The New Businesses Practices That Will Remain After Lockdown

Unforeseen and uncertain times are paving the way for a new culture in which we all unite in new ways of working.

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Unforeseen and uncertain times are paving the way for a new culture in which we all unite in new ways of working.


The New Businesses Practices That Will Remain After Lockdown

Unforeseen and uncertain times are paving the way for a new culture in which we all unite in new ways of working.

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The spread of Covid-19 has sparked many questions across the world in regards to how businesses can continue to function despite the challenges of lockdown.

Businesses have had no choice but to adapt where possible to remain open, finding innovative ways to continue trading whilst supporting employees working from home, as well as doing all they can to support local and wider communities.

As the weeks of lockdown have passed by we have seen glimpses of the planet recovering from the hectic pace of pre-Covid times. This epiphany has caused both individuals and businesses alike to reflect on their previous practices.

Many of the more flexible and greener practices and processes which were once thought impossible to implement are now possible, leaving many to realise that there are perhaps more effective, efficient and more resourceful ways of working.

In this article, we take a look at some of the business practices which have characterised lockdown so far, many of which we believe are likely to remain long after lockdown measures have eased.

Working from home

Many businesses will  have taken a different stance to working from home during lockdown and this will in part have been driven by their ability to facilitate remote working.

Organisations with strong cloud functionality will have found the transition relatively easy. Those with outdated IT systems, or who rely heavily on physical paperwork may have found there was substantial work to be undertaken in order to make homeworking possible.

The past few weeks of lockdown has  given these businesses time to trial new ways of working, many of which have required much less wastage in terms of paper, consumption of utilities and even time.

When businesses are able to safely return back to work, will working from home actually become a more prominent sustainable business objective? The need for larger office spaces could be evaluated and substantial cost and energy savings made from reducing the need for everyone to attend the office full time.

Continuing duties from home will mean less people out commuting and a decrease in transport-related pollution. As remote working encourages the sharing of digital agendas and documentation, employees will become much more aware of their wastage and will help to contribute to a greener, more efficient operation.

Social distancing at work

For key workers and those in the service sectors, the working environment at present is far from normal. All working practices have had to be evaluated and it is now the responsibility of the employer to make sure all staff and customers are in a safe environment.

Most notably, the numbers of staff and customers in the premises at any one time has had to be capped as well as shorter working or opening hours to help spread out workforces in order to keep to social distancing guidelines.

Areas of particularly close contact have been evaluated and steps taken to increase protection, such as the fitting of clear plastic screens in front of retail shop terminals. Looking to the future, how long will  these elements continue?

What will the impact be for businesses as they start to reopen their doors and will economies of scale mean that some operations are no longer viable with reduced numbers?

What is clear is that some businesses will actually find that it is easier to remain almost completely virtual than it is to try and battle with the complexities of creating a ‘COVID Secure’ workplace.

Adapted services and supply chains

A lot of businesses particularly in the hospitality trade were forced to close their doors as lockdown measures intensified . Many have adapted their services during this period by offering their products or services online or via delivery or collection only.

Many businesses are realising that there are new and innovative ways to adapt their offering which provide a number of benefits, including reduced wastage, greater access to new customers and reduced overheads or additional costs.

As supply chains and services have stalled due to the global pandemic, local suppliers and sources have emerged, giving businesses the opportunity to completely overhaul their supply chain in favour of local, sustainable alternatives.

Shopping locally not only helps to support the community, but helps to drastically cut road miles on items which are regularly delivered.

Maintain a strong social media presence

The local support and camaraderie that has been evident throughout communities across the nation has been heartwarming and has given many people the opportunity to become part of a wider network.

Social media has undoubtedly had a big part to play in helping businesses to continue reaching out to customers in need of their products or services.

People have clearly recognised the importance of supporting local businesses during this difficult time and this could lead many businesses to look at investing more in their social media presence after lockdown has ended.

Reaching customers effectively via social media instead of with printed leaflets for example, will help businesses to reduce their paper wastage as well as drastically cut advertising and marketing costs, making their whole operation much more efficient.

This remains an unprecedented time, but it is clear that many people are waking up to the realisation that they can conduct their businesses or working lives in ways which benefit not only their physical and mental wellbeing, but can help the environment too.

From reduced travelling to less paper wastage and sourcing more items locally, it is clear that many of the temporary business practices we’ve seen over the past few weeks could well become permanent aspects of the future post-COVID-19 world of work.

Sonya Cragg is head of sales and marketing at Countrystyle Recycling.

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The New Businesses Practices That Will Remain After Lockdown

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