The New Normal
We’re still some way from knowing with any certainty what the short-term future is going to look like, but what has become very clear is that the coming months and perhaps even years are going to be very different.
As we entered 2020 no one could have predicted the unprecedented challenges business across the globe would be facing. It has been an extraordinary time and I hope you and your families are managing to navigate a path through this situation. Here in the UK there’s still a great deal of uncertainty, but the first steps are being taken towards attempting to return to some sort of normal, which is encouraging and daunting at the same time.
It’s quickly become apparent that simply returning to the way we used to do things will be inappropriate and impossible. We, like every other business, have to make wholesale changes.
The most obvious change, initially at least, is at our premises. Social distancing is still required, with colleagues required to be two meters apart. The number of staff we have means this is difficult, so we’re using this period to bring team members back on a staggered basis. The business is steadily getting busier again, allowing us to continue operating with an increasing team size, reconfiguring our headquarters as we go to ensure working conditions meet the necessary requirements.
One of the understated impacts of this pandemic is the effect it has had on the psyche of the nation. People remain understandably nervous; COVID-19 has been proven to be deadly and mitigating against the risk of contracting or transmitting it remains a primary concern. This means some people are reticent about reopening their business or admitting workmen to their home. It’s our job, and that of other businesses, to reassure the public we are doing everything we can to create a safe environment.
As always, one of the key ways of doing this is communication. We’re making a host of changes to the ways we talk to our customers, including the information we provide them with ahead of an installation, as well as the questions we ask in advance. We’re also putting in place minimum measures, a set of stipulations that must be met to our satisfaction if we are to carry out the job. By adopting these measures we are not only doing all we can to ensure the safety of our staff and customers, but we are also making what we’re doing clear by answering pre-installation questions. It’s apparent to customers that we are approach the situation with care, caution and professionalism, in turn helping to slowly restore confidence.
There are changes everywhere and there will be plenty I haven’t anticipated. It’s my belief the key at this stage is to be as nimble as possible. There are plenty of things we can’t control and this is certainly one of them, so accepting that fact and being ready to make changes and adaptations, potentially at short notice is going to be part of our future.
We’re also seeing a change in the type of enquiries we receive. Over the past months we’ve been contacted by customers and organizations who have been using our products in ways we hadn’t previously thought of. A recent example has been the supply of manifestation for use on newly installed perspex screens – used in retail settings to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. What this shows is that continuing to work hard and focusing on being as professional as possible, even during extremely challenging and trying times, will maintain that trust between you and the customer and ensure that however this new normal pans out, you are in as good a position as possible to adapt and get through it.
I hope you are all staying safe and healthy. Take care.
Until next time… toodle pip!