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Covid-19: Firms ready to restart within three weeks

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BBC News talked to companies in five different sectors to find out how prepared they are to return to work and are their new ways of doing business.

Extracted from BBC.Com: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-52552580

“Businesses’ ability to restart quickly varies by company size and by sector,” said BCC director general Dr Adam Marshall.

Some are rotating staff. Others have introduced remote services or even plan to shut the office altogether.

The survey suggests that businesses that offer services to other business are the most ready, with two-thirds saying they would need less than one week or no notice at all to restart operations.

The marketing agency that’s shutting its office

“We’re not going to return to office working. We will close it as soon as the lease runs out,” says Shai Aharony, chief executive of Reboot Digital Marketing.

“It will save us around 10% of our turnover and means we’ll cut down on fuel, pollution and all the other surrounding costs associated with having an office.”

The Hertfordshire-based business, which employs 20 people, has found that working from home suits its workers.

“It’s a major change for us. But I don’t think that things are going to go back to normal. A lot of companies are going to have to evolve rapidly if they want to survive.”

However, they’ll still need to get together regularly, says Mr Aharony.

“We have a brainstorming session every two weeks that is key to our business.

“In future, we’ll do it at a local hotel. We’ll brainstorm and do all the other tasks that are more efficiently done face-to-face and then go out as a company.”

The High Street chain that’s introduced remote services

“We’ve been exploring remote alternatives to our traditional in-person appointments,” says Giles Edmonds, clinical services director at Specsavers.

“Our stores are currently only able to offer urgent and essential care to a limited number of customers.”

The new way of doing business is to allow customers to get advice and care from optometrists and audiologists via video and telephone link.

“It removes a number of barriers, especially with health services already under immense pressure,” says Mr Edmonds.

They also have an Ask The Expert service on Facebook, while in branches, “frontline” teams provide urgent  and  essential eye care to other key workers and people who  could come to harm.

“However, we have modified our processes to minimise the time that optometrists or audiologists and their patients are in proximity to each other.”

That’s on top of a range of social distancing measures and the provision of hand sanitisers, which all retailers have adopted.

A new approach to business

These are just two examples of companies which have decided to change business practices following a period of lockdown.

As with any crisis, out of the ashes come new ideas, new technologies and new ways of doing things – this crisis is no different and we can already see brand new business opportunities emerging to cater for the new business models.

Please share our technology with the world!

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