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Questions to consider: Preparing your business for the ease of Covid-19 restrictions

Questions to consider: Preparing your business for the ease of Covid-19 restrictions
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Questions to consider: Preparing your business for the ease of Covid-19 restrictions
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Exciting times lie ahead for businesses, as the easing of restrictions allow owners to get back on track. From barbers being able to perform haircuts once again to non-essential retail shops opening and office teams returning to collaborate from one space, our workspaces are going to be changing. Here are some questions you might like to consider when preparing for the world to open up again.

How will you safely welcome customers back?

From 12 April, all shops including non-essential retail will be able to open, as well as hairdressers and other close-contact services. The hospitality industry will be also able to offer customers food and alcohol in outdoor spaces.

The process of welcoming customers back includes several tasks: preparing your space to ensure customers feel welcome, installing necessary equipment to make sure they are safe, and having the right protective equipment for staff. If you’re a shop owner, consider installing a one way system to make customers feel safe when shopping with you, and make sure sanitising stations and social distancing measures are in place to keep staff and customers safe. Also provide masks and/or protective visors for staff that will be coming into contact with shoppers so they remain protected.

How will you ensure the office is safe?

If you’re returning to an office-based environment, it’s important to note that there is no formal date set for this yet, and office workers are encouraged to work from home wherever possible. However, if you’re considering planning a roadmap for returning, it’s a good idea to consider the following:

  • Who in your team has had the vaccine? Over 31 million people have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, with second doses rolling out increasingly across the UK. If your coworkers are comfortable disclosing with you, discuss with them how comfortable they might feel with a phased return when it is safe to do so.
  • Will some people still be shielding? Although guidance has changed for high risk individuals, meaning that they are no longer required to shield, some of your staff may still feel more comfortable staying at home. Have a think about how you might facilitate this if some staff members have returned. For example, the best methods for ensuring team meetings continue to operate smoothly, and team communication remains effective.
  • Could you benefit from a staff rota? If you decide to return to the office, but can’t fit in the same capacity of people due to social distancing, consider introducing a staff rota. For example, on one day, three staff members work from the office and the remainder of the team works from home. This could be rotated so all staff have a chance to touch base in-person more frequently.
  • Do you have the right protective equipment for staff? Ensure you have the necessary hand sanitising stations, Perspex screens, and social distancing guidelines in place to keep your staff safe.

What will be the 'new normal'?

Whilst a phased plan for returning to the office or your shop or restaurant is useful in many ways, you will also need to consider the long term. Should restrictions change, do you have a necessary contingency plan in place for staff and finances if you’re a non-essential business? If you’re working from an office, put some thought into how your team might want to work now that the work-life balance is changing. Should your staff prefer to work from home for a certain number of days a week, have a discussion with them about how you might facilitate this so that projects continue to run smoothly.

Promising times lie ahead for SMEs, who have taken the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent recession. We’re excited for the barbers, salon owners, retailers and more at our business centres to be reunited with their customers and clients. By having both a short-term return-to-work plan and long term strategy, businesses can begin to look to the light at the end of the tunnel. We wish them all the best!

To find out how Capital Space could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 4667 or email  info@capitalspace.co.uk