2020 is a year that no one will forget, no matter what happens during the second half. Coronavirus and social distancing have become the new words that everyone has discussed in every conversation they have had, and many businesses have either suffered greatly, or had to adapt to every circumstance around them changing, with customers, employee’s, the general economy, and the whole world, changing in a matter of days.
The UK environment has changed beyond recognition, the local pub is closed, children cannot meet with their friends, employees and employers of all types, have either had to close their businesses, or adapt to working from home, whilst managing staff, family requirements, home schooling, and having to queue to enter a supermarket, or battling to book a coveted home delivery slot!
We are entering what is predicted to be the deepest recession is over 300 years, and whilst the Government has tried to protect as many roles as possible via the Furlough scheme – another word to enter regular use in 2020 that was relatively unknown a few short months ago – and throughout all of this, people have been asked to stay at home, to protect themselves, others, and our valued key workers.
At Kinspeed, I have found our team to be very resilient, and I am proud of the way they have adapted to new ways of working and meeting with colleagues and clients. Being in the IT sector, you would have thought switching to home working would have been easy, but we had to ensure adequate hardware was available at short notice to enable everyone to work safely and securely, we have had to adopt regular meetings to ensure everyone is staying safe and keeping well, and trying to ensure that the all important service we provide to our customers is unaffected throughout the whole process.
We started home working a few days prior to the lockdown imposed by the Government, and I cannot praise my colleagues enough for their efforts throughout the past few months, when we have actually managed to increase our customer base, and I have received many messages of praise for the way our team have gone above and beyond.
Throughout this, I have found that talking to others, whether it be regular team meetings via remote methods, talking things through with my fellow board members at Kinspeed, sharing experience with my colleagues on the board at Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, who have all been impacted in their own unique ways, or just talking to anyone to share ideas and actions taken, have all helped me to navigate a path through what has been put in front of this year.
This is before I even mention family, who have all had their own challenges and changes to face, but we have all helped each other through uncertain times, and made me appreciate the people I have around me.
Therefore, I was happy to accept Steve Harper’s (IT Desk UK Ltd) offer of a virtual round table discussion, with himself and Phil Buckley (Industrial Personnel Ltd), to just discuss issues faced so far as a business leader, our admiration for the way our teams have adapted in the face of unprecedented change, and how we think things may look as we move in to the second half of a very memorable year.