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A lot of our clients have contacted us recently to ask us what to do next. How best to prepare their businesses for the great reopening of British society.
If you're looking for tips on what to do next now that coronavirus is fading away, this article is for you. We've got our top tips for making the second half of 2020 safe and productive for your business.
You may find the following articles helpful:
- How Your Business Can Withstand a Second Wave Infection
- Coronavirus - What Have We Learned
- Coronavirus - How Will It Affect The Economy
Communication With Your Staff
Your priority in the short term should be your staff. They will be concerned and looking to you for answers:
- Is my job still viable?
- Is the business ready to reopen?
- Can I work from home?
- If I have to come into the office, is it safe?
- Is the business in good financial shape?
In a situation with a lot of uncertainty and doubt, communication is key. Don't hide anything from your team. Be open about the challenges that lie ahead. Make them aware that things will be different, and difficult.
As far as you can, bring them into the decision making process. Get their thoughts. Ask their advice. See if they can help each other. Perhaps someone who drives could offer to help others get to work.
You may find that necessary changes actually suit your employees. For example, you might suggest that they stagger their shift patterns. 9-5 could become 8-4 or 10-6. Some people, especially parents, might find this more convenient. And a lot of people actually prefer working from home (see below).
Check Your Compliance
If you plan to reopen your business, it's essential that you stay compliant. The government has published extensive guidance for:
You should read the guidelines very carefully. As a first start, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- Have you carried out a thorough risk assessment? Is the business safe to reopen?
- Do you need all your staff to come into the office? Can they work remotely?
- Can you deliver your goods and services remotely. Do you need face-to-face contact with customers?
- Do you have the right equipment (including facemasks, hand sanitiser etc)?
If you are a small business owner, you will have to manage this yourself. If you run a larger company, you will need to co-ordinate with your heads of IT, HR and Operations to ensure everything is in order.
Rethink Your Business Model
Companies that were profitable in past years may find it hard to make ends meet now. Conversely, businesses have an opportunity to explore new markets, new ways of working and new strategies.
Is your business model optimal for a post-corona world? Is now the time to go more digital? Should you look to move to complete remote working? This is something that Square and Twitter have done recently.
As the Harvard Business School's Prithwiraj Choudhury recently explained "remote work will become strategic". Especially in the short term, you should expert the majority of your workforce to work from home.
If you would like some advice on what to do next, please get in touch.