Have you noticed that there has been a dramatic shift in people's priorities over the last 12 months? But as things begin to ease out of the third lockdown and into a 'new normal', how are we going to maintain habits and rebuild our businesses so they are fit for the unknown future? Here Sara Osterholzer, co-founder of The Good Business Club, shares some insights on the small business movement to Build Back Better and how to get involved.
By now, many of us are aware of the benefits that coworking can bring; from collaborations to new inspirational ideas and the opportunity to work alongside others experiencing similar challenges. That’s why world-wide well over three million people opt for coworking spaces. And despite events of the past 12 months closing many coworking hubs, leading some to see a 50% decline in footfall, that figure is still set to double in 2022.
Rishi Sunak has predicted a rise in hybrid or flexible working in local hubs once the pandemic is over. Speaking on the Politico Westminster Insider podcast this month, he cited the rise of 'neighbourhood' serviced offices springing up across New York, and thinks these small local hubs for people who want to avoid the commute but don't want to work at home is something that should be picked up in the UK.
Forget remote working, it’s all about asynchronous working thanks to an increase in global teams becoming the norm and changing the traditional workplace. Departing from the classic in-office, same-country model, global teams are creating a robust new workforce, global teams create asynchronous working styles that go against conventional practices.
The UK is more environmentally conscious than ever, with 89% of adults prioritising being more environmentally friendly this year. Ahead of World Recycling Day on 18th March, flexible office specialist, Workthere, has shared top tips on how UK workers can be more conscious of recycling in the office.
incspaces, a space-as-a-service operator with locations across London, Leeds, and Manchester, is urging workers to consider supporting their vital local economies as they begin to return to the office later this year. Under the Government’s roadmap to recovery, office workers are expected to begin a phased return to the workplace from 12th April as an increasing number of businesses are given the green light to reopen. The team behind the growing flex space initiative is keen to use this as an opportunity to support small firms.
Employees are at greater risk than ever of suffering burnout and employers should consider putting in place preventative and curative measures. For startup employers in particular it is important to look at tackling burnout in a sustainable way, eradicating the factors and issues before they take hold.
The UK is heading towards a ‘burnout breakpoint’ with search data exposing alarming levels of people seeking help. As we quickly approach the anniversary of the first lockdown, Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent who discovered these findings is urging businesses to support employees and implement practical solutions to prevent similar levels throughout 2021 and hordes of workers reaching their breakpoint.
Research from Ezra, a global provider of digital coaching, has revealed to what extent the current pandemic could change the face of the professional workplace on a permanent basis. The trend of working remotely is one that has been largely forced on us due to lockdown restrictions and concerns over safety. However, for many it means more time at home and a positive increase in the work-life balance.
Following news this week that people have been rushing to book holidays for summer, data from absence management platform, e-days reveals that Mondays, already the day people are most likely to book holiday, will see a spike in holiday bookings post government announcements in 2021. So far Monday January 4th, the first day back after the Christmas break, and Monday 22nd February, following the UK government’s announcement of the roadmap out of lockdown, have witnessed the biggest leap in number of leave bookings.
As ambitious business leaders, you aspire for your organisation to soar high in success. Not only this, you try to leave no stone unturned to fulfill your aspiration. But, are you directing your efforts to enhance employee happiness? If not, it is time for you to start doing so. This is because happy employees can speed up your organisation’s growth and help you fulfill the aspiration of your company’s immense success quickly and easily.
Welcome to my new series ‘The Next Steps’. Every business owner and director, at every stage of a business’s life, should always be considering the next steps. If it is not constantly changing and adapting, and considering how to take the business forward, then the chances are very high that the business will fail.
A new report by Claromentis has revealed that 73% of UK workers want to split their time between home and office working after the pandemic. Unilever, Twitter, Square and many more companies have announced their staff may never return to working a five-day week in the office. But what do workers want?
incspaces, a space as a service operator with locations across London and Manchester, is opening a brand new 24/7 flexible workspace in the heart of Leeds. The 19,000 square foot venue will play host to both young startups and established businesses embracing the ever growing flexibility of the future of work.
Small changes consistently applied over a period of time WILL have a big impact on your business. For example, if you simply commit to spending 30 minutes every day engaging with your target audience on social media, this daily activity on your part will gradually compound into a significant impact on your business.
Workplace wellbeing has always been a necessity for productivity. However in the post-COVID environment, it will be more important than ever before. Where once upon a time the focus was on ergonomic workstations, air quality and mental wellness – all still valid areas of concern - there is now the added emphasis on providing an environment where the risk of disease transmission is as low as possible and importantly, where employees believe it to be so.
Before you even think about starting a business you have to know that there is going to be a need for your services or product. In our case, a large number of teachers leaving their profession in addition to the ever-increasing class sizes in public schools mean that there was a growing gap in the market for private tuition.
