At the time of writing, specifics relating to what our future Level 3 will look like are still being ironed out, but it will eventually come.
What we do know is that mass gatherings will still be banned (so no theatres, concerts or company-wide events), public venues will still be closed (no gym or pool), non-essential businesses are likely to remain closed and many of us will continue to work from home.
Every business and community organisation needs to start planning for a return to what will be our ‘new normal’. And a great deal of that planning will need to be around team and customer reassurance.
Communicate. Communicate. And then Communicate some more.
Your team will be worried about their own situations. Provide as much reassurance as possible about the future. If you’re unclear what that future looks like, at least provide some indication of when you may be able to provide an update.
Honesty is key – your team will value that. That might be that right now you’re unclear whether you can reopen under Level 3. That’s fine – let the team know and that you will provide them with an update as soon as you have clarity.
Encourage ideas from your team about how you might consider new models of work or new approaches to issues. Build your future together.
The same goes for your suppliers and customers. Communicate regularly and confidently. If you’re worried about the mounting bills, be forward thinking. Reach out to your property manager about a rent reduction. Not sure you can fill a customer order? Be upfront. It’s always better to broach these things head-on than put your head in the sand.
Update your online office details. On your website, your Facebook page, your google page and everywhere else. It’s quite astounding the many businesses who are yet to update those details. Are you closed, are you open? Prepare messaging ahead of time for Level 3. And then eventually for Level 2.
Clean your office. Every man and his dog will be booking ‘return-to-work office cleans’. If you haven’t booked yours yet, make sure you do it now. And let your team know that you’ve done that. As well as ensuring you’re adhering to health and safety standards, it shows you genuinely care for their wellbeing.
And then pause, and breathe. Looking after yourself is important too.