Going back to work after lockdown in the UK is going to be the new reality for many people on 4th July. In the UK at least 600,000 people have been taken off HMRC payroll, with thousands more expected to be made redundant when the full support furlough scheme ends in the next few weeks.
Many people are also worried about losing their job, how their business will survive with the new restrictions in place and their safety during this period. With this in mind, I have compiled a list of helpful steps that everyone should be taking into consideration when going back to work after lockdown.
One of the reasons the UK is reopening is for the economy to bounce back. The bank of England has predicted the worse recession in 300 years, so it’s no wonder that lockdown restrictions have been lifted and we are all being encouraged to go back to work. If social distancing does not continue, cases will rise again.
I encourage you to keep up to date with the latest government guidelines as well as consider what is going to be best not only for your own health (both physically and mentally).
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- Wash your hands regularly
- Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
If you have been able to work from home for the crisis, now would be a good time to ask your employer if you are still able to do that when the new rules come in. Think about the different ways in which you can limit your contact with other people – whether that’s seeing if you can car share rather then get public transport, take in packed lunch or have fewer meetings.
For those working in hospitality, retail or any customer-facing role it’s important to know your rights of what your employer should be providing for you. The government has lots of information on worker support. It may also be possible to stay on furlough (the scheme runs until October) or work on reduced hours. Don’t feel uncomfortable asking for support, many people will be feeling anxious and Employers will want their staff to feel safe.
If you work for yourself, think about how you will change the way you work to create a safer environment for you and your customers. Perhaps you need to adapt the services you provide, the hours you work or the prices for your services. Take your time in creating something that is going to work for you and the new reality we are living in.
Revisit your income, expenses and budgets
This counts for both your work, if you have your own business, and your personal life. A recent article in Forbes has predicting the worse recession in industrial history in the UK.
I recently wrote about the importance of budgeting for financial independence, and for many of us, we are going to have to make some big changes. While it may be tempting to be thinking about your next holiday now that there is a possibility of travel restrictions being lifted, more importantly, we need to be thinking about how we will get through the next few months.
This is the best time to sit down and look at your money and do a full money makeover. The money-saving expert site recommends sitting down for a full day to do this, so plan some time this week to get this done. As someone that was once £20,000 in debt and became debt-free, I know this is possible for all of us.
Like many of us, the Coronavirus has hit me hard, causing issues in my travel business and a large business loan that needs to be paid off, which is one of my big goals for 2020.
As well as looking for ways to save money, diversifying your income is another way to support yourself when going back to work after lockdown. There are many ways to do this, start a successful blog, create a patreon account, build an online store or look at creating a side hustle. I’ll go into more detail with guides on how to diversify your income in the coming weeks, so sign up to my newsletter or leave me your email in the chatbox to get the free resources.
Review your online presence
If you are looking for work or clients, it’s really important that your online presence is a great representation of your values. A great way to review your online presence is to do a digital declutter. Many of us have been using the internet for over 20 years It’s common for potential clients, employees and customers to search for our businesses or profiles online before committing to working with us.
It’s important what we put out in the world, and part of that is ensuring your digital history and presence represent the values and ideals that you hold both in your career and personal life. We all need to be more aware of how what and where we post, use and share. My free In-depth guide on how to do a digital declutter is a great way to get you started.
I also suggested in my habits to help you through lockdown to reduce your time spent online and on social media to help with your mental health, and in order to use it more intentionally. Recently my accountability group had an interactive workshop run by CEO Lewis Kemp on Personal Branding in which we discussed the importance of creating a positive public perception through our online presence.
In the upcoming weeks I will be running a free LinkedIn workshop with Social Media Expert, Alex McCann as well as offering individual support. To keep up to date with all my events and opportunities, just sign up to my newsletter.
Create new goals for work and home
The reality is that going back to work after lockdown will be different from how things were just a few months ago. This time on ‘pause’ has allowed many of us to review what we have been doing in the past and change our habits in the future.
Personally, I have already discussed my wish to move to a zero-waste lifestyle, and am adjusting this to a more sustainable intentional way to life. I have decided to stop shopping on Amazon and focus on ethical choices when buying things for my home and life.
In my work, I have revisited my goals which I created with my business accountability group. I have new mid-year goals, which focus on creating new projects and increasing my income to help me get out of debt.
A resource I regularly encourage people to do is Year Compass, a free online workbook in reviewing your last 12 months and planning the next. Personally, I have also been using a Passion Planner to help me plan my days and stick to my goals.
Going back to work after lockdown is an opportunity to reset the way in which you choose to work and spend your time while you navigate the new normal. What will you do differently? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
Other things to consider when going back to work after lockdown.
Going back to work after lockdown is going to be a difficult experience for many of us. There have been many predictions in how industries and work will change in the coming months. Unfortunately, this situation has continued to be unpredictable and tough for many of us and looks set to continue that way for a long time to come.
What this situation has reminded me personally is that there are so many things we are unable to control, and often this includes our reactions. Where possible, try to examine the things you have control over. You can’t prevent a global pandemic from happening, but you can choose how to respond to it. You can’t control how someone else behaves, but you can control how you react.
It’s ok to feel overwhelmed, panicked and worried about your future. No matter how bad you feel, remind yourself that it won’t last forever. As you already know, your feelings are constantly changing, so allow yourself to not be 100% all the time.
Focus where you can on things that you can control and remember many of the challenges you will be facing are a collective challenge for many people, not just you. I’d love to hear what other actions or thoughts you have towards going back to work in the comments below.