How time flies. 
 
We have been in lockdown in the UK for over two months. 
 
How life has changed. The world of work as we knew it has also changed. 
 
We have moved to virtual working, our meetings have gone online, some of our habits have changed. 
 
Change is a very powerful process and with it brings many emotions. 
 
The Kubler Ross change curve depicts the stages we experience throughout the process of change. 
 
Moving to the virtual world, working from home, some people being put on ‘furlough’ (who knew the meaning of that word pre-COVID-19?)…all of those activities involved change. They involved going through a process to get accustomed to a new way of being. The ‘new normal’. 
 
As we come out of lockdown, we are confronted with yet another change. 
 
What will the world of work look like post-COVID-19? 
 
I began to think about this very early on in the crisis. One of the quotes I have heard a lot during the crisis is Winston Churchill’s “Don’t let a good crisis go to waste.’ I guess the current feeling is akin to wartime so people have been drawing on this wartime leader’s sentiment to get through this. 
 
How have employers treated their employees during this time? People will always remember how you treat them in difficult times. Those employers who have displayed empathy, kindness and put their employees will reap the benefits of loyalty and engagement from their staff. 
 
How will businesses handle coming out of lockdown? The UK government has provided us with details of their 5 tests for lifting the lockdown. When the Prime Minister announced this on 10 May, it was met with amusement in some quarters, with some people comparing it to Nando’s restaurant chicken spice levels. Along with this, the government has also produced some guidance which will be updated as the situation unfolds. 
 
In terms of individual business, it is advisable to keep updated and obtain information from reliable sources such as the government’s website and seeking legal or HR advice. 
 
From a HR point of view the advice for coming out of lockdown is the following: 
 
1. Complete a risk assessment to ensure that the workplace and how work is carried out, does not put employees at risk. 
 
2. Be aware of the possible impact on not just physical health but also mental health. This situation has affected people in so many ways and even people who had never experienced mental health issues are now struggling. 
 
3. Plan a return. A phased return is recommended. 
 
4. Whilst doing all the above, communication is key. Engage your staff, speak to people, get them involved, find out what their concerns about returning to work are and work together to achieve your return to the workplace goals. 
 
We are here to help. During this current situation, we are offering a free 30-minute consultation to discuss how we can support with your people management issues. 
 
Stay safe and well. 
 
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