“Joinery workshops all across the country are suffering due to the coronavirus outbreak – but there are a few ways in which you can help to protect your business and the people who work for it”
As Britain continues to suffer from an outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic, businesses of all sizes are facing fresh challenges – and joinery workshops are no exception. To help you through this difficult time, we have decided to supply you with some advice on how to protect your workshop from the worst of the outbreak, and make it through the other side.
- Keep everything hygienic and stay as far apart as possible
We all know the most widely shared piece of advice out there: wash your hands! That’s just as important in a joinery workshop as it is elsewhere. But it is equally important to wash all the things that your hands come into contact with. Use sterilising antibacterial wipes or other cleaning agents to wash down all the tools you come into contact with, door handles, surfaces, keyboards, mobile phones, and anything else you interact with physically. In addition, you can protect staff members by enforcing strict workplace distancing rules: keep all staff members at least 2 metres apart, or even in separate locations. Ask yourself – can any of this work be done outside?
- Be proactive on quarantine and social distancing measures
By now, we all know the official advice: if you show any of the common symptoms of coronavirus, isolate yourself at home for at least 7 days (you can find the government’s guidance in full here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection). It is vital that you follow this advice – do not turn up to work and be asked to leave, be proactive. Likewise, find ways to operate that minimise human contact: if you have recently completed a project for a customer, do you need face-to-face contact? Can the product be delivered to an outside location, cleaned and left for collection, and payment taken digitally or over the phone?
- Find ways to use this time as productively as possible
No matter what they do, most businesses will experience some loss of work during this period. But this shouldn’t necessarily compel you to shut-up-shop or sit around twiddling your thumbs hoping the phone will ring. We all have countless tasks and projects that we’re too busy to accomplish, and that live perpetually on the back burner – what are yours? Now is the perfect time to get staff working on new shelving units, doors, window frames and more for your workshop. Now is the perfect time to sit down and go through the accounts you’ve been putting off. Now is the perfect time to spend hours talking to a creative team about a well-thought out marketing campaign. All of these jobs appear when you look for them, and completing them now will make your business stronger when the outbreak is finally over.
- Don’t be reluctant to use government aid
The UK government has announced unprecedented levels of support for businesses during this outbreak in am ambitious effort to keep the economy moving. By taking the government up on its generous offer, you are contributing to that effort. Don’t be reluctant to apply for grants, take advantage of new loans, or make use of initiatives like the statutory sick pay relief package or the self-employment income support scheme. You can find out exactly what’s on offer and what applies to your specifically here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses.
There is no doubt these are trying times – described by many as a defining event for this generation. And of course, there is no advice that can magically guarantee any of us a positive outcome. Nonetheless, at Quercus, we remain positive that there are still things we can all do to increase our chances of a brighter future – and we hope you’ll join us in trying to make it a reality.