Stay Ahead: Insights from APCO

Gulf Employees Look to Governments for COVID-19 Guidance

Mamoon Sbeih, president of APCO Worldwide's Middle East & North Africa region, highlights the findings of a recent APCO Worldwide survey on the impact of COVID-19 in the Arabian Gulf. You can also watch a webinar discussing these findings on APCO's Coronavirus Hub.
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"Concerns about the impact of COVID-19 are high in the Arabian Gulf. In Bahrain, 80% of people say they’re very worried or extremely worried by the coronavirus. In the UAE the figure is 70% and in Saudi Arabia, 69%.

The survey of 1,200 people in Bahrain, the UAE and Saudi Arabia—the first of its kind in the region—also found that employees expect their companies to improve workplace hygiene and begin work from home (WFH) policies, either voluntary or compulsory."

How Social Media Can Help - and Hurt - During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Nicole Monge, senior associate director in APCO's Washington D.C. office, talks the good and the bad brought by social media amid the COVID-19 pandemic and how it may change the way we interact online:​

"This pandemic ultimately will change not only the way we physically engage each other, but also how we interact with one another on social media and what we choose to share, retweet and discuss.

As a community, we are now talking about social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which leads to more phone time, more time to go down the rabbit hole that the Internet can be and more time to spread information that is not necessarily reflective of the most current virus statistics." 

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Best Practices on Working from the Homefront

As offices switch to work-from-home, Julie Jack and Kimberly Gardiner share ten trends and best practices from APCO's Future of Work study to ease the transition:
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"Turn on the camera. Employees who are new to remote working may feel a lack of collaboration. Encourage employees to hold all meetings via video. Camera shy? Consider mandating that everyone wear a hat to help break the ice and ensure that no one shies away from joining because of a bad hair day.

Provide Support. Employees might feel overwhelmed during this period. Share information about where they can go for help and additional resources. For instance, APCO’s Parents Affinity Group provided a list of resources for parents who are now juggling with homeschooling and working."

emPOWER Outbreak 2020: Managing Your Response to COVID-19

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To help clients manage crises related to COVID-19, APCO has developed emPOWER Outbreak 2020, which allows organizations to connect virtually from the safety of their offices and homes, play out scenarios online, evaluate decision-making and resources in real time, and come away with valuable insights that can translate immediately to protocol and actions.

Click here for more information.

Some Positive News

  • Vaccine development: An experimental vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. began the first stages of a clinical trial, with testing on 45 healthy adults in Seattle, The New York Times
  • China's new cases plummet: China has now closed down its last temporary hospital built to handle COVID-19 as there are not enough new cases to warrant them, Independent
  • Drugs that work: Doctors in India have successfully treated two Italian patients with COVID-19, administering a combination of drugs - principally Lopinavir and Ritonavir, alongside Oseltamivir and Chloroquine. Several are now suggesting the same medical treatment, on a case-by-case basis, globally, The Times of India

More Tips from Around the Water Cooler


“The best that economic and financial policymakers can do right now is limit the damage. They cannot turn the economy around because this is a health issue, not an economic or financial issue,”

        - Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor to Allianz SE

Solidarity among nations, solidarity among healthworkers, solidarity among all of us is the only way to stop this COVID-19 pandemic."

        - Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization Director-General
The APCO team is working with clients globally to manage this crisis, and we stand ready to support your needs. For more resources from APCO, including our latest research, information on how we can help or to contact us, visit