Lisa HoggView Profile
Since the beginning of the United Kingdom’s lockdown in reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak, ‘business as usual’ is a phrase rarely uttered. Due to social distancing measures imposed to curb the spread, many workplaces have been forced to close their doors. This has seen thousands of employees ‘furloughed’, facing reduced income, and thousands more at home with ‘remote working’ setups.
Companies have been making use of technology such as virtual conferencing to equip their employees for remote working. For those in this position, could this be a glimpse into the future of the 9-5?
The effect of the remote workplace
For those who usually face the burden of a long commute – traffic jams and dreary early-morning radio, the change may be a welcome alternative. But what has the effect been on the productivity of the remote workforce?
54% of workers claim home-working has increased their productivity
In a survey carried out by YouGov, in partnership with Linkedin, 54% of those asked claimed that the move to remote-working had increased their productivity. This may be an interesting result for employers, many of whom anticipated that this would take a toll on the running of their business.
The reasons given for these claims included reduced distraction from coworkers, time saved due to a lack of commuting, and fewer meetings. It seems that the dining-room office may have its perks for both workers and their employers alike.
What will happen after the lockdown?
It’s difficult to say what the working world will look like after COVID-19. The government is expected to outline its lockdown exit strategy in the coming weeks, which should paint a clearer picture for businesses and their employees.
It is speculated that those able to work from home will be encouraged to do so in order to protect employee health. The regular office environment may also need to see crucial changes in layout.
How are companies adapting to remote working?
Through the use of virtual conferencing, cloud storage, and instant-messenger technology, companies are managing to adapt to the change. This has seen many companies brought rather suddenly into the future, and at times, has been very costly. The need for employers to provide the relevant hardware/software on an individual, take-home basis has seen many left behind. Companies unable to finance such equipment, or practically distribute it, are facing extreme difficulty in adapting to the lockdown measures.
Is your company future-proof?
The Coronavirus lockdown has made company directors more conscious than ever as to how their company is geared up for the future. Expansions in hardware and software stock, as well as adaptations to working flexibility, are key measures in ensuring that your company is future-proof.
If your company is not in a position to enable remote-working, and operate stably through the COVID-19 lockdown, we can help.
What help is available?
Companies facing difficulty can apply for financial aid through the government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). The scheme aims to provide small and medium-sized businesses with loans of up to £5million, on an interest-free basis for the first 12 months
If a drop in revenue has meant difficulty keeping up with liabilities, it may be necessary to seek the help of insolvency professionals, such as ourselves. Through formal repayment plans such as a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), companies facing hardship can regain control of their situation. For those facing a more severe decline in business, the option of creditors’ voluntary liquidation (CVL) is available. This process aims to tie a knot in the company’s situation before it gets further out of hand.
Only time will paint the picture of what the post-Coronavirus workplace will look like. It is clear that the lockdown has brought many companies very suddenly into the modern age, with total reliance on technology in order to operate. This may indeed be what the future holds for the 9-5…