With the pandemic lockdown likely continuing for months ahead, companies are being forced to grapple with the unknown. But with a potential gradual UK reopening in sight, companies should consider what a business recovery and/ or growth would look like for them. Here are some top points to consider.
1. Business continuity plan
E-commerce and essentials production are at their height but not forever. We know that while other industries such as the hospitality sector have shut down and partly adapted to foods-to-go, the industrial sector has seen a growth in demand. This is especially true for the e-commerce businesses running warehouses, as well as businesses producing essential products.
But with the pandemic evolving, we know other businesses will start opening up sooner or later where the demand for e-commerce will not stay at its height during corona, and your business will need to balance its production again according to demands.
Many businesses are already putting their business continuity plans in action, and looking into all the contingency responds possible. Your continuation plan will need regular updating, revisiting and to be observed very closely to make sure that you keep the right flexibility.
2. Strategic Workforce Planning
We’ve seen a rise in demand for workers in warehouses. The biggest player in e-commerce, Amazon, claims that it has created 100,000 jobs in the US alone. We have also seen a growing request for industrial workers such as pick packers and drivers, given the nature of social distancing and non-essential business closures.
Another factor that is worth highlighting is the companies’ consideration to implement staggering office hours. Staggering work hours refers to arranging employees to have a different start, finish and break times to other workers. Understanding the different strategies that other companies, clients, and supply chains are using to navigate, will help your business respond with the right number of workers, any health and precaution measures needed, as well as adapting your working hours.
Getting workers through platforms like SyftForce, a casual workforce management platform that allows you to effectively organise your temporary labour, will give your business more flexibility. This way, when you can bump up your workforce on-demand or reduce it if and when the post-lockdown starts impacting demand for e-commerce. SyftForce is a great tool to assist you in executing your workforce management plan.
3. Strengthen health and safety policy
Health and safety now include a stricter protocol. Creating a safe environment for your workers is key. For that reason, knowing what that hygiene routine should look like and reiterating the importance of holding that standard as high as when it came in place. There will be two ways to approach this, by considering hiring external cleaners or implementing an in-house cleaning routine.
The government has published the following guidelines to help businesses get back on track safely in the reopening phases.
4. Hire a temporary warehouse space
With the requirement of social distancing, alongside the increase of demand in your industrial business, hiring a temporary warehouse space will ensure you can enforce the social distancing measures for the workers, give you more storage, and production capability. With it being temporary, your business will also not be committed to the space more than it needs to be.
Changing your warehouse layout may be necessary. Mapping out possible ways to support your worker’s ability to keep up social distancing is crucial. For a detailed warehouse guide on navigating during the pandemic, read more here.
5. Get familiar with the government’s Covid-19 reopening plans
Make sure that you stay on top of the developments of the recovering strategy and that you are aware of how the stages affect your business. Some stages in the reopening phases may allow you to resume business with some of your partnerships or clients.