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December 15, 2020

Planning For The Year Ahead


Andrew Beaumont

It’s been an unusual year to say the least! It’s veered from left to right and thrown some rather large speed bumps at us. One thing has remained constant however –change. We’ve all had to adapt in record time in order to stay competitive and be successful, welcoming in a new virtual world.

How has your business adjusted to Remote Working?

With the meteoric rise of Zoom, face-to-face business has become a thing of the past. Businesses have been forced to adopt flexible,remote working, helping them remain agile in this ever-changing environment. A recent survey (Sept 2020) found that 60% of the UK’s adult population is now working remotely. But will this be a temporary shift or is this the ‘new normal’?

Now that businesses and employees alike have become aware of just how much can be achieved remotely, is there a need to go back to the 9-5 office job? With stressful commutes, expensive takeaway coffee and meal deals a distant memory, will employees ever return to their previous working habits? Will you be?

At the moment, no one understands the full extent of these new changes in habits. However, what we do know is trying to convince someone working from home to go back to their 3-hour commute and extortionate train season ticket might be a difficult task!

Whether businesses decide to revert back to pre-COVID habits,or stick with new ways of working is their prerogative; whatever the decision, it’s imperative employers include their employees in any decision making. If an organisation wants to move to a more permanent remote working solution, a number of things must be considered. Ensuring the well-being and engagement of your employees should be of paramount importance. Working from home can be an isolating experience, so providing the necessary support and contact for every worker is key. A comprehensive home working policy should take these factors(and many others) into account, to create a happy, efficient environment for all.

The National Minimum Wage… more change ahead!

I hope you weren’t getting too comfortable as the change isn’t over yet!

The National Minimum Wage is set to rise across all age groups, from a 1.5% increase in under 18s,to a 3.6% increase for apprentices. The National Living Wage is set to increase by 2.2% from £8.72 to £8.91 and has been extended to 23 and 24 year olds for the first time. You still have some time to prepare; these changes don’t come into effect until April 2021. Are you already thinking ahead? Have you factored this into next year’s budget?

Your employees might take great joy in the increase, but SMEs and struggling businesses might not welcome the change. Whilst some will be grateful for abetter-lined pocket, business owners might be sweating at the thought of stretching an already limited wage budget. How have you taken the news? How will it affect you?

Succession Planning…what does the future hold?

After such a tough year, are you planning for the next? Do you know what your company might look like in 2021? Many of us can’t know for certain what next year has in store, but having a clear vision of what you want your business to look like can go a long way.

Many people’s business plans for 2020 had to remain dynamic and agile to be successful. Many old businesses have moved online and new enterprises have been started completely remotely; a new way of working has developed. When the opportunity to return to ‘normal’ is available, is there any need to go back? Will you continue as you are or will further transformation plans need to be put into place?

Whatever happens, one thing is certain; a business is only as strong as its workforce. This means that evaluating their potential is absolutely key. Identifying high performers for future leadership roles is invaluable for your business, as it allows you to foster their potential and develop them into the perfect candidate for a highly specialised role.

Do you have the right people, in the right roles? Do you have future business development plans? Have you laid the vital groundwork for success?

With growing financial uncertainty and the heavy costs associated with recruitment, is it time to start looking closer to home

Don't forget... Brexit is coming!

We are nearly there; the UK is just inches from leaving the EU! With this, there will be a number of crucial changes. If you’re unsure or unaware of them, check out last month’s blog, where I discussed the important, need-to-know details.

It's a lot to take in...

The world of business is changing and it’s proving difficult to keep up! If you need support with anything mentioned, whether that be writing policies for home working, succession planning, or business strategy for 2021, do get in touch I’m just an email ( a phone call (01788 228608) away!

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