During the UK’s first lockdown in March of 2020, companies struggled to find their feet in the Work From Home landscape.
Businesses such as Zoom, Dropbox and Monday.com experienced booms as people scrambled to find solutions to their work-from-home problems during the COVID-19 lockdown — remote access to the office, team collaboration, even seemingly simple tasks such as receiving work email in a secure manner from home.
As the lockdown eased and people started going back to the office, talk arose of “WFH being the future” and about large tech companies offering their employees the chance to work from home (or mostly from home) for the unforeseeable future.
But Netflix’s chairman has openly come out and stated that working at home as a result of coronavirus had “negative effects”, and that WFH makes debating ideas more difficult.
One study said the opposite, indicating that working from home for one day a week boosted productivity by 13 per cent.
Sadiq Khan agrees.
How your business can deal with a second COVID-19 wave
But the debate above has been rendered moot by new government guidelines (again).
In a 180-degree turn, following several earlier 180-degree turns (does anyone know what direction we’re actually facing now, or are you as dizzy as we are?) Boris J. has called for workers to not return to work but to stay at home. Again.
Whether business people will go back to their kennels again like they did the first time B.J. announced the lockdown is yet to be seen.
Either way, regardless of government policy, some things are certain:
1. Your employees must be kept safe.
2. You must employ a Work from Home or Work from the Office strategy as you see fit, within current legal restrictions.
3. You must be prepared for 180-degree turns, 90-degree turns, 394-degree turns, and so on. Because, well, that’s just the way it is.
The above means that:
1. You need a safe work-from-the-office environment.
2. You need a functioning WFH environment.
3. You need something to stop you from getting so dizzy…
Okay, jokes aside, here’s the most effective thing you can do to survive the upcoming uncertainty of COVID-19 and the workplace.
The pros and cons of WFH
The pros and cons of Work from Home have been hashed and mashed and studied and restudied and regurgitated a gajillion times.
You know them. We won’t bore you with the details.
What you probably do want to know is how the heck to survive all this uncertainty!?
Well, fear not, dear business warrior, we have the ultimate COVID-19 Mega-Super-Duper Powerhouse Workplace Strategy Suggestion for you.
Implement an effective COVID-19 detection strategy
The hard truth of the matter is that certain businesses simply cannot function when their physical doors are closed.
The local pub will go out of business if everyone started ordering their weekly brew on, say, YourLocalOnlinePub.com, or some such website.
To this end, your only choice is to implement best practices for ensuring your employees and your customers are safe.
This is really very easy to do. They did it in Germany. They did it in New Zealand. They’ve done it in multiple other countries and managed to keep their economies afloat. (Is someone taking notes? Send them over to Downing Street, ‘kay?)
It means ensuring that people who come into your office are signed up for the NHS Test and Trace program.
It means — and this is an important one — regular and affordable testing of employees at your place of business. It is so unbelievably easy and affordable to test employees for COVID-19 at your office that not doing it is quite silly.
You could even display a big sign outside your place of business saying, “All employees tested and guaranteed COVID-19-FREE by a qualified medical professional on [date here].”
Wouldn’t that inspire confidence in clients!
Is WFH during COVID-19 lockdowns sustainable?
Nobody is denying that this is a terrible disease with catastrophic consequences if left unchecked.
At the same time, few are denying (anymore) that obliterating what little foothold the UK economy has obtained since restrictions were lifted is the smartest thing to do.
A stretegy is required that:
1. Holds infection numbers in line, especially in high-risk cases.
2. Does not destroy the economy and Brits’ livelihoods.
Well, there is a happy place where companies can ensure complete 100 per cent COVID-free workplaces and so let their employees and customers feel secure in knowing that they can return to work safely and keep their livelihoods going.
That solution is:
1. COVID-19 best practices implemented at the office (social distancing, hand sanitisers, soap and water, paper towels, masks, room dividers, etc.)
2. Common sense.
3. Regular testing of employees at the office.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan calls for regular testing
We’re not making this up as we go along or because we sell COVID-19 Home Testing Kits.
We’re telling you this because it makes sense!
Sadiq Khan — who is pushing for a second lockdown — has himself said that “By the way, none of this would be a problem if there was proper testing taking place.” (Emphasis ours.)
But the NHS is overwhelmed. It cannot keep up with testing. People need COVID-19 tests to fly. Kids need COVID-19 Tests to go Back to School. And employees need COVID-19 tests to keep their fellow-workers safe.
It’s understandable that the clinics and NHS can’t keep up.
The solution is Back to Work COVID-19 Testing Kits or a team of medical professionals that can come to your London-based office and conduct COVID-19 testing on the premises. The results are fast, and it ensures that your business is COVID-19-free on the day of testing.
And that means businesses can stay open, the economy can stay afloat, and a second wave can be prevented because people are taking all possible precautions, and doing so responsibly.