like symptoms tested negative for the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The company, which is Dublin's largest multinational tech employer, had told the majority of its 8,000 workers to work from home for two days.

It also said that the episode would be used as a trial to test remote working capabilities.

Meanwhile, last Friday retailer Penneys shut its Dublin head offices in a bid to test how well it can cope if all staff work from their homes.

Penneys shops across Ireland operated as normal, but around 1,000 staff at the fashion chain's headquarters in Dublin worked from home to test operational readiness, should coronavirus cause further disruption.

The clothing company said that it had not had any cases of the coronavirus among its employees. However, the illness has not come as bad news for all companies.

An Irish remote-working app has reported a 163pc weekly increase in enquiries from firms planning for business continuity in the event of disruption from the virus.

Magnet Networks' Magnet Talk app allows employees to access their desk phones from a remote location, such as a mobile handset or laptop, and to make calls from the same office number.

"This technology can allow companies to operate a dispersed workforce with no disruption and the same overview of all activities," said Magnet Networks marketing director Louise McKeown.