Regional business owners opt for staff safety over office return

Armstrong Bell

Regional Business Owners are opting to keep staff safe instead of asking them to return to the office, according to a recent webinar conducted by Bromsgrove based business telecoms provider Armstrong Bell.

The webinar attracted 50 business representatives from across the region to listen to the commercial lockdown experiences of three business owners: Dale Gough, Director of Worcester-based Financial Planning and Wealth Management firm, Prosser Knowles, Mark Wright, BBC Apprentice Winner in 2014 and director of digital marketing agency, Climb Online and Will Copley, Founder and Managing Director of Armstrong Bell.

Despite the latest Government announcement that employers can request staff members to return to the office from August, Mark, Dale and webinar listeners agreed that keeping staff safe and remaining flexible in how and where people work was key in continuing to navigate through the current pandemic.

Mark said: “Right now, it’s important for both the survival of businesses and the wider economy that staff can continue to do their jobs, which means they need to feel safe. Over the last 4 months or so, advances in technology like VoIP telephones and video conferencing have enabled us to quickly adapt to remote working, which means despite lockdown measures easing, the majority of businesses are likely to maintain some form of remote working policy for potentially years to come.”

Dale added: “The consensus was clear from the webinar in that remote working certainly isn’t going anywhere in the coming months, with businesses either thinking about creating a new hybrid model that combines office and home working or providing the option for permanent remote working. Although Prosser Knowles will return to the office at some point, sophisticated tech and telephony systems has and will continue to allow us to work effectively from a remote setting as we monitor the impact of COVID over the coming months.”

Will said: “Over the last four months or so, many of our customers have completely transformed the way in which they work and have therefore had to adapt and invest in new telecoms and connectivity solutions as a result.

“By introducing the concept of ‘Smart Working’, which enables staff to work any time, any place with anyone through collaborative and connected workspaces, businesses have reaped the reward of increased productivity, with employees benefitting from a better work life balance. As a result, a positive sentiment now surrounds remote working, which was echoed by Dale, Mark and webinar listeners alike, meaning many employers are likely to ignore the Prime Minister’s advice and enable staff to continue to work from home on a more permanent basis both during and post-COVID 19.”