Planning for the new normal

This has and will continue to be one of the most extraordinary events to impact on our business and personal lives, things will never be the same again. So much focus has been on handling the situation day by day that it seems as if the days and weeks have run into one – before we have realised it  – here we are in June! And so before we know it, the new normal will be upon us – take this time to plan and get ready to be up and running.

Here at CGA, the team continues to work from home and this will remain in place until early September.  The office continues to be closed to external visitors, although Claire and I (working from the office) have enjoyed the odd client (take that whichever way you want) carrying out a “knock and run” drop off of information (pre-planned of course) – accompanied by a distant wave.

For those of you that have visited our offices, you will know that we are lucky enough to have 3 meetings rooms in addition to our workspace and plenty of beautiful outside space. Our future plans include a re-designation of 2 of the meeting rooms into workspaces for the team and moving the furniture about to create one large meeting room at the end of the premises (we are keeping our comfy sofas). We intend to allow the team to continue to work from home on a temporary basis, sharing office working and home working to minimise the number of bodies in the office.

The office will remain closed to visitors until the new year and even then visits to the office will only be of an essential nature.

We like so many of our clients have become dab hands with various Meeting software Apps and these newfound skills will become part of everyday life. Terms such as Zoomdoom (the failing of the software at a critical meeting point),  Zoomroom (the area of your office/space visible to the camera which is always spotless despite the chaos of the rest of the area), Videobombing (that awkward moment when the kids wander into your video meeting) – we have already heard several such stories which we cannot repeat here!

We have new hand sanitising stations and lots of new signage and are currently in the process of upgrading our 16-year-old phone system so that all of the team are accessible with ease and calls can be quickly and efficiently answered and redirected. With only 2 of us in the office, it would appear that a telephone conspiracy is at work – 1 call sparks 3 others and the mobiles ring too!

We are hoping to qualify for a digital enterprise grant for some of the upgrade, don’t forget there is other support out there for businesses not just the support from the Government, many Business Representative Organisations and Trade Bodies are also useful support links.

We are very grateful to Bridge HR who have worked to help us prepare our Covid19 Office Policy, which not only provides legislative guidance but more importantly creates a practical common sense document that we can actually work with.

As the lockdown continues to ease we must all play our part to ensure that the safety and protection of those around us continues to be paramount – all it takes is a bit of planning and a lot of common sense!