The chance for change: With the announcement of another new Coronavirus variant under investigation, we’ve been wondering if COVID-19 is here to stay and what businesses can do to co-exist alongside it (4-minute read)

Last year, as the first lockdown was gradually lifting, we considered whether or not businesses would return to their past ways of existence as best they could, or if they’d use the opportunity to take a step back, assess their situation and make a plan for relaunch into the new environment evolving around us.

As we digest the latest guidance on how the country will transition out of this third national lockdown, our thinking is, much like the virus, businesses are going to need to be able to constantly adapt to survive.

Modifying the workplace

Despite the ‘COVID-secure’ guidance issued for businesses remaining open, it was reported last month that offices across the UK have had a greater number of outbreaks than other workplaces.

The safety measures outlined are just the start of keeping employees protected but with new variants of coronavirus continuing to emerge, are these measures enough or is it time to implement advanced safety protocols?

For example, thermal cameras can provide non-contact screening of personnel while flow management systems can prevent over-crowding and allow social distancing guidance to be adhered to. These additional measures could further support organisations who are currently open, unable to facilitate home-working, as well as those who are desperate to reopen in a safe manner.

By implementing advanced systems such as these, employers will know they are doing their utmost to keep their staff and site safe and their business open. In addition, employees will feel confident it’s safe to be on site and reassured that their health and wellbeing is important to their employer.

For those not fixed to a set location, there are other ways to adapt.

Flexing how we work, two ways

  1.  Work from wherever…

When Premier Choice Group began considering flexible working, the primary focus was to support staff in achieving a good work-life balance – little did we know what was about to happen.

Now as our colleagues and contacts give us a glimpse into their homes, and we see their little ones or pets appearing on video calls, it’s clear we’ve transitioned into a state of work-life integration.

As travel restrictions are lifted, will employees who have been trapped indoors be desperate to get away from their familiar surroundings? And will the work-life integration continue?

There’s an opportunity to move away from the traditional “work from home” set-up and adopt a culture of “work from wherever” – so long as the technology and national restrictions (and employers) allow this.

In the last year, there’s been an increased uptake on hosted solutions and unified communications, allowing employees to work from home and transition seamlessly between there and the office as required. These secure and reliable solutions can also support staff away from home and even abroad (when safe and sensible to do so).

  2.  … with a flexible solution

We’ve seen that solutions can be adaptable to staff working habits, but some can be more flexible still, scaling up and down as business requirements change. With 30-day licenses, you can add or remove users and features each month and only pay for what you need.

Better yet, your organisation’s entire communications, across multiple sites and countries, can be internally managed, right down to the individual user level, through a simple interface.

Your designated administrator can add and remove users from call groups and manage who can receive calls. They can also record and upload on-hold, queue and announcement messaging as well as viewing snapshot information of call statistics across the company, for example.

There’s even functionality users can handle for themselves, such as changing the number that presents depending on who they’re calling or twinning their extension to their mobile to receive calls whilst out and about.

Ultimately, the solution can flex as you do which is ideal in this current period of uncertainty.

An opportunity to thrive

While this pandemic has brought challenges and tragedies, it’s also brought opportunities and positive changes for many that will stay in the mainstream.

We are hopeful with the rollout of the vaccines that we can see the light at the end of this lockdown, learn from the difficulties we’ve faced along the way, and apply the science to our business mentalities. Remember, a virus doesn’t want to be deadly; it mutates to find ways it can survive, and thrive! And we must match this tenacity; we must keep responding reactively, keep the resilience we’ve developed, and keep finding ways to adjust what we do to overcome the challenges that arise.

If you would like to introduce additional safety measures into your workplace or develop a multi-faceted flexible solution, we’d be more than happy to start that conversation with you.

Next Steps

We are committed to continuing our support to help you remain open or re-open successfully when the time comes. For those of you who have made it this far, we’re offering a free thermal camera with every qualifying order placed before the end of April 2021!

Interested in finding out more? Our Business Development Team are on hand to take any enquiries you may have – please reach out to them on 0800 048 4666, by completing our contact form or by emailing info@premierchoicegroup.com with the subject Co-existing.

Further information

The latest coronavirus advice and support can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.