73% of tech talent would consider working for a startup in 2021, with male tech talent more likely to work for a startup (63%) than female (49%). That’s according to a recent survey by Talent Works, which asked UK employees in a variety of tech roles what they look for in a job and where they look for new opportunities.
The past year has been an experiment in different working environments. Workers are again being asked to work from home during the third national lockdown in England while similar restrictions are advised in Scotland. However, the dramatic shift to working from home flexibility has outlined the importance of a good working environment.
In 2020 we experienced a lot of change to our working lives, with many of us turning to Google for tips and advice on working from home. Influenced by what we’ve all been searching over the past few months, Lauren Gordon, Behavioural Insights Adviser at Bupa UK shares the top workplace trends to follow for 2021 and tips on how to make these trends work for your physical and mental health.
In workplaces throughout many different industries, there has long been a myth that productivity must be sacrificed for the sake of health and safety. The idea that health and safety is something that gets in the way of swift operational management is dangerous and, in reality, unfounded. In fact, high levels of health and safety are vital to operational efficiency, whatever sector you work in.
British businesses have had a tough 2020, with almost all small businesses reporting they had been dramatically affected by the pandemic but with January being historically one of the hardest months in the working calendar, it is important we work together to beat those blues and be the best we can be.
“What will the new year bring us?” “365 opportunities!” This was the question and answer in a cartoon that was sent to me a few days ago, showing two people sitting on a hill looking into the distance. New Year’s eve this year was not so much a celebration in the normal sense so much as a “Great, 2020 is over so now let’s move on!” But the cartoon perfectly matches my own mood and that of many of my clients and other contacts.
In today’s world, stress has become an inevitable part of professional life. According to a survey conducted by the Regus group, across 15 different countries, the levels of workplace stress have risen over the past two years. Employees all over the world are getting exposed to excruciating levels of work stress. The sad state of employees calls upon employers like you, to take actionable measures for employee stress management. It is essential, both for the well-being of your employees and your organisation.
The 2020 festive period is now in full swing. However, with the UK coming out of lockdown to tighter tier restrictions, it’s fair to say Christmas will look different this year. A work Christmas party is often a great excuse to let your hair down and celebrate the festive season with your colleagues. After a year filled with lots of change, ups and downs and staying at home, now more than ever it is important to celebrate all we have achieved.
Running a startup is challenging - it involves wearing many different hats and having to deal with multiple decisions and challenges every day. If we work in a cluttered and disorganised environment on top of this, it can make us feel overwhelmed and stressed. Disorganisation can make it harder to prioritise tasks, focus on important decisions and think creatively.
One of the common mistakes of start-up founders is trying to micromanage by insisting everything is controlled internally. This has the effect of slowing down progress. Busy start-ups need to decide what activities are important to conduct in-house by their employees and others that can be safely outsourced to a third-party.
e-days, the absence intelligence company, says data from 86,000 recorded UK absences has revealed that stress levels have spiked twice in 2020 following the changes to the furlough schemes. These peaks were especially noticeable in organisations with fewer than 250 employees as the effects of the pandemic proved more challenging for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).
There's no doubt about it: leadership has been put to the test this year. Over the course of 2020, leaders of businesses everywhere have had to step up to a monumental challenge. Not only have many businesses had to fight to stay afloat, but company leaders have been required to find new, creative ways to work remotely, motivate their team in the face of extreme adversity, and achieve their goals.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way the world works, and with UK workers working at home for the foreseeable future, it can be difficult to connect the workforce together. To support workers, flexible office specialist, Workthere, has shared five tips on how you can stay connected to your colleagues, both in and out of the office.
As the UK emerges from lockdown for a second time, it’s crucial we keep up the conversations we’ve been having about the importance of a healthy work life balance. The majority of people who I’ve spoken to have enjoyed the freedom of remote working and are keen to retain some of this newly-discovered flexibility in the future. With this new mindset and the ongoing restrictions, I certainly don’t anticipate an immediate rush back to offices.
Winter alone can have a negative impact on anyone’s mental health. Couple this with spending the best part of the year dealing with a pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns and it's no surprise that according to ONS statistics, the weeks after the clocks went back saw record levels of loneliness in the UK.
Considering introducing an employee wellbeing programme in 2021, but concerned about the financial outlay and where to begin? Fear not, as it does not take a huge chunk of cash to create a successful wellbeing programme for your staff. However, you do need to invest some time to plan an initiative that will best suit your team. Here are four cost effective suggestions to get such schemes up and running, and to maintain momentum.
Small businesses in the UK still aren’t offering their people enough flexibility, according to new research from Tiger Recruitment. While the pandemic has required many to work more flexibly from home, more than a quarter of employees questioned say they still aren’t happy with the flexible working options available to them, and men are just as dissatisfied as women.
