Businesses when lockdown ends - Planning for the future

8 things that could happen in businesses when lockdown ends.

What will business look like when lockdown has finished? We’ve compiled a list of 8 things that could happen in businesses when lockdown ends.

1. Flexible working is here to stay

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - Managing home workers

A bit of an obvious one to start with. The enforced home working that came with lockdown has disproven many business owners views that roles can’t be performed remotely. So expect that there will be a surge in flexible working requests in businesses when lockdown ends.

2. The end of open plan offices?

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Open plan offices have been en vogue for many decades now. Studies have repeatedly found that they aren’t the most productive ways of working. The key here is will employees be happy working next to colleagues when they’ve been social distancing for months? Don’t expect an immediate return to modular offices but it will almost definitely look different in businesses when lockdown ends.

3. The end of the 9-5

Businesses when lockdown ends

As of 27th April when this blog was written, it seems likely that the Government will remove some restrictions on businesses opening. One thing which may be introduced is phased opening. This will involve staggered start and leave times so that there aren’t too many people in business premises at any one time. As this will also promote a green agenda of reducing rush hour traffic, could it be something that is here to stay? It won’t be possible in all businesses but could be in some.

4. Reduced travel

Businesses when lockdown ends

The airline industry has been massively impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak and without massive state support, it looks likely that there will be more business failures ahead. It is likely that the era of low cost travel is coming to an end. That with the rise of video conferencing tools such as Zoom makes it less likely that mass business travel will recommence any time soon for businesses when lockdown ends

5. Diversification of supply chains

Businesses when lockdown ends

When China stopped manufacturing, many businesses quickly ground to a halt. Will businesses allow themselves to be so exposed to one country in the future? Expect a move towards multiple points of supply in future and maybe even a small trend towards repatriation in businesses when lockdown ends

6. The death of Lean?

Businesses when lockdown ends

Ok maybe a little dramatic but will businesses relax Lean principles? What do I mean? One of the key principles behind Lean manufacturing is a move to reduce stock as it is considered to be waster. We think it likely that companies will be more risk averse and will move to ensure that they can continue to operate when lockdown ends. This is especially important should there be a second wave of infection.

7. Cash is king

Businesses when lockdown ends

As businesses seek to recover their losses and potentially borrowing, it seems likely that costs will be kept to a minimum. Whilst the Government’s furlough scheme has undoubtedly preserved employment in the short term, some jobs will not be retained once the scheme ends. Unemployment could reach as high as 10% before quickly recovering. 

8. Companies will make the most of interim resource

Businesses when lockdown ends

Work still needs to be done and with IR35 kicked into next April, it’s likely that the recovery in employment will largely be on an interim basis. So, expect a surge in fixed term and consultancy opportunities in the coming months in businesses when lockdown ends.

Who are Cornerstone Resources?

Nicci Birley, Rob Birley. Cornerstone Resources

Based in South Manchester, Cornerstone Resources are experienced HR professionals. We offer fully outsourced HR services as well as specialist HR knowledge that can be accessed on a one off basis. Contact Rob on 07494 161169 or Nicci on 07908 875146 for a no obligation chat.

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