Dutch high-tech companies seem to be taking increasingly stringent measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It started with restricting employee travel to high-risk areas, but by now, suppliers shouldn’t be surprised to be asked to conduct contract negations over Skype. That probably beats standing in line for a long time, though, because your customer or business relation set up screening posts at their premises.
The larger companies ASML, Canon, NXP and Philips base their preventive measures on guidelines issued by health organizations, they told Bits&Chips. Some of these measures have little impact on doing business on a daily basis, such as asking employees who are feeling under the weather to work from home or to follow good basic hygiene practices (washing hands, no handshakes).
Increasingly, however, employees are being discouraged to avoid interpersonal contacts outside the company unless absolutely necessary. Initially, this applied primarily to larger gatherings, such as attending training courses and conferences, but over the past week, Bits&Chips has seen and heard more and more evidence that meetings of any kind are now being discouraged. Although perhaps not financially, this is definitely starting to impact the high-tech sector in conducting business.