First Office Hub, the global workspace broker, which has just helped a tech company to expand from a traditional leasehold property into a 20,000 sq ft managed office space, describes the London office scene as extremely active with companies of all sizes and across all sectors researching offers and looking to secure the right deals ahead of 2021.
New research involving 150 HR leaders has found that 3 in 5 UK workers have experienced mental health issues since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The report authors, Accountancy and Finance, HR and Data Analytics recruiter, Wade Macdonald, and workplace law specialist, Doyle Clayton, have raised concerns of an increase in known incidences as a result of the current lockdown measures.
As England is once again in lockdown, new research shows the rate of ‘lockdown loneliness’ and its impact on mental health is as high as 27% in the UK. As the NHS strains to support an increase in mental health conditions, the Flow headset and therapy app treatment for depression, the first of its type to be medically approved in the UK and EU, aims to tackle ‘lockdown loneliness’ and mental health outcomes by providing immediate, at-home access to effective treatment.
You’ll have a difficult job browsing content platforms nowadays without coming across articles focusing on - or at least alluding in some way to - the working from home revolution. A whole host of companies, including Twitter, have announced that they will allow staff to continue WFH permanently if they wish, following its success throughout lockdown.
The sudden move to working from home has been a challenge for many SMEs. With smaller teams often benefitting from close knit relationships with their colleagues, COVID-19 is forcing many businesses to reconsider their approach to employee wellbeing. In many cases, however, this is easier said than done, with research from Wildgoose finding that nearly half (47%) of employees at SMEs are finding that their mental health has been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
As we enter Lockdown 2.0 we are at least all much better prepared than we were in March when we entered Lockdown 1.0 and went into the total unknown. We are better prepared this time because we have all learned so much already this year about living and working during a pandemic and we take those lessons learned into the second lockdown.
With the gyms officially closed more people will now take to the streets to get their exercise, although this wasn't a problem during the 1st lockdown, (remember those lush summer days) we have an extra obstacle to come up against - the weather. Finding the motivation to run in the rain is tough, but getting out of the door is the hardest part. Once you’re running, the wet weather and puddle-dodging are exhilarating. And logging the miles in a downpour is a surefire way to feel hardcore. Wet-weather runs can give you a mental advantage if you’re training for an event, too. Knowing you’ve run in all conditions means you’re prepared for any weather race day throws at you.
Since the beginning of the year, wellbeing has been a prominent topic of interest among Brits, in fact, searches for the term ‘wellbeing’ have increased by 257% in the past five months. As people continue to spend more time indoors, Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at FurnitureChoice.co.uk, explains how to create a calming oasis to maintain wellbeing at home.
Today’s workplace culture has many employees feeling the pressure to turn up to the office at all costs, even when ill; however, the global pandemic COVID-19 has shown it is more critical than ever for businesses to tackle the widespread challenge of 'presenteeism' especially when majority are working from home.
A webinar that explores mental health in the workplace will kickstart the Angel Business Club Insights series on Wednesday, 4th November. The webinar, titled ‘Inspiring Mental Wellbeing In The Workplace In a Post-COVID World’, will be hosted by former vice president of HR at Unilever Geoff McDonald.
ZING, a new video calling platform, has launched with the aim of making video calling more natural, fun and closer to real life human social interaction. The ZING platform is designed to encourage more natural interaction amongst colleagues, particularly on social video calls, as the ongoing COVID-19 crisis extends the time people are told to work from home.
In April 2020, the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 49.2% of adults in employment were working from home because of social distancing measures introduced following the COVID-19 pandemic. With remote working now a necessity for many, companies can adapt by staying on top of the latest trends. Here, Ashmita Das, CEO of Kolabtree, the freelance platform for scientists, discusses some of the trends in remote working.
The line between dreaming about your perfect business and actually running a killer corporation is not a huge gap - it is a simple step. Sadly, a lot of people get stuck on their idea. They dream about what could be, without ever focusing on achieving their goals. If you also have a great passion and an amazing idea, then make sure not to be one of these people. All you need is to divide your process into smaller, easier to handle bits. Doing so will help you tackle them more eagerly, and deal with the tasks as they come. Today, we take a look at five essential steps needed to stop dreaming - and start doing.
With varying government guidelines in place across the country, many will find themselves working from home. Exploring the nation’s relationship with their sofa and desk chair, FurnitureChoice.co.uk polled Brits to find out how many suffer from back pain. Using this insight, experts reveal the best and worst seating positions for your back, whilst we spend more time at home on the sofa.
WorkClub workspaces support hospitality venues, co-working hubs and pubs, to drive more footfall during day-time hours. These venue hosts become neighbourhood workspaces, allowing WorkClub members to work closer to home, supporting the local ecosystem around the corner from their homes. We spoke to Nick Donnelly of WorkClub to find out more about them.
