Bosses consider host of safety measures to kelp employees return to work after lockdown – Wales Online - Freelance Rack

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Bosses consider host of safety measures to kelp employees return to work after lockdown – Wales Online

Employers are expected to be more flexible about home working in the future – with almost half of bosses believing it will save cash.

A poll of 1,000 companies in the UK found just 45 per cent were happy to let staff work from home prior to lockdown.

But seven in 10 are now considering rule changes to allow workers to continue operating remotely, while a further 57 per cent of business owners are already looking at adapting many of their usual practices moving forward.

The study was commissioned by Vision Direct in response to a surge in online customers during April, reports MirrorOnline.

Ashley Mealor, of Vision Direct, said: “Within a few weeks of lockdown we experienced a surge in new customers – the figure was 69 per cent up on the same time the previous year.

“We quickly identified a change in our customer’s behaviour, as they react to events around them. All businesses have had to adapt and respond quickly to the constant changing situation, and most are having to identify safer, quicker, more streamlined ways of trading for the future.

“We’re anticipating an even greater move towards online shopping, and we are exploring options for online eye tests, to cater for customers who either can’t get to the high street, or don’t want to.”

The research also found one third of businesses are planning to offer more online services, while a fifth will be reducing current office space.

Some For 13 per cent of business owners plan to reduce team sizes in certain areas, while 14 per cent favour downsizing.

Many office workers are now working from home (Image: SHARED CONTENT UNIT)

Eight in 10 employers claim more video conferencing will take place rather than face-to-face meetings, and staff who do have to meet others will do so in smaller numbers.

Staggered start times, professional cleaning services and the introduction of PPE are also being considered by many bosses – and some intend to give their staff the freedom more flexibility over location and times of work.

This could also lead to a rise in job opportunities for those not living in cities, if employers allow more remote working.

A further study of 1,000 workers currently at home, conducted via OnePoll, found many feel it is safer and more sensible to continue working from home, with as few people in the office as possible.

In addition to the safety factor, 35 per cent feel they are more productive working from home, while 37 per cent say their attitude to work remains unaffected.

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More than half of those polled have maintained good business practice throughout lockdown, with 22 per cent continuing to dress in work attire and 51 per cent creating an efficient home office set up.

A ban on travel to bigger cities is preferable for 16 per cent of employees, while 35 per cent want to see shorter working weeks, with four days on and three days off.

Ashley Mealor, from Vision Direct, added: “We’re bracing ourselves for tough times ahead, as while we’ve managed to maintain an impressive level of service throughout lockdown, we did see a 19 per cent drop of contact lens usage.

“However, this is already returning to normal as lockdown eases and more social interaction and activities such as tennis increase.

“Like many other businesses, we have adapted to working from home successfully, although still see a need for the office environment.

“With Zoom fatigue and lack of social interaction, we are conscious of the impact on staff productivity and overall well-being.”

Top safety measures considered by UK employers

1. The option to work from home – 43%

2. Desks set 2 meters apart – 32%

3. The ability to conduct all meetings via video conferencing – 30%

4. PPE – including face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer on decks – 30%

5. Reduced number of people in meetings – 25%

6. Professional cleaning daily – 24%

7. Staggered start times – 22%

8. Ban of external guests to offices -19%

9. Shorter working weeks – 4 days on 3 days off – 14%

10. Shift patterns – 14 %

11. A ban on travel to cities such as London, Birmingham etc – 11%

12. Perspex partitions on desks – 11%

13. Desks set out so everyone faces the same way – 10%

14. Wider entrances – 4%



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