Is your workplace ready for the ‘next normal’?

next normal
By Anthony Wolny | 9th June 2020 | 11 min read

The impact COVID-19 has had is enormous and as the Government looks to slowly lighten lockdown restrictions, businesses must be ready to adopt the ‘next normal’.

“The current global pandemic has brought into focus the need for robust digital platforms, regardless of industry and sector, so that businesses can continue to operate without the need for in-person interaction.”Peter Osborne, McMann Fitzgerald

To help you prepare, we’ve pulled together the expected changes you need to be ready for.

Staggered return to work

To avoid a huge influx of people returning to work simultaneously, many employers are predicted to stagger working days.

This means that employees could split their time between the office and home, especially since the demand for remote working is continually increasing.

“COVID-19 could permanently shift working patterns as companies forced to embrace remote working by the pandemic find that their employees do not want to return to the office once the closures are lifted.” – Alex Hern, Technology Editor, The Guardian

Furloughing and part-time work

The Job Retention Scheme has been extended for the next few months but with a few changes.

From 1 July 2020, businesses using the scheme will have the option to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part-time.

This flexibility means that if employers choose to temporarily bring back workers, they will have to decide their hours and shift patterns.

Contract terminations

The law has not changed, if you’re looking to dismiss somebody and make cuts to keep your business afloat, you’re still able to do that.

But if you do make employees redundant you have to pay them their notice period and in some cases a redundancy pay.

Also remember, as redundancy is dismissal for fair reason, the correct procedures must be taken to ensure compliance such as consultations with the employees.

Changes to shift patterns

In another bid to reduce the rush of people returning to work, shift patterns are expected to change.

Employers adopting this change will need to be prepared to alter their working hours, opening the office earlier and staying open later.

To those looking to reduce the time required to manage the shift pattern changes, we recommend you make sure your HR software has the capabilities to easily alter timesheets and rotas.

Workplace changes

Following government guidance, various precautions could be introduced to make the workplace safer, including:

  • Working in ‘social bubbles’ consisting of fixed teams that minimise the contact employees have with each other
  • One-way offices, following the success of many supermarkets this system may be adopted for offices
  • Hotdesking bans will most likely occur to reduce the spread of germs within the office
  • Virtual meetings even when people are in the office will become quite common to avoid multiple people in a confined space

IRIS AdviserPlus can help

The workplace will undoubtedly look drastically different when we return, placing added pressure on business managers to adapt efficiently while ensuring compliance.

Don’t worry, we’ve designed our solution, IRIS AdviserPlus, specifically for time-poor business managers, providing support from highly experienced, qualified HR professionals.  

The AdviserPlus service provides you with legally HR compliant advice to give you peace of mind when adapting to the ‘next normal’.

The support our HR experts give ensures you have peace of mind that you’re acting within the realms of the law, providing:

  • Phone support
  • 24/7 online support
  • Access to hundreds of documents and templates

For more information on how AdviserPlus can help you make your return to work a huge success, click here.