At a time when WFH looks set to continue for many in both the short and long term, ‘hidden fractures’ are forming in the workforce which risk causing irreparable damage to cultures and productivity. That’s according to new research from Totem, the digital culture platform, which is urging employers to take action now to better manage remote working and prevent employee engagement and retention levels falling to an all-time low.
Millions of Brits give up more than a month of time each year by working additional unpaid hours, totalling five years over their working life, research reveals. In a poll conducted by Hitachi Personal Finance for this year’s National Work Life Week, data reveals exactly how much time Brits are spending working past their contracted hours and what else the nation could be doing with this time.
What is the difference between traditional 'change management' and employees first 'change management'?
Over 60% of organisational change initiatives fail, but change itself isn’t the stumbling block. Change is common and natural, even inevitable. Seasons change, people change, mountain ranges change — yet successful change management remains a lofty, even insurmountable challenge for many organisations. Over 60% of organisations view change as something that should not be desired, something that should be dreaded; so many leaders within organisations fight hard to create sustainable/practicable practices, systems and functions with change being the last thing they desire.
The art of coding is reported to enhance productivity and communication within businesses, therefore, it is fast becoming a sought-after skill by employers. As the tech industry continues its exponential growth and becomes an integral part of every business, where’s the best place to start for a career in coding?
2020 has been the most stressful year in history for the global workforce and people want robots to help, according to a new study by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence, an HR research and advisory firm. The study of more than 12,000 employees, managers, HR leaders, and C-level executives across 11 countries found that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased workplace stress, anxiety, and burnout for people all around the world, and they prefer AI robots instead of other people to help.
As we enter the last quarter of 2020 I thought that it would be useful to take a look back at this extraordinary year and see what lessons can be learned from these truly remarkable circumstances. It has, after all, impacted on every business around the world in one way or another. Indeed, the impact has been so great that business, and the way that business is done, will never be the same again.
Will working from home become the new normal? Yes, according to The Case for Remote Work, a new report from think tank, The Entrepreneurs Network, by innovation economist, Dr Matt Clancy. Reviewing a wide range of research from across economics and social science, it argues that the business case for remote work has improved significantly over the past decade.
It should come as no surprise that a strong environmental ethos within an organisation is a driving factor for many jobseekers when choosing where to apply for work. However, a recent report has detailed just how important sustainability aligned with social responsibility really is in terms of recruitment.
2020 has required businesses, specifically young startups, to evolve and adapt in so many ways to successfully navigate such unprecedented challenges. With the world shifting towards remote working, company culture has become more important than ever. VC-backed startup HomeHero is on a mission to transform how people manage their homes, all whilst juggling the delicate challenge of retaining company culture when the team is growing fast and personalities are joining HomeHero, remotely, every other week.
According to research from outsourcing provider, Woven, more than three-quarters (78%) of consumers trust online reviews when it comes to making a purchase. As UK businesses continue to manage the fallout from lockdown, customer service experts from Woven have revealed the significant impact that positive reviews could have in helping small businesses recover.
Every business needs to constantly assess what it sells, to whom, and how it sells it. It also needs to constantly assess the market and its competitors, as well as attempting to forecast future trends in demand and technology. All of this is quite a task in normal times when events move in a predictable way and in a linear timescale.
The Government’s furlough scheme has saved an estimated two million jobs and helped protect tens of thousands of startups and SMEs from closure. However as the clock ticks down to the end of October, the point at which the scheme will end, many businesses are now understandably concerned about what will come next once this provision is taken away.
A new study, commissioned by business bank, Allica Bank, shows that the practice of regular training correlates strongly with high performance in SMEs and will be vital to businesses’ prospects of a swift recovery post-COVID. The study analysed data from over 1,000 companies and ranked their success on a scale that evaluated factors including productivity, growth, consistency and outlook.
One thing that every early stage business should produce is a pitch deck, whether they are looking to raise external funding or not. A pith deck is typically a 15 to 20 page very simplified business plan set out in a PowerPoint type format. Its purpose is to succinctly outline all aspects of the business to any outsider. Just like a business plan, producing a good pitch deck is a good exercise for any founder in refining the business itself, and considering all aspects clearly and objectively.
Is the education system equipping young people with the skills to succeed in a fast changing labour market? A new report from The Entrepreneurs Network argues that as children return to schools after lockdown, students as young as eleven should have the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship in order to develop the skills and mindset necessary to prosper in the modern economy.
Remote working has been in the technology ecosystem for many years. I have personally been doing partial remote work for the last ten to twenty years and what I have found is surprising. Most individuals are not used to this style of work which is accelerating a nationwide transformation of company culture.
Before any business is established the founder will of course have spotted a gap in the market, thought of the original idea, conducted research, and come up with the MVP. Taking these basic thoughts and then forming a business around them, with all the necessary steps that regular readers will now be very familiar with, does of course take considerable time and effort.
