As the country continues to do battle with what is the safest way to deal with COVID-19, there are still many unanswered questions with respect to the return to work.

The Government U-Turn with regards full resumption of schooling has left a massive balancing act for families. 

With childcare not in place, and companies having to part fund Furlough schemes from August some difficult and potentially damaging decisions will need to be made with respect which parent works and which one home educates the children.

So what can we be doing to protect ourselves? 

Communication is key. If you work for a small local company, the owner may be worried about the difficult conversation. If you can approach them and work through the options including your personal household situation then this may provide the breathing space the business needs and also some clarity and certainty (in time) that employment will still be in place.

Understand the options – if you are unable to keep up with the changing guidelines around return to work or social distancing measures, then ask. Interpretation can be harmful, especially with regard expectations. Protect yourself and your family by keeping up to date with the latest guidelines (https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus) and discuss these with your employer or if a business owner, take the due care and attention to implement these guidelines to build certainty and trust from employees and customers alike.

Plan for the worst and hope for the best – particularly with the children. The lack of social interaction has been difficult as has the guideline on how much or how little must be done. But as we enter in to this next transitional period, we need to ensure the kids are stimulated. A balance between physical, mental and general wellbeing tasks should be our focus, which also allows us to work. We could come out if this downturn with significant changes to the family ethos. Where before expensive day trips and dinners were the normal, these could be replaced with board games and BBQs. The family unit, loving, trusting and motivational, these are the values that bring certainty that there will be a brighter tomorrow.

Trust the cycle – economies experience downturns, some more widespread than others. Nonetheless, we have history on our side from all previous economic contractions. They come, they demolish parts of the economy, yet also there are always Phoenixes that rise from the embers to spark new growth and new opportunity. We all have the capacity to find new ideas and with this downtime, perhaps this has born the next big idea, which leads individuals to develop the capability to delivery these products. 

In summary, these are challenges and unknown scenarios that will test our resolve, but there is a way to overcome and spawn new growth. Usually these come from the least likely place or from reviewing the target markets and channels. Expanding revenue sources, protecting jobs and innovation 

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