It has been a strange year due to the global pandemic (you have no doubt already read countless articles that say the same thing) and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of things getting back to normality any time soon. As we head into the winter months, when respiratory illnesses are at their most prevalent, it looks set to be another uncertain time for businesses that have already endured months of hardship.
Countries have been put under tight lockdown restrictions because of the COVID-19 outbreak and, having had something of a reprieve during the summer there are signs that a feared second wave is on the horizon. As a result, governments are deciding to place fresh social restrictions in an attempt to keep the virus under control and not put too much pressure on health services.
Businesses, many of which have only just reopened their doors, may be asked to close them once more and employees, at least those that can, asked to work from home. The question on the lips of everyone is, what will the winter look like?
What if There is Another Lockdown?
Governments have stated that another full lockdown is an absolute last resort, knowing full well that the economical effects of another lockdown so soon after the first would be nothing short of disastrous. Governments will likely do everything they can to keep as much of the economy open for business while placing greater emphasis on social restrictions, although this is far from certain.
This would, in effect, demand that people only leave their home for essential items and to go to work without seeing any family or friends outside of their household. There would be no doubt that this would place a strain on the mental health of large sections of the population, especially as we would have no idea as to when restriction would begin to lift once more.
The Return to Working from Home
Many businesses may decide themselves to operate remotely once again, with some enjoying better success than they thought possible during the spring. This will see millions of employees returning to makeshift workspaces unless they never left with many having worked from home throughout and having to reacclimatise to this way of working having only just reacclimatised to the office.
This will also mean that employees will have to find ways to look after their mental and physical health. In the first wave, there was a huge call for home gym equipment and other fitness essentials to keep healthy while restrictions limited the amount of time we could spend outside. In the second wave, we will no doubt see plenty of searches for home workouts to build muscle and burn fat, especially with the festive season also on the horizon.
Businesses that have already navigated through the working from home age should have no problem in doing so again, especially office-based roles where employees spent the majority of their time working in front of a monitor anyway. They should be able to hit the ground running having perfected communication tools and other processes for ensuring work is completed.
In whatever form a potential second lockdown comes, it will result in the closures of numerous businesses that had barely survived the first. This will, sadly, see numerous people out of work which, heading into Christmas time, is never easy to take. The hope is that, as governments roll out further restrictions, there will be further support packages available – both to businesses and employees who find themselves out of work.
The next six months are not going to be easy for anyone, that is a fact. To survive through these crazy times, businesses will once again have to become creative to learn how to thrive in these circumstances. Winter will be long and hard, that cannot be denied.
Interesting related article: “What is Remote Working?”