Moving out of lockdown brings new pressures and challenges for any small business, especially those with offices, warehouses or factories – like Creative Nature.
Dealing with ambient food products, we have had to think very carefully about how we are going to work in this new world we now inhabit. Our supply chain also has to consider how things are now going to work – so we call all work together as seamlessly as possible.
Our new working environment in the office:
How we have organised our office with social distancing in mind:
- re-organised seating areas, well-spaced for the 2-metre distance rule, even if that’s just for a few days, we need to be able to flex the space if the rules change up or down.
- created space around areas used for other office duties, such as printing (something most of us have never considered previously)
- our team are working in the office part time, coming in three days a week.
- Therefore ensuring there is only ever a maximum of four people in the office at one time
- staff members with children are still working at home full time – this is called being compassionate and caring and we hope many companies will take this attitude.
- Ensuring hand sanitizer is easily available throughout the day
What about the kitchen?
The Government has also given guidelines for working in kitchens, which include:
- Allowing access to as few people as possible
- Spacing working areas to maintain social distancing guidelines as much as possible.
- Providing floor markings to signal social distancing.
- Minimising access to walk-in pantries, fridges and freezers
We have implemente all of these measures and added a few of our own so our team feel safe:
- Not sharing any utensils
- Cleaning surfaces every hour
- Washing hands regularly
What are the benefits of being back in the office?
The most positive thing, is we will see each other face to face for the first time in months. It is especially good for morale, and it will be wonderful to see people and be able to thank them personally for the work they have been doing during lockdown.
As good as online meetings are, there is nothing like being the same room as colleagues to engage and work creatively; and of course catch up for a chat.
As business owners, we want to ensure that we are allowing our staff a flexible approach to coming back to work.
It’s important when you care about your team, that they understand you trust them to be committed to their work when working from home.
When employees can see that you treat them with compassion and understanding of their home situation, they are more likely to repay that trust with respect and loyalty. You end up with a very close-knit working team.
We are pleased we have managed to keep our business working continually throughout lockdown, including keeping all of our staff in work. Many companies have been unable to do this – purely because their sector does not allow it.
Due to everyone’s hard work we’ve kept going and in some areas have seen an increase in sales – for example sales of our popular baking mixes rose by 650% on Amazon. We’re not surprised – they are delicious – take a look