Covid-19 has arguably had the single, most significant impact on business and the economy in centuries. And whilst the gloomy downturn in fortunes is seen globally in projected GDP figures, those overall forecasts are the sum of many parts. They can’t help us understand the tangible ways in which Covid-19 will continue to impact on how we recover. To understand that we need to look at how it will affect individual organisations in different sectors.

To try and understand what businesses are dealing with, and how they’re looking at the future, we contacted leaders from companies, large and small, and asked them the same single question:

From a business perspective, what concerns you most about returning to work?

What are business leaders saying?

The answers revealed how Covid-19 touches on every single area of a business. And will most probably change the workplace and ‘how’ we work, permanently. The environments we work in may never be the same again.

Below are snapshots of the responses we received:

“Raw material supply. With so many large economies like the US, China and Germany, are we going to be able to access raw materials quick enough?”

“If the furlough isn’t phased, we could be in a position where furlough has stopped but the market hasn’t recovered, or certain companies are not fully operational. This will drain cash and lead to liquidity issues.”

“New internal communication, IT and logistic needs. (I’ve added that first bit to make it answer the question more obviously) Some functions (customer experience) have found themselves more productive and focussed outside the office and may recommend a more permanent shift to home working more often.”

“Social distancing restrictions that may remain in place could change our workplace and employee interaction.”

“What concerns my teams is the risk of catching Covid-19 at work from a fellow employee who has it but is asymptomatic, or is avoiding diagnosing themselves. So having the right materials, signage and notices (added the start of this sentence) about distancing, hand washing etc. Plus temperature checks on site.”

“The factory design and space. As we get people back, they no longer slot right in as social distancing requirements will challenge the existing layout and space.”

“How motivated are employees going to be, who’ve had 80% pay for being at home with their families, when they come back at work?”

“Supply chain businesses that may not have treated their employees correctly, with compassion, and lots of communication, may find high levels of labour turnover.”

What are your biggest Covid-19 challenges?

Are you facing different challenges, or do you have the same concerns? We’d like to build this into a more comprehensive picture so we’d appreciate you sharing your thoughts in the comments. That question again: From a business perspective, what concerns you most about returning to work?

If you need to get Covid-19 ready, we can offer assistance. Our safety and support materials to help protect your environment and make it a safer place. For you, your team and your customers.