It seems that almost every news story, discussion, and to be honest pretty much wherever you turn, Coronavirus is in the spotlight. Even the most grounded person can begin to feel that with this constant flow of Coronavirus stories their anxiety levels are beginning to rise. Of course, it is important to be informed but it does need to be accurate and reliable. If you are beginning to think that the Coronavirus is taking over your life then it might be time to gain some perspective…
Stay in control
In these unprecedented and uncertain times, we are not suggesting that the situation isn’t worrying; businesses and lives have been turned upside down but it is very easy to lose perspective. A helpful way to look at the situation is to see the bigger picture - this time will pass and it isn’t permanent.
You are in control of your perspective and staying positive can be important for our wellbeing and of all those around us including family members, colleagues, and neighbours.
We provide some tips on protecting your mental health in uncertain times which is well worth a read to help you gain perspective.
The show must go on where it can
It is accepted that the UK has moved away from what is termed ‘business as usual’ for many organisations, retail and hospitality industries have obviously been hit very hard. Businesses are facing many challenges from financial to operational and it is becoming increasingly clearer that this is going to be more long term than short term. With this in mind, it is even more important for businesses to focus and not lose perspective.
This is now the time to question the workings of your whole company. Ask questions such as “how can the core of my core business continue with the current challenges” e.g. possible staff shortages, working from home, forced closures? Remaining focused and dealing with adversity can actually be turned into a positive and the experience can make you stronger.
But it is important to take it one step at a time, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Steps to take to help you remain in control
When thinking positively about a situation it is easier to remain in control and tackle any issues in a systematic way. If you are a business owner or employee responsible for business strategy & operations we have some suggestions and practical steps you can take in light of the challenges organisations are facing. It is not an exhaustive list but will hopefully provide somewhere to make a start on continuing to carry on despite the many challenges in the way.
Ensure homeworkers can carry out their role effectively
If you are in the position to allow your employees to work from home, talk to them to ensure they have all the right equipment (such as printers, laptop, phone, internet connection, computer monitor, keyboard & mouse…) and software to carry out their role to the best of their ability. It can be daunting for staff to pick up the contents of their desk and move it to home. There are many considerations such as set up issues, lack of physical support and lack of paperwork or documents that may usually be needed but cannot go home with staff due to GDPR restrictions. Even additional software may need to be purchased for staff to work from home and teething issues could be encountered while it is being set up and staff are learning to use it. Do staff have access to contact directories if numbers have been stored on office phones? Also now is the time to detail any additional costs the company will cover such as staff claiming back for telephone calls whilst they are working from home. Remind staff that you are fully aware of the difficulties and that patience with one another is of the utmost importance as everyone gets settled into their home office.
Keep open lines of communication
An important consideration if your business has instructed everyone to work from home is how are you going to maintain open communication between employees and managers? You do not want employees to feel isolated and alone. Do all employees know how to contact their manager and other colleagues? Thankfully there are a variety of methods to make contact; from email, telephone calls, instant messaging and video conferencing. Using a mixture of these is going to provide the best communication. Meetings can be set up via video calls for individuals and groups. It is easier to feel part of a team when you are all sat in the office but sharing tips, concerns and helping out your colleagues through group chat channels can help keep the team spirit alive. It is also important for businesses that have had to close or drastically change working practices to stay in communication with employees, even if they are not going to be at work for a prolonged period. Employees that do not have regular contact may feel anxious about their role and day-to-day jobs.
Talk Talk Talk
If you have any financial concerns over the impact of the Coronavirus on your business it is time to start talking now! There are a variety of conversations you can have to see what allowances and support is available. Contact your insurer, your bank, HMRC, your local authority for example. The government has also set up a business support helpline for free advice. To find out the relevant telephone numbers for different parts of the UK click here.
The government announced plans to support the UK economy in light of the massive challenges businesses are facing. There will be financial loans available to businesses to help them survive and get through the next few months.
That means any business who needs access to cash to pay their rent, their salaries, suppliers or purchase stock will be able to access a government-backed loan or credit on attractive terms
- Chancellor, Rishi Sunak
Everyone has resilience but the degree of being resilient differs from person to person. Some people are naturally more resilient but it doesn’t mean they don’t still feel the severity of a problem. Instead, they’ve found a way to deal with the situation more quickly than others. Since the government measures introduced to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, in terms of business resilience, companies need to adapt to these limitations and maintain business operations where possible. They also need to continue to maintain the health & safety of staff, assets and value to their customers. Businesses need to face the reality of financial constraints and work on strategies to avoid downtime. Looking at what will make them vulnerable will help them adjust strategies to survive the current climate. It is so important to prepare and educate staff so they fully understand the situation and do not panic, as this is counterproductive.
How is iHASCO maintaining perspective?
Here at iHASCO we’ve tried to be as adaptable as possible and have a great team of people to carry the business forward despite the challenges organisations across the UK are facing. Our company culture is well established, which we believe helps make us stronger and more confident to keep calm and carry on!
We are a thoughtful organisation that considers our staff, customers and suppliers in equal measures and we are keeping lines of communication open so anyone with concerns can reach out for support. For us we are fortunate that we can carry on with our day to day roles, albeit from home, and knowing our online courses can make a real difference to those that use them helps us to remain focussed and keep a good perspective.
The team at iHASCO has been sharing photos of their workspaces at home and their pets that are keeping them company while they are working. Teams have set up daily group video calls so everyone feels supported and motivated.
We do appreciate that there are businesses and individuals going through incredibly tough times. We hope that this blog and the resources below can help you in whatever your situation might be.
You can and will get through this but there is lots of support out there, so do not be afraid to use it. Here are just a few contacts:
- Government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice
- More information for businesses affected by Covid-19
- Mental health support - Mind