Research from Workthere has revealed five top tips to keep employees happy at work. Workthere’s 'What Co-workers Want' report found that 59% of coworkers in the UK say they are happy with their current workplace, but what can providers do to improve happiness within their offices? Workthere asked 1,874 European office workers about 48 different office features in order to determine how satisfied they are with them and identify the areas offices should look to improve to provide an overall happier place to work.
The startup ecosystem is going through some big tests right now. This time has forced us all to discover just how efficient and productive we really can be working from our kitchen tables. It’s tested the limits of our patience (‘when will it ever end?’) and resilience (‘when can we go outside?’) and ability to stay focused (‘how do I ignore the distractions of home and get my work done?’).
According to the Office for National Statistics 213,285 businesses failed in the UK in the first half of 2020, a 14% increase on the same period in the previous year. Without looking much more deeply into the numbers it is not possible to say for certain how many of those that failed were due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown but we would not be far wrong to say that the 14% increase, or 26,193 businesses failures were as a result of the pandemic.
So I was listening to a podcast this morning - I listened to loads of podcasts so that's not unusual - but there was something about this podcast and the messaging within the podcast that rang a moderate alarm bell. The conversation was one of those that I estimate actually holds a lot of people back.
Blenheim Chalcot, the UK-based digital venture builder, and Imperial College London welcomed its first business members to Scale Space on Imperial’s White City campus this week. This new 200,000ft2 facility, will be home to scale ups and innovative businesses across the technology, digital and life-sciences sectors.
If you have purchased a new computer within the last few years, you likely lack something - ports. You know, places to plug in your stuff. With streamlining and consolidation, many modern computers (including the entire MacBook family) have shifted to utilising only USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. Because of this, a dock or hub is essential when you Work From Home.
At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has caused large-scale disruption to businesses worldwide, remote working has been a shining example of how to ensure ‘business as usual’, particularly in areas such as customer service. If Gartner predictions are correct that over 40% of all employees will continue remote working post-COVID, businesses must redefine remote working by ensuring customer service staff - contact centre agents and supervisors - are equipped with fit-for-purpose technology to ensure they deliver a truly first-class service to the customer. Anne-Meine Gramsma, Chief Commercial Officer at ContactCenter4ALL, explains.
Fifty percent of people currently employed are planning on looking for a new job after COVID-19, according to new research released from Hooray Health & Protection. Nearly a quarter (24%) of employees questioned said they were somewhat likely to seek a new job, 13% said they were very likely and twelve percent were pretty positive when they said they were extremely likely to look for a new job post COVID-19.
Forty nine percent of employers are planning to stagger return to work based on employees’ own health risks related to COVID-19, whilst 46% will be staggering employees return depending on how critical their role is to the business. The next most popular strategy is the creation of smaller work groups (40%), followed by changing work hours (34%), a voluntary return scheme (33%), and splitting shifts (28%).
While car MOTs were scrapped during lockdown, taking the same approach with a business could be a mistake that leads to catastrophic consequences. Just as leaving unchecked, unroadworthy vehicles on the road is potentially dangerous, by not taking control of a business and leaving success to chance is a gamble at the best of times, but right now that approach could be the beginning of the end.
Some founders come up with their business ideas alone, whilst others do so with friends or associates. Some founders wish to stay as sole founders, whilst others prefer to work with co-founders to share the tasks, decision making, and risks, as well as adding often complementary skills or knowledge to their own.
Commercial real estate, HR and technology professionals are focused on finding innovative ways to meet the challenges of a post-COVID workplace through safe and effective back to work strategies. John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices, considers what this means for businesses heading back into the office.
Starting a company and being a founder is stressful - especially in the current COVID-19 environment. Last year, 19% of all European founders said starting a company had a negative impact on their wellbeing, and a global pandemic will not bring that number down. However, mental health issues are not widely discussed in the startup ecosystem and beyond.
A new survey by global consultancy, Brandpie has uncovered that the number one challenge CEOs expect to face over the next five years is finding the right talent. Furthermore, Brandpie reports that 98% of CEOs surveyed agree that the new generation of talent have different expectations from previous generations - with emotional considerations such as alignment of a company's culture and values trumping benefits like flexible working, training, and access to technology for the majority of millennials.
Following the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, we have seen widespread business closures, pay cuts, reduced hours, and redundancies, resulting in many workers looking for a new venture. Today, LinkedIn is one of the go-to platforms for budding job hunters searching for a new role, therefore the competition is high. To help those looking to enter a new career field, online educational platform, Preply has provided tips on the things to consider when messaging a recruiter on LinkedIn.
In the COVID-19 era many people are taking the opportunity to organise and simplify their home working spaces, making good use of the ample time at home. But de-cluttering your virtual space - including your computer/laptop, phone, cloud storage, etc - is just as important as de-cluttering your physical space.
