Adapting to the new normal. Your questions Answered

The Caterham Independent Newspaper has teamed up with Blue Turtle Business Services to offer support and help to both employees and employers alike during these difficult times as we slowly start getting back to life as we knew it.
This is your opportunity to send us your questions which we will try and answer via this new monthly column.
With over 35 years’ experience in business support BTBS offer a range of services to get your business back on track along with coaching and career advice for individuals.

Dear Steve
I work in an office environment but have been working from home since lockdown started. This has worked well, and my productivity has been great. My boss has now told me that he is expecting us go back to the office on a full-time basis from the end of August. The office is cramped with very few facilities. Whilst I miss my work colleagues, I am getting really stressed about going back to the office. What can I do?
Tony. Caterham

Hi Tony,
Every employer has a duty of care to their workforce. Guidance has been put in place to ensure the safety of all staff, customers, and anyone else using a building, making people safe and able to go about their daily duty without fear of catching the virus. You should speak to your employer and air your concerns. Many companies have seen the benefit, both in productivity and in cost savings, by staff working from home. However, this is not practical in every case. I would hope that your employee has carried out a full risk assessment and implemented a plan for social distancing ensuring safe practices. They would be very irresponsible if this has not been done. Unfortunately, many companies have put procedures in place without consultation with their employees. This understandably, leaves you feeling anxious, however, once you have spoken to them, I am sure your fears will diminish and that you feel safe to return to work safely.
Good luck. – Steve

Dear Steve
I run a small independent IT support business consisting of 6 staff. Immediately after lockdown I furloughed the entire team but slowly, as lockdown subsided, I have been able to bring them all back but working from home. Before lockdown, the team were engaged and full of life and fun. The work environment I had put in place was motivational and the team pulled off some amazing results. With the team now working from home I am finding it hard to keep them all motivated and working as a team. Can you suggest anything that may help?
Zoe. Warlingham

Hi Zoe,
Delighted you have been able to bring your team back to work. Motivating staff remotely can be tough but it can be done as proved by many companies. In this “new norm” it is so important to keep your staff engaged and motivated.
My suggestion would be to hold regular online meetings which everyone attends. I used to call them “the huddle” (cheesy but it worked!!). Each “huddle” should consist of updates but also include some sort of fun activity. A quiz. A funny story. A motivational speech from “Ted” or “you tube”. I would get someone different to chair each meeting and run the activity. You should also celebrate success and share birthdays etc.
Here at Blue Turtle Business Services, we specialise in getting teams working together. We do this by getting to know the individuals within the team set up and then work together to create a successful team environment.
If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me so we can arrange a free 30-minute consultation. I would be happy to help.

Dear Steve
After 20 years working for the same retail company, I have just been informed my job is a risk and that I will probably be made redundant at the end of this month. I am approaching my 50th birthday but still feel I have a lot to offer. Retail has been my life but with little chance of getting another similar role I am feeling disillusioned and depressed about my future working life. Can you help? Thank you.
Stacey. Purley

Hi Stacey,
We are so sorry to hear your news. Like many others this is an incredibly challenging time with some people making great sacrifices. It may seem all doom and gloom, but you must remain positive. Its time to take stock of your life and find the next stage in your career that fits your personality and utilises your experiences. It is time to think outside the box and challenge yourself to find an exciting new role.
As a life coach I am supporting many people who are in the same position as you are right now. By doing some simple personality profiling we can identify your strengths and weaknesses and get you to really understand what you have to offer. You will be surprised how much experience you have. From this we can design a CV worthy of your achievements and help you get your name into the marketplace. We can then start to pave the way to start you off in the next chapter on your career history.
I am offering a free (no obligation) 30 minuet consultation. To take advantage please contact me directly so we can arrange a zoom chat. Good luck and stay positive. There is a job out there for you. You just need to find it.

To ask us a question or to request a free 30 minute, no obligation, consultation, please email Steve at or call me on 0208 617 8111

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