Along with many people, it has been over four weeks since I took my laptop, computer screens and phone from the office and set up at home. Thanks to our amazing IT team, we were up and running almost immediately from home and then followed the strangest few weeks of my career so far…
A plethora of new guidance, laws and updates, which were communicated at lightning speed through emails, blogs and twitter. Employers were working frantically to address the impact of COVID-19 measures on their operations and workforce and advice was required urgently. Then came the Job Retention Scheme of which the basics were announced by the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, on 20th March 2020 and a further four updated guidance notes. At one point I remember thinking, surely there is only so many times you can use the word ‘furlough’ in one day!?
So, in this month’s Resource instead of bombarding you with further COVID-19 news or more guidance from the Government, we thought you might all appreciate a little light relief from your day to day pressures whether that be work, health or your family. This blog will touch on the things I have learnt during the last four weeks.
It is fascinating how more distance can actually bring people closer together. Ironically a forced lockdown has probably meant I have spoken more to my brother in the last three weeks than I did in the last three months! But in all seriousness, it has opened so many people up to the accessibility that can be achieved through technology and I truly believe and hope this will be a fundamental change to how workforces interact going forward.
Working from home
I have seen colleagues and clients doing an amazing job balancing working from home with other family commitments. I am in awe and it is positive to see such flexibility from businesses to accommodate these challenging times. I promise I am being honest when I say your child/dog/cat made me smile during our Zoom call!
The issues that clients are currently facing are unprecedented and come with an emotional toll. Business leaders and HR professionals are having to consider furloughing, sickness leave, bereavement and potential redundancies all at once. The importance of a coffee break and five minutes in the fresh air for both you and your teams cannot be underestimated. A colleague of mine suggested diarising virtual coffee breaks with colleagues where work projects and COVID-19 were off limits for a five minute catch up.
Following the initial crisis management it would seem the majority of clients and businesses are getting settled into the new normal, but now is the time for you to be thinking strategically and planning for when the restrictions are lifted and businesses strive to get back to normality (whatever that may look like like).
Amongst all the uncertainty and change, we are here to help and support you and your business through this challenging time. If you would like any advice on Employment and HR issues or you would just like a virtual coffee and a catch up (BYOC – bring your own coffee!), please drop me a message on firstname.lastname@example.org
or 01228 552220.