The home kitchen and dining area have become the most lucrative money making locations in Britain, that combined are generating £37.4bn to the British economy during lockdown - that’s being coined as ‘Kitchen Table Talent’. The research commissioned by Attic Self Storage, revealed that although restrictions are being lifted, 41% of office workers are expected to continue their jobs from home, with 44% saying it’s the most productive place they have ever worked.
Are you working at home and struggling to maintain productivity? For the majority of Brits currently working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for those looking to do more home working in the future, flexible office specialist, Workthere, has shared 10 tips on how you can create an office space that leads to maximum productivity.
Even in the bleakest of times, entrepreneurs have found a way to innovate and create disruptive products that have enhanced our daily lives or solved a problem. Take the humble chocolate chip cookie, baked for the first time after the Great Depression. During a period of severe economic hardship, this new treat offered some richness and comfort and remains immensely popular to this day.
The COVID-19 pandemic has massively accelerated the pace of change in the business world. Leaders and employees have had to adapt to operate in a challenging environment, where the only certainty is change. Not only have organisations had to rapidly adjust to the changing needs of its people, customers and suppliers, but it has also navigated the financial and operational challenges. This has led to many businesses prioritising the now, focusing on reshaping its operations to stabilise revenue and align with short term demand.
Local businesses are core to our communities, but the impact of COVID-19 has been tough on business owners. As the UK steadily reopens its doors to businesses and people alike, Google has pledged to support small businesses across the country with a burgeoning package of products, tools and services to support the reopening and growth of British commerce.
Britain’s small businesses achieved three years of innovation in just three months as they battled to keep trading during the coronavirus lockdown. While such efforts to keep revenues flowing have been successful for some owners, concerns about employment prospects and future investment remain for many as lockdown restrictions begin to ease.
Global small business platform, Xero has announced its new analysis has revealed the extent of COVID-19’s impact on UK small business employment and revenue between March and May 2020, showing a 28% drop in revenue and a six percent decline in employment. Late payments to UK small businesses increased by 7.8 days between February and May 2020.
The number of people on UK payrolls dropped by 612,000 between March and May, according to early data from the Office for National Statistics and HM Revenue and Customs that is starting to show the depth of the hit to the economy from the pandemic. The UK unemployment rate for the three months to April 2020 was estimated at 3.9%, 0.1 percentage points higher than a year earlier but largely unchanged on the previous quarter.
Over the last few weeks, Chancellor Rishi Sunak spelled out how he and the Treasury plan to end the Job Retention Scheme - also known as furlough - at the end of October. The scheme is currently paying 80% of the wages of at least 8.4 million workers placed on furlough by their employers. Many are concerned that the majority of these workers will be made redundant as soon as the scheme ends, leading to mass unemployment.
The Bank of England has revealed that it may take the cost of borrowing below zero for the first time in its over 300-year history; following moves by Eurozone countries to introduce negative interest rates. The move could effectively mean that savers pay to have their money with banks and are incentivised to borrow money and increase their spending.
During Mental Health Awareness Week last month, in the UK and for seven days, the nation paid itself some attention and shone a light on the impact of work and COVID-19 on our wellbeing. For the rest of the year, however, we must continue to look after each other and our mental health in and out of work.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on our everyday lives, therefore, it is important we maintain high spirits and support each other and our local communities as much as possible. As non-essential stores remain closed until further notice, there is little we can do to help with this reality. However, for those small local shops and convenience stores that continue to provide us with our essential items and necessities, there are steps put in place to help support their success during this tough time.
The world is now facing a public health crisis known as Covid-19 and a financial crisis. The crisis on our hands manifests differently for individuals and companies. The uncertainty over our ability to revert to our normal state creates pressures on mental health, relationships, and business performance.
According to UK Government statistics some 660,000 new companies are established each year and many of these will have plans to scale rather than to remain a micro business. Some founders will of course be happy to run their startup as a side hustle, and others will only be looking for a lifestyle business. But for many others that are looking for something larger, ‘how do I scale my business?’ is a question that I am often asked.
The team at Quotezone.co.uk, an insurance comparison site, surveyed 600 UK businesses about how they are dealing with the lockdown. The research revealed that two fifths of UK businesses (39%) have had to pivot their offerings since the beginning of lockdown, with 76% of these providing a brand-new service.
When you are trying to navigate the management of a business in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s all too easy to neglect the maintenance of your company culture. Yes, it’s true that other priorities might seem more pressing right now; after all, your clients and suppliers won’t be sending you impatient emails demanding to know how you plan to safeguard your internal team relationships.
As employees return to work, UK businesses are likely to face a backlog of annual leave requests that could cost thousands of pounds. By collecting data and analysing the average monthly salary at a baseline at £2,214 and at least 50% of employee annual leave owed, Coworking Specialists Instant Offices have calculated how much it would cost for companies of different sizes to pay staff for a minimum of two weeks of annual leave.
