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What have we learned from six months of the coronavirus pandemic? There have been huge disruptions to industry, the economy, society and healthcare.
In today's article we'll summarise what we have learned about coronavirus. In particular, we'll discuss how the virus (and the government's response) might have affected your business.
If you are facing any of these issues, please get in touch. We can help you navigate these difficult times.
This Isn't Going Away
Although coronavirus cases are falling (especially in London) the effects of the virus will be will us for decades to come.
Initial talk of treatments like hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir seems to have gone quiet. Immunologists say that vaccines should be measured in years (if at all). We still don't have a cure (let alone a vaccine) for the common cold.
So we should get used to the fact that coronavirus is here to stay. Social distancing and hygiene measures (hand sanitising, masks) will be a feature of British life for the foreseeable future.
When you prepare your business for (re-)opening, don't treat this as a short-term problem to be overcome. In many respects, coronavirus is the "new normal".
The Rise Of Remote Working
With offices shut, most employees have been working from home (where possible). As offices and businesses begin to reopen, the question becomes - will those staff ever come back to the office?
Remote working (working from home) offers some huge benefits to staff:
- Save money on commuting
- Reduce time spent in traffic or on public transport
- Be at home to accept packages
- Live further away in cheaper areas
- Greater flexibility in work hours
- Helpful if you have young children or elderly relatives to care for
It can also save money for the company. No need to provide desk space (let alone tea and coffee!) for your staff. And if they are happier, they should be more productive.
Unfortunately, there are some potential downsides of working from home. This is true both for the individual and the company / business owner:
- It's harder to see what everyone is doing
- Video calls can be confusing, especially with multiple participants
- It can be hard to switch off at the end of the day, especially if you don't have a dedicated study or office
- It can be harder to maintain team morale if people aren't in the same room as each other
The two sections above should have demonstrated one thing. Businesses need to be prepared. Coronavirus isn't going away. And the move to remote working is here to stay (albeit not 100%).
How well is your business set up for coronavirus? Do you have proper hygiene protocols in place? Would clients feel comfortable coming to meet you there?
Have you discussed the safety concerns with staff?
Are you ready for a predominantly remote workforce? How is your tech knowledge? Are you proficient with: