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Cleaning During The Pandemic: What Is The New Normal In Cleaning Your Business Spaces?

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Cleaning your Business|Cleaning During The Pandemic: What Is The New Normal In Cleaning Your Business Spaces?As much as we like to think that our offices are clean, many are not. Some are just so dirty that they can cause sickness and disease, which is dangerous as the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 is still rampant. So, how do business owners keep up with the new normal, given the safety and health protocols in place by the government?

Learn what’s the new normal in cleaning business spaces by reading below.

What Is The New Normal?

The new normal is not new to the human race anymore. With crises arising ever since humans existed, they’ve brought drastic changes to the overall routine, economy, lifestyle, and even culture and traditions worldwide.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the new normal means significant changes in how people communicate, work, and even clean business spaces. It involves implementing stricter safety and health protocols such as social distancing or maintaining at least a distance of six feet away from other people to avoid transmitting the virus.

Cleaning During The Pandemic

Now that you know the meaning of the new normal, it’s time to know the things you should know when cleaning your business spaces during the new normal.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Cleaning your Business|Cleaning During The Pandemic: What Is The New Normal In Cleaning Your Business Spaces?1.Wash Hands And Wear Gloves Before Cleaning

Many people don’t think about this, but there are plenty of germs and bacteria on their hands when they’re doing their work. When it comes to office & commercial cleaning, wearing gloves and face masks is now highly recommended. This is now the art of the new normal when cleaning business spaces.

When wearing safety gloves, it’s important to remember that they’re meant to protect the wearer against exposure to chemicals or toxins in the environment. Gloves should be worn while touching liquids in the same way as if they were on the part of the body. It’s important to make sure that you don’t accidentally inhale them because the liquid can get trapped in your mouth, which can cause serious illnesses.

2. Disinfect Your Business Spaces

Disinfecting is not all about putting chemicals onto surfaces. You need to understand that the more times you can remove germs from your office, the better off you’ll be because the more likely you are to prevent an outbreak.

To make sure that you and your employees are safe, learning how to disinfect offices is a good thing to do. If you want to try something else, there’s always the option of hiring a professional to disinfect your office.

Here are some disinfection tips you can try:

  • Disinfect the office using a steam cleaner: If you want to know how to disinfect offices, there are several different methods. One thing that you can try is a steam cleaner.
  • Use bleach: Another great method that’ll help you learn how to disinfect offices is through bleach, which is easy to use and affordable. Many people like bleach because it can kill any viruses that come into contact with it.
  • Use hydrogen peroxide and vinegar: There are other ways to learn how to disinfect offices. One of these is by using hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. These are both great because they’re both easy to use and inexpensive.

3. Keep Everything Clean and Sanitized

The key to effectively disinfect your office during this pandemic is to keep everything clean and remove different things that may cause germs to spread. For instance, if you have many surfaces in your office that are hard and flat, make sure that you wear gloves when you wipe them down.

Make sure that you sanitize things around the restroom and the kitchen counter, too. Again, don’t forget to sanitize your handkerchiefs and towels as well.

4. Maintain Social Distancing

Even during commercial cleaning, cleaners are advised to maintain social distancing. Because of the nature of the novel coronavirus, keeping a safe distance will help isolate the virus and prevent the disease to spread.

5. Frequent Scheduled Cleaning

As you probably noticed, cleaning is now more frequently done than ever, which is now an essential aspect of the new normal.

Every room, cubicle, corner, and space used in the business establishment must be disinfected before and after use. The government has mandated routine cleaning in compliance with the quarantine and health protocols.

Conclusion

Be sure that you change your office surfaces frequently and clean them thoroughly. Keep things clean and sanitized at all times as well. And, if you really can’t avoid germs, then it’s always a good idea to take steps to prevent them from spreading from your desktops, toilets, kitchen surfaces, and other places around your office.

Learning how to disinfect offices is a great thing to do because it’ll keep you and your employees safe from the outbreak.

10 Top Tips for Making an Employee Redundant

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Redundant|10 Top Tips for Making an Employee RedundantMaking an employee redundant is never easy, but it can be more manageable if you follow the right steps. Discover more, here…

Redundancy is on people’s minds more than ever before. Since the coronavirus pandemic started, the UK government has tried to mitigate these redundancies. But, unfortunately, it’s not always possible.

If you’ve done your best to follow government guidelines to save your employees and you still plan on making an employee redundant it’s important that you do it the right way.

In this post, we’re going to cover what redundancy is, whether COVID-19 has made redundancy more commonplace, and share some tips on how to make an employee redundant. So, to make sure you tackle this task the right way, read on…

What Does it Mean to Make an Employee Redundant?

Before we share our top tips on how to make an employee redundant, we’re going to briefly go over the definition of redundancy, so you know what it entails.

Redundancy is the dismissal of an employee because the employer no longer requires anyone to do their job. This could be because the business is:

  • Changing what it does
  • Upgrading to new technology or machinery that makes the employee’s job redundant
  • Changing location or closing down
  • Doesn’t have enough money to retain certain job roles

For a redundancy to be considered so, the employer must demonstrate that the employee’s job will no longer exist. This way the employer can’t use the excuse of redundancy to unfairly dismiss an employee for other reasons.

Redundancies can be compulsory or non-compulsory. This depends on whether you allow the employee to take their redundancy voluntarily or make them take it.

Employee’s Redundancy Rights

To give you an idea of the rights an employee has when you make them redundant, here’s a quick list of what you might have to provide them with:

  • Redundancy pay
  • A redundancy notice period
  • A consultation with their employer
  • The option to move into a different job role
  • Time off work to look for a new job

This probably goes without saying, but do not select people for redundancy based on age, gender, disability or because the employee is pregnant. This will likely be considered unfair dismissal.

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Redundant|10 Top Tips for Making an Employee RedundantIs COVID-19 Forcing Employers to Make Staff Redundant?

Coronavirus has obviously had a huge impact on businesses, with the Financial Times reporting that the UK economy has shrunk by a fifth since the pandemic started. The government’s Job Retention Scheme has eased the pressure somewhat, but lots of businesses are still faced with having to let employees go.

Just so you have an idea of the companies that have had to make large proportions of their staff redundant in the UK, here’s a quick list of some of them:

  • Rolls-Royce: 9,000 staff
  • BP: 10,000 staff
  • Centrica: 5,000 staff
  • Bentley: 1,000 staff
  • British Airways: 12,000 staff
  • The Restaurant Group: 1,500 staff
  • Oasis and Warehouse: 1,800 staff

These are just a few of the major companies who have had to make redundancies. So, if you’ve found yourself in a position where you have to make some, you’re not on your own. The only thing you can do now is make sure you carry out the proecdure in a way that’s best, or least painful, for both parties.

10 Top Tips for Making an Employee Redundant

Now that we know what redundancy is, and that COVID-19 is forcing more employers than ever to consider it for their employees, it’s time to give you some tips on how to go about it. Whether you’re making one staff member redundant, or hundreds, it’s important that you try to do so with compassion and tact, which these tips will help you do.

1. Be clear and communicate your reasons effectively

The wordier and more complex the message, the more confusing it will be and the more upset it will cause. So, it’s important to make sure the message you share with your employees is as clear and consistent as possible. To do this, try and communicate the reasons why the business has to make them redundant as best as possible.

2. Preparation and practice

This might not be necessary if you’re only making a single employee redundant, because in that scenario it’s better to have an actual one-to-one conversation with the employee.

However, if you’re making several employees redundant, and you’re planning on giving a speech, prepare the script carefully and practice delivering it until you’re comfortable with what you’re saying. Also, prepare to answer questions and try not to talk too much when the staff are giving their input. It’s better to listen to their concerns and answer them effectively.

3. Avoid leaks

You don’t want to go through all the preparation, practice and honing of a clearly communicated message and have news of the redundancy get our before you’re able to deliver it. Also, there’s nothing worse than gossip getting out and causing undue stress to your employees. So, keep it as under wraps as possible before breaking the news that redundancies will be made.

4. Provide a clear end date

Whether it’s to a single member of staff, or many, giving a firm end date will make it easier for them to move on and start looking for a new job. Also, as we mentioned earlier, you might need to provide some time off for them to search for a new job, so factor that in when you plan the employee’s end date.

5. Share resources that can help your employees

There are loads of organisations that offer support for those who are made redundant, especially with COVID-19 making them more prevalent. Sharing details on where your employees can find help might help them feel less alone and anxious about being made redundant.

6. Don’t make your employees keep it a secret

Keeping word of the redundancies under wraps before they’re announced is fine, but once the employees who are going to be made redundant have been informed, don’t force them to keep it a secret from others.

It might seem like a good idea at the time, because it will stop other employees from worrying about their own jobs. That said, all it does is isolate the redundant employees further, as they won’t be able to seek support from their friends and colleagues.

7. Don’t announce redundancies before a weekend or holiday

If you make redundancies before a weekend or holiday, those employees are likely to go home and feel isolated. If you do it earlier in the week, at least they can air out their grievances with you and seek support from their colleagues.

8. Be careful when trying to make the redundancy sound positive

It’s tempting to try and make the redundancy seem like a good thing to put your employees at ease. But, being made redundant is generally a bad situation, so letting them down gently is the better approach.

For example, telling a working mother “at least you’ll have more time with your kids” isn’t a consolation. Most people will either need their job to feed their kids, or enjoy their job and will have chosen to do it for a reason. So, be sure not to make light of the situation.

9. Don’t ask your employees to stick around to finish a project

The reason you’re letting the employees go in the first place is because their job has become redundant. If you tell them they’re being made redundant and then ask them to stay on until they’ve finished a project they’re working on, it’s doesn’t reflect well on you.

10. Look after yourself

Obviously, putting the redundant employees first is a good strategy and should be implemented before you start thinking about yourself. But, don’t forget about yourself once you’ve helped out your employees.

Apart from the stress of giving the news, you’ll likely be losing colleagues and friends as well. So, getting support from others at your company might help you through it. Also, before you make the announcement, it might be good to get the backing of your company, so you know you’re not taking the burden on your own.

Are you Ready to Announce Your Redundancies?

Hopefully, after reading this post, you now have a better idea of what redundancies are, and are aware that you’re not alone in making them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also hope you’ve garnered some useful tips to help you make the announcement to your employees along the way.

Like we said at the start of this post, it’s never easy to make the people you see every day at the office redundant. That said, you can try your best to mitigate their suffering and your own.

Thanks for reading and good luck with the redundancies.

How covid has impacted business in the Philippines

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective Article |Business in the Philippines|How covid has impacted business in the PhilippinesAsia has become well-versed in dealing with financial crises over the course of the last 50 years or so, from the oil crash of 1973 to the so-called ‘Asian Contagion’ of 1997.

The latter saw a sequence of currency devaluations and after the Thai government reversed the decisions to peg the local currency to the USD, which also triggered stock market declines and reduced import revenues.

This also sent real GDP growth tumbling to a little over 1% (1.3%)overall, which was considerably lower than during the aforementioned oil crash and the great recession of 2008 (against which Asia was relatively well-insulated).

But where will the fallout from Covid-19 rank against similar crises, and how has business been particularly impacted on the Philippines?

Comparing Crisis and the Wider Impact of Covid-19

The fallout from the Asian Contagion and stock market crash of 1997 was considerable, but the latest forecasts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggests this years’ coronavirus-related decline will be even more damaging to the economy.

More specifically, growth in Asia as a whole is expected to stall at zero percent by the end of 2020, confirming the worst economic performance in nearly 60 years.

This will plunge growth levels well below the overall international average, creating an outlook that’s relatively bleak by both contemporary and historic comparisons.

That said, the forecasted slowdown in some Asian nations is slightly smaller than the expected contractions in the US and Europe, where the economies may ultimately shrink by 6% and 6.6% respectively.

Conversely, China’s growth is projected to decline by 4.9% in the year ending December 2020, tumbling from 6.1% in 2019 to just 1.2%. This is slightly better than some nations in the west, and it provides genuine hope that other nations in Asian can follow the trail blazed by China in terms of achieving better-than-expected economic performance.

Appraising the Impact on the Philippines

The Philippines entered a technical recession during Q2, after recording its worst economic growth since a major downturn in 1981.

According to the recent data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority, the nation’s GDP growth rate declined by a whopping 16.5% during the second quarter of 2020.

Overall, there’s even a risk that the Philippines could enter negative growth territory for 2020 as a whole, with minimal growth of just 3% recorded in Q1 and a further (albeit significantly smaller) contraction forecast for Q3. This contrasts starkly with the annualised performance over the course of the last five years, which has delivered average growth of around 6% during this period.

However, there’s some cause for optimism in the country, particularly after the island of Luzon (which accounts for 70% of the nation’s GDP) reopened for domestic travellers. Sure, this increases the risk of a second coronavirus spike, but it also reopens the national economy and improves the prospect for businesses and households alike.

The surprising resilience of the Philippines peso has also helped to prop-up economic sentiment, remaining one of the few emerging currencies to strengthen against the USD in 2020.

This is also indicative of a deceptively robust economy, and one that has the potential to rebound quickly from coronavirus in the future.

How Co-working Spaces Could Benefit From the COVID-19

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Co-working Spaces|HOW CO-WORKING SPACES COULD BENEFIT FROM THE COVID-19The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the global economy into recession. Economists across the world are predicting the worst economic recession in history, as countries struggle to contain the deadly virus. GDPs are plummeting, and unemployment rates are rising worldwide.

Businesses, from large corporations and MNCs to small companies and startups, are forced to make significant operational and structural changes. Many organizations have embraced the work-at-home model, as offices are the top contenders for spreading the virus. People are focused on avoiding activity or place that encourages social interaction.

It brings us to an important question: Can co-working spaces still survive when social distancing is mandatory?

It most certainly can. Even though co-working spaces are currently facing reductions in revenues and memberships, they have an enormous potential to benefit. Economists and experts observe that a recession and the work-at-home situation can open up new opportunities for co-working spaces. Currently, co-working spaces are empty, and many have shut down due to a lack of demand. But this situation is expected to reverse as people thrive in social settings and seek out co-working situations.

In this article, we will discuss the potential benefits co-working spaces can draw from the ongoing pandemic and recession.

Here, take a look at these points:

1. WORK FROM HOME CULTURE

In the wake of the pandemic, administrations and businesses are fighting uncertainty, which has given rise to the work-from-home model. It is an attractive and feasible solution to maintain operations and productivity in the immediate future. Twitter, amongst other corporations, is allowing its employees to work-from-home permanently.

Apple and Facebook have also extended their work-from-home operations until 2021. The demand for co-working spaces in Australia is also increasing as remote workers need a professional environment. Organizations and professionals are increasingly embracing teleworking, and co-working spaces play an instrumental role in this transition towards remote working.

They provide remote workers with an organized and systematized space where they can operate and network within the industry.

2. DE-DENSIFYING OFFICES

De-densification is instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition out of the crisis and towards recovery. Organizations are likely to explore practical solutions to de-densify their offices and operations to future disruptions and safeguard their employees. Major corporations and companies are already taking measures to relocate their employees and operations to co-working spaces.

As the economy moves towards recovery, the trend of de-densification and relocation to co-working spaces also expected to increase. Businesses are likely to position their employees across multiple co-working spaces to reduce their expenses and avoid over-densification. Corporations have realized the benefits and cost reductions of remote working, and this trend is likely to continue in the future.

Remote working and co-working spaces go hand-in-hand because professionals need a supportive and facilitative environment. Many small businesses and startups that forced to shut down can also rely on co-working spaces. They can position their operations temporarily to save money and recover from the recession.

Many professionals are just getting comfortable with remote work. They realize the comforts and flexibility associated with working at home. However, eventually, millions of work-at-home professionals will seek to escape their home environment and work from a different environment. They will be attracted to co-working spaces where they can practice social distancing without being confined to their home environment.

3. LIFELINE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Co-working spaces are not only crucial for freelancers and teleworkers. They are an essential lifeline for small businesses, startup entrepreneurs, and self-employed professionals. They serve as a supportive environment that offers structured discipline for coordination and allows greater affordability.

Countless entrepreneurs are unable to rent office spaces and rely on co-working environments to sustain operations and enhance productivity. Co-working spaces can play an instrumental role in coordinating resources and offering community support to small businesses. They can aid small business owners in exploring grants and governmental schemes.

Co-working spaces can also function as a bridge between local business networks and small businesses. They can provide them enhanced access to government schemes, grants, and local organizations dedicated to relief. Co-working spaces ideally positioned to coordinate the relief resources offered by various local funds and organizations.

They can utilize their peripheral connections and positioning to aid freelancers, remote workers, and small businesses.

4. COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Co-working spaces create a community where remote workers and small business owners can cultivate trust, grow, and build relationships. They are dynamic economic engines that fuel the financial stability and market presence of millions of professionals. Co-working spaces create employment opportunities; they allow businesses to save money and raise equity capital.

Once the COVID-19 crisis boils over, federal and local leaders will work towards creating jobs and restoring office spaces. Co-working spaces will play an instrumental role in recovering the corporate community. Community dimension is significant for allowing a smooth recovery, and co-working spaces will aid in restoring the balance.

The recession has hit hardest on small businesses and startups, and co-working spaces will facilitate restoration. They will help entrepreneurs and professionals regain their stability by offering social networks and industry connections.

It is essential to understand that return to normalcy after the lockdown won’t be easy. Many businesses won’t be able to reopen, and countless entrepreneurs will struggle to raise capital and cover losses. Community support and strength will be crucial in rebuilding networks, reconnecting with associates, and restoring the economy.

Co-working spaces are community hubs that offer support and create a facilitative environment. They will be instrumental in rebounding from the coronavirus pandemic and transitioning towards normalcy.

CONCLUSION

Presently, all businesses are navigating through uncertain times with depleted revenues and increasing losses. The global industry has embraced numerous adjustments and extensive restructuring to cope with the crisis. Co-working spaces are a vital ingredient in this restructuring as they will facilitate local economies and act as community hubs.

Co-working spaces are local economic engines that support remote professionals and entrepreneurs, and their significance is likely to increase. They will play an instrumental role in recovery and rebound, as businesses work towards restoration and growth.

COVID-19, Manufacturing Skills Gap and the Connected Worker

StrategyDriven StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective Article |Connected Worker|COVID-19, Manufacturing Skills Gap and the Connected WorkerBy 2050, the world population is estimated to grow from 7.6 billion to 9.6 billion. This growing population will boost consumer demand across all industries. From construction, to food & beverage, to life sciences, oil & gas, and many more industries. This growing demand means that we expect to see investments into production and manufacturing facilities, creation of many new jobs and a positive impact to the economy. Ultimately this positive impact will lead to hiring of many new front-line workers to support these operations.

These new opportunities create new sets of challenges in the COVID-19 Era. In this blog, I will highlight four challenges that business operations will face to keep their operations running.

  • Digital Natives – The New “Front-Line” Worker – While the above growth in population is the good news, the bad news is that many of these new front-line workers are born digital natives. They expect everything digital in their life and we expect to see a talent war with these new front-line workers having a choice in where they choose to work. The new front-line workers will be expected to perform highly complex jobs and processes with minimal human interactions in the COVID-19 Era. Big, fat binders, walkie-talkies and pages of work instructions will no longer even be an option. Availability of experts to hand-hold these front-line workers is also rapidly diminishing and with COVID-19, it even makes things harder to keep machines running and spare parts available at the right time and at the right place.
  • Disappearance of Tribal Knowledge – The tribal knowledge that exists with your expert front-line workers is expected to disappear in relatively short time. The average age of front-line workers is at 44.1 years and it’s estimated that these workers will soon start to leave the workplace, creating a huge skills gap and tribal knowledge disappearance. This aging workforce, coupled with a tight labor market, has resulted in critical skills and talent gaps impacting the ability of asset-intensive industries to recruit, train and retain a workforce with suitable competencies. The Manufacturing Institute estimates that because of the skills gap 2.4 million job openings in manufacturing will likely go unfilled through 2028, representing half of all open positions.
  • Shrinking Profit Margins – The growing pressure on profit margins and talent challenges is felt across all asset-intensive industries, such as CPG, Life Sciences, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Mining & Metals, Chemicals, and Industrial Manufacturing. This pressure doesn’t just stem from the rising cost of people; these industries are facing increasing demand from customers to deliver higher value for a lower cost.
  • Worker Safety – During the COVID-19 crisis, we have seen many business operations grind to a complete standstill, impacting production and revenue streams. New safety procedures, risk assessments and contact tracking will become an integral part of running an operation without interruption. Practicing “Social Distancing” requires context of worker health and their location within a plant or a site. The old ways of working and implementing standard operating procedures on paper will not work in the COVID-19 Era.

Recently Forbes wrote an article asking, “Is now the moment for the connected worker platform?” It’s very critical for companies to start thinking about a “Connected Worker” strategy in the COVID-19 era. Companies need to start thinking of how digital transformation can help them combat these macro trends and challenges. Simply delivering a mobile app for your front-line worker is not the right solution.

You need to be thinking of a connected worker strategy that puts your front-line worker at the center of all your disparate systems and they are converted into a “Connected Worker.” The definition of a “Connected Worker” is to converge different technology trends such as Cloud, mobile, web, chat, social, wearables, AI/ML, and more to change the entire working life of your front-line worker. As a simple example, it’s important that you not only think of enabling your front-line workers with important ERP operational data, but also empower them with step-by-step guided work instructions that help them get the job done faster, better, cheaper and safer.

You also need to be thinking about the growing population from 7.6B to 9.6B and the consumer demand. If you are not already thinking about bridging the skills gap between a new front-line worker and an experienced front-line worker, you may soon end up in an operational crisis that may impact your production and revenue streams.

Best-in-class Connected Worker Platforms will offer you the technology for experts to guide new front-line workers remotely. We expect to see a trend where more and more expert workers will be used to help four to five new front-line workers from the comfort of their homes. Remote guided assistance and over the shoulder coaching with smart glasses and a two-way video conferencing experience will not just be a “cool technology,” but will be a necessity in the next two to five years.

Connected Worker Platforms appeal to younger front-line workers, who are “digital natives” and comfortable with mobile technology. Such platforms also help industrial plants successfully solve shrinking profit margin challenges, skills gaps, tribal knowledge loss and worker safety issues. For these reasons, a Connected Worker Platform will soon be a necessity for manufacturing and industrial facilities.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Sundeep RavandeSundeep Ravande is the CEO of Innovapptive Inc. and believes in a better way of running plant based operations. In most enterprises, operations are a set of tedious linear steps – slow, inaccurate and highly inefficient. Sundeep believes in a world where field work can be done faster, cheaper and safer. He envisions Innovapptive to be at the center of all plant-based conversations between humans, machines and workflows. By digitally and autonomously connecting humans, machines, and workflows in the 21st Century Economy, Sundeep aims to create a “Connected Workforce” experience for 11 million field workers across the globe. Prior to co-founding Innovapptive Inc, Sundeep worked with several Big 5 consulting firms, such as IBM & Accenture, serving several Fortune 500 clients such as Verizon, Shell, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Coca-Cola and FMC Corporation to help them re-invent and re-imagine their business operations with digital technologies.