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Coronavirus: Don’t let it disrupt your business

by Heat Recruitment

There is growing pressure being placed on businesses currently as the coronavirus pandemic worsens. Some firms are already making the choice to close their doors and send staff to work from home, while others are continuing on, business as usual, until further notice. So, in the midst of this uncertainty, what can you be doing to support your staff?

Parental responsibilities

Some, or many, of your workforce may be parents. Anticipated UK school closures will unquestionably present a big challenge for working parents, as childcare can not only be difficult to source, but also cost-prohibitive for the length of time it may potentially be needed. Therefore, make sure you have a process in place to allow any parents who need to do so to work from home in a flexible manner, or on reduced hours, in order to still get their tasks completed while also fulfilling their responsibilities at home.

Hiring flexibility

It’s important that businesses continue to hire talent into their company during this time – businesses must maintain continuity to successfully weather challenging circumstances such as we are currently experiencing. When this crisis has subsided, people will still need jobs – in fact, even more so may be forced to join the talent pool. As business leaders, it’s your responsibility to either provide a safe place to conduct interviews in person – removed from contact with others – or to offer, at least for the time being, the chance for candidates to participate in video interviews.

If you’re having trouble hiring during this time, Heat Recruitment have various systems in place to continue recruiting for our clients – we have the capacity to conduct video interviews on a range of platforms like Skype, Microsoft teams and Facetime.

Holiday allowance

The Government has publicly announced which countries people should avoid visiting for the foreseeable future unless absolutely necessary. As the coronavirus continues to spread globally, we could see this list grow and the question you and your employees need to be asking themselves is whether or not it’s worth the risk.

As a company you can’t legally prevent your employees from choosing to use pre-booked holiday allowance to travel overseas. However, if they choose to leave the country and they contract coronavirus, this endangers the rest of your employees so they should be encouraged to self-isolate upon their return, as a precautionary measure.

Can your workforce work from home?

While most desk jobs can be replicated at home with the right equipment and online access, those who work in more labour-based or client-facing roles could be largely affected by the months to come. Here, clear communication to employees is essential.

Remote processes can be easily put in place, given access to technology and platforms such as Skype, Microsoft Teams and Facetime, communication between the team is stress-free. But for those where this isn’t the case, business owners need to explain their duty of care: not just to their employees but to customers also. Due to its contagious nature, coronavirus will need to be handled within the latest advice given by public health officials.

Contingency plans

When looking at the future of the coronavirus outbreak, it would be a wise decision to start making a contingency plan for if or when the virus spreads further. Reviewing elements things such as:

  • Work alternatives from different locations
  • The possibility of enforced holiday, reduced weeks and, in worst case, redundancy
  • What the company’s technology is able to do and what platforms will each person need in order to complete their work. Also, if there isn’t enough to go around, how will this be approached?

Having a set plan in place means that no matter the outcome, your business is ready for the worst-case scenario. Rather than putting your business plans on hold now is the time to try new methods of working including utilising the latest in video tech to interview potential employees.

Businesses essentially form a larger community and in the spirit of continuing to keep the UK’s economy strong, each company must be prepared and play its part in order to offset potential disruption elsewhere.

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