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The Road to Recovery: How can a flexible workforce help you navigate the new normal

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The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive effect on the UK workforce, with McKinsey reporting that 22% of the workforce is currently furloughed. 

As we emerge from lockdown, we face an entirely new working world. Around the globe, we see an increased need and demand for a more flexible workforce and more flexible workplaces. Tech giants Facebook and Twitter lead the way, with both announcing they will be prioritising new, flexible working solutions. At the same time, New Zealand PM, Jacinda Adhern has suggested a four-day working week to help boost tourism within the country. 

Whatever the next few months look like, one thing is becoming more evident. Flexible working is going to be vital in helping economies on their road to recovery. 

In this article, we look at how a flexible workforce can help your business navigate our new normal. 

Adapting operations

Already, during the pandemic, we have seen the need for businesses to adapt their business model to survive. Almost overnight, companies, workers, and society have had to reimagine the world of work to cope with the fallout. 

Being adaptable is going to be crucial going forward into our new normal, whether this means making changes to the core business, or the physical workplace. 

A flexible workforce can help cover the new tasks and responsibilities that arise from changes to operations. It allows your business to tap into new skills and experience that may not have been necessary before COVID, without having to commit to a permanent change in staff. It also allows for significant changes in staff levels from week to week to cope with a changing number of customers. 

Keeping staff costs down

Many businesses throughout the country have had to make the difficult decision to cut back on staff costs to ensure they can emerge on the other side of the pandemic. 

As the workforce begins to go back to work, many will feel the need to keep their staff costs low to be able to operate. This is especially true if new social distancing regulations impact on the number of customers they can have on their premises at any one time. 

A flexible workforce can help keep staff costs down, as you negate the need to have high numbers of permanent staff, instead of accessing a bank of staff as and when you need them. Businesses who access this flexible bank will not need to set up staff on PAYE as the agency controlling the bank will cover this cost. In this way, businesses can save both time and money. 

Covering staff during illness

In a pre-COVID world, it was not uncommon to overlook minor symptoms of illness in staff to allow them to continue to work their shift. However, moving forward, any member of a team who presents symptoms of illness will need to stay at home until they can get tested, which will result in lots of roster changes at short notice. 

Having access to a bank of flexible workers means you will be able to cover gaps in your roster on short notice so that your business does not suffer. 

Are you making plans to help your business recover after COVID? Why not speak to a member of our team today to find out how you can benefit from a flexible workforce.