Restaurants, bars and pubs are re-opening and we’re being incentivised by the Government to ‘eat out to help out’ with the recovery of the hospitality sector. It’s a clear push for us to contribute to job retention and getting the country back to some sense of ‘normality’…….not forgetting an excuse for us to enjoy ourselves.
Offices and industrial workplaces are also being prepared to welcome back employees and visitors.
This is an area I’ve been working on with my own team and we’ll be ready to accommodate those team members who’d like to ‘test’ getting back to the Clear Vision office from the end of this month, working towards our whole team returning on Monday 7th September.
There’s nervousness as we approach this stage of course, and I’d like to share with you how I’ve been working to manage these nerves, in the hope that these strategies will help you as you navigate this challenging stage.
Getting back to work involves more than simply turning up as we would have done pre-lockdown.
Workplaces must be modified to adhere to the legal requirements of social distancing.
It’s vital to systematically assess and address the risks in your particular premises. It comforts me to know that this process has been carefully and properly completed at the Clear Vision office, and adapted working systems are being put in place for our team members. I’m confident this will reassure my team as well.
You can check out the specific Government guidelines for your type of workplace to help you complete this process for your business.
We’re also starting to share some simple 60 second videos covering the main aspects of preparing an office like ours, on our You Tube Channel. Check these out and subscribe to the Channel to be alerted as more are shared.
Take reassurance from the experts
Have a think about where your current concerns lie.
Maybe they stem from the responsibility you have to safeguard your employees and visitors to your premises. Maybe they exist as a result of your own trepidation about mixing with others outside your household again. For me, it’s a bit of both.
Wherever they lie, bear in mind that humans are adaptable. The Psychologist Emma Kenny reminds us that as humans we are able to rationalise. Our brains assess, re-adapt and cope with changes to our circumstances.
You adapted, and saw others adapt, to stark lifestyle changes during lockdown. You’ll see your team, and others who come into contact with your business, adapt again.
Remember it’s not your chaos
For some owners, re-opening their business will involve making tough decisions. Decisions about business structures, activities and even employees.
Your business may not be able to serve all the stakeholders in your business exactly as you did before lockdown.
Your working model may need to be altered as you re-open, or in the medium to long term.
Hanging on to an unhealthy level of responsibility for the actions you are obliged to take will not change what you need to do. Nor will it assist your ability to effectively ‘steer your ship’ in its new form.
So if you find yourself having to consider tough business decisions, remember that the turmoil caused by lockdown is not of your making. It’s not your chaos.
Also bear in mind that strategy helps us to cope with change.
Make sure you are clear about your strategy for moving forward and if you’re still struggling with this, make sure your accountant helps you.
Business-wise, we’re helping out clients prepare a forecast to provide clarity on the financial position of their businesses and highlight the changes they need to make to keep their businesses viable and strong.
Use the lessons you have learned
Strategy also helps us on a personal basis too.
I recently spent a valuable hour reflecting on my experiences during lockdown. What I found difficult. What I found helpful.
Learning to be patient with myself and pausing more frequently has helped me to change the way I react to things emotionally. There have been many things that have pressed my buttons during this period but increasingly I have taken the time to reflect on the most productive behaviour which has helped me change my reaction.
I also took the opportunity to have a week off and used the time to do something I love to do; spend a day at the beach with my son Stanley. The sense of freedom this provided has really energised me as I work with my team as we journey out of lockdown. The shackles of the last few months are slowly coming off and the opportunity to take in the beauty of the sea and the sensual enjoyment this brings was awesome.
Lockdown has been a significant event for everybody, one that we can all learn from, so perhaps you want to join me in completing this exercise. We’ve produced this lockdown assessment process to guide you. If you’d like to discuss it or you would like our help to complete it, we’ll gladly take you through it, just ask.
Do share the outcomes of your own reflections. I’d be interested to hear about the conclusions you come to, personally and for your business.
With best wishes
Matthew Rogers FCCA