After nine long weeks of lockdown, businesses are starting to re-open or, at least, planning to reopen in the near future. For some of the luckier ones this might be possible without having to make too many, or too onerous, changes. For others, the planning will need to be much mere detailed and the implementation will be much more complex.
The global pandemic is creating huge uncertainty for people, businesses and livelihoods in the UK. To support those who are looking to better understand the new government financial support that is available and how it can help them, Jim Harra, Chief Executive and Permanent Secretary of HMRC, will be participating in a LinkedIn Live interview and Q&A hosted by Emily Spaven, UK Editor of LinkedIn News, on Thursday 21st May at 3pm BST.
A considerable task business owners face during the outbreak is keeping teams motivated and productive in the face of uncertainty. According to the people management and CIPD poll, around 63% of employers say anxiety is the biggest challenge facing their organisation right now, followed by the inability for their teams to work remotely.
In the current climate, many of us have found ourselves in different working environments - with the majority of people working from home. With our home and work spaces becoming the same place, it’s more important than ever to ensure you take steps to create some separation and avoid burnout - a common issue faced by small business owners.
The first step in an energy company collaborating with a startup is to ask itself a simple question: why? In part one of this series, we answered that from a wide-angle perspective – because the industry needs to innovate to keep up with the pace of change, and collaboration with startups appears the quickest, surest way to do so. Because the old model of fiercely guarded, siloed research has reached its limit.
Amid the current pandemic, the economy is taking a brutal hit, and as fledgling businesses, startups have a particularly fierce challenge to keep afloat. To try and help companies that aren’t eligible for existing relief schemes during this time, such as the CBILS loan, the government has announced a £1.25bn fund to try and help these companies - including startups - survive.
For the majority, the word entrepreneur conjures an image of a male in his twenties or early thirties. It’s unlikely the picture of someone in retirement age would come to mind and even less likely a woman in her 60s. However, a new wave of silver start-ups is emerging and with good reason! One such disruptor is Sheila Holt. Having traded on a smaller scale for a few years, Sheila embraced her entrepreneurial spirit and began scaling her finance business, Sapphire Lending Ltd, at the age of 60.
The current pandemic has brought shock and uncertainty to businesses across the world. From global heavyweights to SMEs that are the backbone of the British economy, the question for many leaders is, how can we keep afloat during this crisis? Thankfully we live in a digital age where many businesses can be taken online. Along with government support, there are many tools that can be easily accessed to pivot during this period.
More than ever, cash flow is a key issue for small businesses, and understanding it is crucial to making informed decisions at the right time. The government will be asking businesses to demonstrate that they have an understanding of the state of their cash flow as it stands, and in the future before allowing access to the grants and schemes being offered.
Skim read the annual report of a major energy company from 2010 and you won’t come across many instances of the terms: 'innovation' or even 'startup'. Now, it is a different world. Even the slowest moving established energy companies (perhaps especially the slowest moving) recognise that innovation is key to survival in a changing market and that collaboration with startups is a good way to go about it.
Businesses in the UK, and across the world, are facing unprecedented challenges in order to survive and thrive in the wake of COVID-19. Scaling businesses are facing an additional and unique set of challenges, as many will be in the ‘critical growth’ phase which is often loss-making – embarking on a stage of expansion in order to achieve future revenue growth. This makes the current climate daunting to approach.
With COVID-19 continuing to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds it can be hard to prioritise the right things for your startup when it comes to managing money. This is undoubtedly a tough time for everybody, but for startups, freelancers, sole traders and small business owners, it’s hitting particularly hard.
It’s always been clear to me that I’m not a math person. Or at least that’s the story I’m used to telling myself. Soon after graduating from Political Science and International Relations, I started working for Panama's foreign service in Geneva. This was an opportunity of a lifetime, representing my country on issues I cared for like gender, climate change, and mass migrations.
In 2020, companies throughout the world are investing significantly in colleague training. 94 per cent of British businesses’ suggesting, ‘that even in the current economic climate, learning and development is at the heart of their strategy’. The report by UK L&D noted how none of the companies who are spending more than the national average of £300 on training for each employee have a retention rate of less than half a year. Clearly, staff morale and job satisfaction are enhanced by sufficient training.
Found & Flourish is a female founders and aspiring entrepreneurs online membership, media & events platform. We have over 10,000 women within our network and run on average 40 events a year. Our mission is to empower women in business to launch, grow and scale their dream businesses. We also provide services, resources and community to support the women at every stage of their entrepreneurial journey.
Any business at any time has to constantly be considering how best to trade in the present, and how best to trade in the future. This is equally true in the good times as it is in the difficult times. For many, this strange period where the world is caught up in the coronavirus pandemic is certainly one of the much more difficult times, but for some lucky businesses it is actually a period of rapid growth and great opportunity.
