Learning Important Lessons From The Covid-19 Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has forced a seismic shift in the way we work, whether that's a move towards working from home, a change in the way a store works or ramping up your online side; no business has been left untouched by this global public health emergency. Even with contingency plans in place to cope with natural disasters and/or acts of vandalism, businesses could not be prepared for the fall out of the coronavirus pandemic and the effects of lockdown on the way we live.
The first few weeks of the crisis, as we moved towards lockdown and supermarket shelves were empty, were the hardest to cope with.People unused to working from home suddenly had to get on board with video conferencing, often while home-schooling children.Mobile networks struggled as more and more people worked from home, and some companies struggled to get the bandwidth to run a VPN for home working. In a way, those days feel like a very long time ago because we have learned to adapt to this new way of working and the restrictions placed on our lives, although things are slowly starting to return to normal.
It's likely that you have learned a lot from this experience on a personal and professional level. The extra time we have all had to think about our lives has effected big plans for some people, and led to a cutting back for others. There will be things you've learned outside of the workplace context that can be useful when we all return to our offices and other places of work, as well as things about your business or role that can inform improvements in the future.
This could be a great activity to get your whole team involved with, both as an information and suggestion gathering exercise and for team bonding.If you've all been working separately for months then getting back together in the office at some point will be quite a change, so a team building exercise will go a long way to restoring the atmosphere of the office. Your staff may have some excellent ideas for improvements and new ways of working and they might be able to share things they've seen other businesses doing that you could incorporate or use as inspiration for projects in the future.
Writing a contingency plan for dealing with a pandemic or a similar event, which could have a serious impact on your ability to do business, is a must for every business. We don't know whether there will be a significant second (or even third) wave of infection but we do know that the experts are predicting this pattern based on previous pandemics and the way the world has coped with this one. Many experts have said that social distancing and the use of face coverings is likely to continue for some time, so you need to have a plan in place to deal with that, as well as what you will do if there is a second wave and another total lockdown.
Discussing your contingency plans with your employees means everyone will be aware of what will happen should there be another wave, or an incident that means everyone has to work from home or in a different way for a period of time. It's important that your employees share any concerns with you and that they feel involved in the process, as a good contingency plan needs to take into account the effects of that plan on your staff as individuals and as a whole.
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