COVID-19: Exit & Recovery (Part 2)
In part 2 of our series about the UK’s exit and recovery from COVID-19, we highlight some of the other issues UK businesses need to address when exiting from lockdown restrictions.
What has Covid-19 taught UK businesses as to trading strategies?
Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic quickly highlighted the weaknesses in some UK business strategies. In the UK, for hospitality and leisure businesses the pandemic was overwhelming – and not in a good way! However, some UK businesses have learnt lessons in what can be achieved by reviewing and changing old ways of working and trading methods.
COVID-19 is still with us and will likely remain part of our lives for the foreseeable future. However, with the success of the UK’s NHS vaccination policy – and vaccination programs across the world, living normally will soon be possible, even with new variants.
COVID-19 has taught UK businesses that to carry on and survive businesses need to be flexible in their management methods and business ethos, to navigate the challenges thrown up by the pandemic. This is key to maintaining productivity, profitability, staff morale and achieving business stated objectives.
Staff Working Remotely
The pre-COVID-19 business management ways that said that staff can only work productively when centralised and directly managed by their bosses i.e., working from home is a euphemism for a staff member ‘taking additional paid holiday’!
It has been shown that by having to adhere to the COVID-19 restrictions that most working commitments can still be completed satisfactorily when working remotely. Staff working remotely have maintained their productivity and with the use of modern technology have also maintained the necessary communication networks with their managers, colleagues and, most importantly, their business customers/clients.
It must be said that remote working does have its problems. Mainly ensuring that both employer and employee make the effort to ensure that working relations and communications are maintained with clear lines for reporting, accountability, career development and maintaining the required customer/client services and productivity/profitability.
Future Working Strategies
We have already mentioned the new working practice of remote working. The other area of most concern to UK businesses going forward is the use of and keeping up to date business technology and in particular the digitalisation of their working practices to include staff performance aids, advertising, marketing and in particular brand marketing. This suggested digitalisation review does not just apply to the bigger companies but also to the UK SMEs where the recruitment of people, or the use of specialist third parties who already have the people with the right digitalisation talents to take the business forward and deliver against the stated business objectives.
This is a cornerstone for an SMEs future success. The COVID-19 year just past has highlighted the changes needed from UK businesses and the year to come should therefore be used by UK businesses to establish sustainable business strategies with the need for living with COVID-19.
COVID-19 Secure Businesses
As with the larger businesses SMEs also now need to look to ensure that their businesses are not only COVID-19 secure but are seen to be so by their staff and customers, as customer confidence is paramount to future trading success.
A useful guide with tips and advice on being COVID-19 secure has been produced by the Federation of Small Businesses and can be accessed by the link below.
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