With many office-based businesses still required to work from home, it can be stressful trying to manage your company and protect your employees, customers, and interests. Capital on Tap's CEO, David Luck shares his 'business health MOT' checklist, to ensure you’ve got the best plan in place for your business’ longevity.
In the current climate, overcoming the fallout from the coronavirus crisis will be a top priority for most, if not all, businesses worldwide. However, this does not mean we can ignore the underlying challenges that continue to impede global progress towards goals like ending the gender diversity crisis.
For the UK, innovation has become a top priority. Indeed, adapting to the coronavirus economy is the most important objective for most businesses and those that innovate successfully will thrive. However, R&D has become a much more public discussion over the past few weeks. In the recent Budget, the Government put significant emphasis on increasing R&D activity. It recognises that the UK could be more of a global innovation hub.
Coronavirus is on everyone’s lips, not literally but figuratively. And for very good reason. It seems so long ago already that the only thing in the news was all things Brexit, and how companies will need to adapt in order to survive, and now that has been brushed aside by a much bigger and more urgent threat – coronavirus.
Many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs claim they’ve learned their best life lessons from making mistakes and bouncing back. But that doesn’t mean that expensive errors should be embraced. Spotting problems early on and better understanding the challenges ahead can help limit the cost and potential damage when things don’t go as planned.
“To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed” - Steve Jobs. You know you have an incredible idea with which you could disrupt the market. But to do that, you need first to transform it into a software product. And you're possibly wondering what the starting point is, and at what stage you need to take to the market. You're worried because you know of people who did not make an impact despite their great idea. These thoughts are but natural and every entrepreneur goes through them.
The Coronavirus pandemic will change online behaviours significantly and possibly permanently both for consumers and businesses. People have been forced to access information in new ways, interact and purchase new and different products and services online, and the longer this continues, the more likely these are to become habits.
THE Covid-19 pandemic has made logging on to Zoom and Microsoft Teams part of a new daily working routine for millions of Brits. The use of the video-calling tools has exploded in the past fortnight with people following Government advice to stay at home. But there are increasing fears at how this key tool for home-workers is bringing new dangers.
Running your own business is not an easy thing. We know this. Everyone knows this. I am not saying anything revolutionary when I make this statement. But why is it hard? Well, to maintain financial and psychological wellbeing is tough for business owners but they’re not exclusive in feeling these worries, many employees also find maintaining financial and psychological wellbeing to be tough.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt and dominate our lives, feelings of anxiety are completely normal during times of uncertainty and in some cases isolation. Everyone will be impacted in a different way and it is important to remember that you are not alone. Already there are so many stories emerging of human kindness and compassion and people pulling together to help and support each other.
The coronavirus pandemic has turned off the lights in millions of offices, factories and shops across the UK. But for many businesses who have switched to home-working the cost of their now empty property will still need to be met. And that dilemma is now causing growing concern among businesses – many of whom have seen revenue totally stop in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. Today one of Britain’s leading law firms has advised companies with concerns over meeting the cost of commercial leases to hold 'sensible' discussions with landlords as quickly as possible. Harper James Solicitors also advise firms yet to get a plan in place to do so – before it is too late.
Upscaling can be a daunting task for any business, many will find it difficult to step outside their comfort zone or be reminded daily the risks with investing in new opportunities. While this approach may work in our personal lives, it can be detrimental to new business opportunities as well as the entrepreneurial mindset when it comes to upscaling your business.
These are strange times, unsettling times, and if I am honest this is not a normal question that I overhear much in more normal times, but recently THE question that I keep hearing is ‘do I have to work remotely and what does that mean for my customers?’ or, put another way, ‘does remote working have to mean working remotely?’
Any business at any stage of its life must be able to adapt and change to changing circumstances. One of the very real benefits that early stage businesses have is that they are small and fast on their feet and are therefore perfectly structured to be able to react swiftly to changing circumstances.
A startling statistic from the European Commission’s: when it comes to European startups, 83% of startup founders are male. At the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT), we want to see more women entrepreneurs: more female ownership of startups, and more businesses owned by women. It’s about equality and social inclusion, it is also about a good economic sense and using Europe’s biggest untapped entrepreneurial talent pool - women.
Some people are afraid of networking and others love it! It is true. We have all come across people that love nothing more than going to networking events and chatting to as many people as possible – some of these really get the benefits that good networking can bring to them and their business, and others simply love networking because it fits their outgoing personality.
For the whole of August, I embarked on a smartphone detox. There were a few reasons as to why, but the most prevalent was a worry around burnout. For the past 18 months I’d be working hard setting up and growing Shine Workplace Wellbeing, while also ensuring I was spending ample time with my two young sons.