How To Prepare For A Second Lockdown. As we head towards the winter and the COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise, there is little doubt that the government will toughenen their restrictions once again. We are already seeing this in the form of the ‘rule of six’ which is being enforced in the UK from Monday 13th September. Families and friends who have become accustomed to spending time with their loved ones outdoors are now going to be ushered back into smaller groups once again and this may be a bitter pill to swallow.
But what do these tougher lockdown laws mean for businesses? Well, one thing is for certain, unlike the initial lockdown that took place in March, companies may stand a better chance of survival this time around owing to the fact that there may some sort of warning beforehand. This warning may allow businesses to prepare for a second lockdown and get through it much more easily than they did the first time around.
In this article, we are going to be looking at some practical and realistic ways that you can get your business prepared for a second lockdown should that time come.
What Can Businesses Expect From A Second Lockdown?
Whilst the first lockdown almost came out of the blue, there were a lot of government handouts that very specifically targetted businesses who would have undoubtedly floundered without this help. However, the government simply does not have the capacity or funding to continue keeping every business in the country afloat – but what does this mean for you and your employees?
Essentially, it is highly unlikely that a second government handout will be offered and if there is, it is almost certain to be far more limited than the previous one. This is worth keeping in mind, especially if you are running a business with a lot of employees.
Furthermore, it is likely that, if a second lockdown were to be announced, there would be a lot less tolerance than the first wave. Back then, Coronavirus was new, unknown and admittedly, downright scary but now that people have been given some freedom back, it’s likely that they won’t go down without a fight. Businesses may have to contest with protestors and disgruntled employees alike.
For these reasons and many more, it is imperative that your business has a contingency plan in place in the event that the government announces a second lockdown.
How To Prepare For A Second Lockdown
As the second wave looms over our heads, your business should be making preparations that will ensure its survival, but more importantly, will be of benefit to your employees. There are many things that you can put in place should it come to this, such as the tips we have detailed below.
Working From Home
There are many businesses whose employees are still actively working from home and this is great if it can be done but in some cases, employees have returned to the workplace in force. Yet if a second wave was to occur, all of these staff members would be forced back into their homes and makeshift offices.
One important thing that your business can do in its preparations is to learn from the errors or mistakes that were made from the first working from home policy. This will, of course, be different for each business and could include data protection breaches, a lack of resources and many other factors. But if you address these issues before the lockdown comes into play, your staff and your business will be much more likely to thrive remotely.
Provide Support For Your Staff
If lockdown number one taught us anything it was that loneliness is a very real thing and this is especially true for employees who are struggling to manage their emotional wellbeing as well as keeping up with their work tasks.
It’s difficult being separated from your loved ones at any time but during a pandemic where there is a very real possibility of not seeing them again, this takes an even more profound emotional toll. Add work into the mix and you’re staring down the barrel of a very volatile, figurative gun.
This emotional and mental impact could be exacerbated further with a second wave since we have come so close to normality that having it ripped from under our feet again could send emotionally vulnerable people into a very dangerous downward spiral. As an employer, you have a duty of care to your staff so ensuring that they have support throughout the lockdown is essential.
Children And Families
There is no doubt that having staff members with children and should another lockdown be announced, these children will be learning from home alongside their parents who are trying to juggle their kids’ educations, home life and work all from one room. This can be understandably difficult, so it is worth considering the practicalities of this and delegating tasks elsewhere or giving more manageable deadlines to make the workload of parents a little easier, at the same time as allowing them to remain in employment.
Make Your Policies Clear And Accessible
It’s easy to display health and safety relating to screen time etc in the workplace but many businesses failed to pass this information on to their staff during the first wave making it difficult for employees to understand the seriousness of not taking regular breaks. This is especially true when we look at people who are trying to multitask i.e the parents we discussed in the previous point.
There is no doubt that the second wave of Coronavirus is a very real prospect, especially when we look at how the number of cases is beginning to rise to concerning levels once again. Unlike the first wave, where the country was vastly underprepared, we are given a chance to get ready for the potential of another lockdown.
For businesses, this means looking at how closing down and sending employees to work from home would work without disrupting the flow of work or being massively inconvenient for staff members.
If you can create a lockdown plan now, this will give your business an excellent chance of thriving should there be an announcement of a further lockdown on the country. [Read our Post Making A Passive Income During Lockdown]
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