April 12th 2021 was an exciting day for many “non-essential” businesses, including retail and outdoor hospitality. It’s amazing news that many companies can open their doors again, and we wish every business that’s able to the very best for this upcoming period. However, along with excitement, there is also a fair amount of anxiety around this time. If you’re feeling conflicted about reopening your business, or uncertain about the change, you’re certainly not alone.

Along with the positivity around the country, for some, there is a sense of ‘we’ve been here before’ and the stress of ensuring things go as smoothly as possible. This in mind, it’s important to try to remember that things are different this time around. Yes, we have been here before, but that means that we are more prepared. Your staff know what will be put in place to protect them, and in turn what is expected of them to protect others. Along with the vaccination rollout and a gradual lockdown lift, we are hopefully on the road to normality.

According to mental health charity, Mind, ‘facing big changes’ and ‘times of uncertainty are some of the biggest factors that can cause stress. We are continuing through a pandemic, facing things we could never have imagined, and it’s crucial to remember this and the potential effects on both business owners and employees.

4 Tips for managing the return to work:

  • Make an action plan (together):

    The pandemic has lead many to reassess their priorities, both in business and personally. Whether through necessity or a shift in priorities, what does the future mean for your business, and how will it affect you and your team? During such a time of uncertainty, transparency with your employees is a must. By including them in your plans you help them to prepare for what lays ahead, whilst building trust and communication, and taking some of the strain off of you.

  • Stay flexible & take it one step at a time:

    With this in mind, remember that plans may need to adjust, and quickly. Government guidance could change, staff could fall ill, or you may simply want (or need) to change your plans. By expecting the unexpected and taking it a day or one task at a time, we’re less likely to become stressed by change.

  • Support your team:

    Whether furloughed, working from home or on reduced hours, every member of your team will have been affected differently. Considering the individual needs of your team (including yourself) is crucial during times of change, and can have a huge impact on productivity, morale and mental health.

  • Put health first:

    In line with the point above, remember that health comes first. There’s no denying it’s been an incredibly difficult year in many ways, and we all can’t wait for things to get back to normal. However, we have to remember that health, be it physical or mental, has to come first. Remember the covid safety measures, encourage healthy lifestyles, and support mental health as much as possible. Over the last year, we have seen a rise in workplaces prioritising mental health and the return to the workplace will challenge that even further.

    ‘One of the key areas where strides have been made over the last year is the provision of mental health benefits and support. Globally, close to two thirds (63%) of workers say working for an employer that provides mental health support is now more important to them than it was a year ago and over half (54 per cent) of businesses claim their company has improved the provision of mental health support and benefits that support employee well-being, such as flexible working.’

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Here at Triple Three Solutions, we’re ready to help you get ready for whatever’s next. Things are looking up, and by working together we can hopefully keep it that way for you and your business. If you’d like to talk more about dealing with change at the moment, or for any other HR Advice, please get in touch. Give me a call on 0333 050 3330, use our contact page or email lisa@triplethreesolutions.co.uk.