8 ways Gloucestershire businesses are getting back to work safely

As part of our #BackToBusinessGlos campaign, SoGlos handpicks eight pathways being taken by businesses in rebuilding Gloucestershire’s economy.

After more than a year in which a majority of staff were told to work from home and many businesses were not to even able open their doors, the UK government has released the handbrake.

While for some firms getting back to business is relatively simple, for many others the ‘back to work’ instruction is a conundrum they will wrestle with for some time as they seek to establish a new normal.

As part of SoGlos’s #BackToBusinessGlos campaign, promoting the efforts of the county’s business community, we look at some of the routes being taken as businesses begin to rebuild Gloucestershire’s economic future.


About the sponsors

BPE

BPE Solicitors is an entrepreneurial Cheltenham-based legal firm working with like-minded businesses and individuals – and supporting them through their lifecycle: from starting up and structuring to development through growth, joint ventures, buying and selling or floating on the stock market.

HazlewoodsHazlewoods is a UK top 25 independent business advisers and chartered accountants, with an established sector expertise hard to find elsewhere. It prides itself on a highly personal service, strong values and new ideas – with experts able to provide specialist accountancy, tax, audit and business advice.

Aston Lark
Aston Lark With an office in Cheltenham, and more than 45 others across the UK and Ireland, Aston Lark is one of the top five independent chartered insurance brokers and employee benefits advisors in the country.


1. Accepting working from home is the new normal

Many businesses have found staff productivity increased through the recent working from home era – and even saved money on their overheads.

One Cheltenham IT firm gave the example of a staff member whose daily 90-mile commute also included a school run. Working from home had delivered a less-stressed more productive member of its team and they both wanted to keep it that way.


2. Adopting hybrid working

The idea is a win-win – less time commuting, a better work life balance, but a greater commitment to a firm which has shown a trust in them to manage their time and deliver. With both sides still recognising the benefits of being in the office together too.

Matthew Fell, CBI chief UK policy director, said: ‘It’s up to employers to engage positively with their staff to shape the unique new way of working every business needs to consider.’


3. Changing your business model to remain viable

You may take for granted the new table service at your local pub, the limits on footfall into some venues and being able to order food and drink via an app on your phone, but this is not just there for your benefit.

It is the work-around that has allowed our valuable hospitality industry to at least get its sector’s engine started before it begins to re-build again.


4. Get a bigger, better office

Those watching developments at Bamboo Technology Group pre-pandemic, for example, might have wondered at its brand new spacious offices opened on the eve of lockdown, when suddenly talk was of never returning to the office again.

It now looks like an incredibly smart move, with an attractive office to return to, plenty of space to relieve the anxiety given us by social distancing rules, and room to expand when needed.


5. Test, test, test

Testing looks to be the way out of this for many, avoiding a continual cycle of self-isolation as regular tests give staff the all-clear to continue to work.

It relieves the pressure on other team members too and gives the business and customers confidence. Free lateral flow kits are available to businesses from the NHS, with Gloucestershire-based Campden BRI and Cheltenham-based CHB Medical delivering private testing kits to make all this happen.


6. Celebrate being together again

Anxiety is one of the biggest issues for businesses returning to work. Smart operators will already be managing this effectively by listening to staff, learning and reaping the benefits.

Simple moves, like underlining the positives and celebrating the small wins, can make a massive difference to team morale.


7. Re-draw contracts to keep staff and clients safe

The legal route can help protect team members and customers alike, emphasising how serious you are about safety.

At least one Gloucestershire solicitor has reported its first instruction to draw up a contract clause requiring staff to be vaccinated against Covid-19, noting that this paperwork was about protecting the individual receiving care, other family members living with them, fellow carers and other vulnerable people around them.


8. Keep talking

This is an opportunity to have those conversations with your staff and get to know them better, work out what motivates them, what you can do to help them feel more part of the business.

We are all on an emotional journey, listening, giving them time to adjust and reacclimatise could be good for morale and help build a positive culture that is not only more resilient, but one that will pay dividends in the future.


This article is part of SoGlos’s #BackToBusinessGlos campaign – made possible by Hazlewoods, Aston Lark and BPE - to champion Gloucestershire businesses as the county recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. For more information, see soglos.com/backtobusinessglos


By Andrew Merrell


Follow SoGlos on LinkedIn and sign-up to the weekly SoGlos business newsletter for the very latest Gloucestershire business news stories.

© SoGlos
Tuesday 27 July 2021

More hot lists you might like...

Business is booming in Gloucestershire, with SoGlos handpicking 10 unique growth businesses to keep an eye on.

10 more unique growth businesses in Gloucestershire to watch

Discover 10 more Gloucestershire businesses showing impressive growth, exciting innovation and creating new employment opportunities,...

SoGlos readers across Gloucestershire have been nominating their #GlosHeroes and we’re proud to be celebrating our final 10, this September 2021.

10 #GlosHeroes to celebrate this September

In the final instalment of the campaign, SoGlos is celebrating our last 10 #GlosHeroes this September 2021, with support from...

From silver bangles to leather satchels, New Brewery Arts in Cirencester has a packed programme of craft workshops to try this autumn – with SoGlos sharing 10 in this hot list.

10 crafty weekend workshops to try this autumn at New Brewery Arts

If you’ve always wanted to give crafting a go, there’s never been a better time, with 10 weekend workshops to try this autumn...

Green energy supplier, Ecotricity, shares seven simple ways Gloucestershire businesses can operate more sustainably.

7 simple ways to make your Gloucestershire business more sustainable

From encouraging staff to cycle to work to reducing your carbon footprint, Stroud-based Ecotricity shares seven simple tips...

SoGlos has handpicked seven of our favourite shows from the Everyman Theatre autumn 2021 line-up.

7 unmissable shows at the Everyman Theatre this autumn

From West End comedies to bold musical shows, the Everyman Theatre’s autumn 2021 season is coming to the stage – with SoGlos...

Don’t miss

Unmissable highlights