These are unprecedented times and most, if not all of us, are struggling to adapt to new ways of living and working. Although none of us know when or if things will return to ‘business as usual’ with our high streets and shopping centres looking like they did prior to the COVID-19 crisis. As the lockdown is slowly lifted, employers will be required to follow a closely managed process to enable them to reopen stores. Ensuring that this can be done while maintaining the health and safety of both employees and customers alike is critical.
These new ways of working and the possible uncertainty that this may cause for some people, could result in them experiencing concerns about returning to their workplace. Issues such as possible challenges in enforcing in-store social distancing, worries about contracting COVID-19, the use of PPE as well as taking practical steps to ensure we continue to look after the health of our family, friends and colleagues alike will be front and centre in many people’s minds.
While COVID-19 has brought with it many challenges, what it has done is offer us the chance to put new tools in place to stay well. Here are a range of resources which might be helpful as we transition into a ‘new normal’ as we exit from the lockdown:
- Managing health anxiety
- Managing anxiety
- Dealing with difficult customers
- Dealing positively with negative people
- Managing worries
- Information on COVID-19.
Guidance for employers
The safety and wellbeing of every organisation’s employees and customers is a top priority. Retailers welcome continued government support and clarification to assist managing their workforces. The BRC has worked with its members and external stakeholders to produce recommendations which will help retailers to facilitate the implementation of social distancing measures. These recommendations cover two areas:
Warehousing and distribution:
Fundamental to the provision of online retail and those with stores still open are the colleagues working in warehouses, distribution areas and logistics and supply chains.
Reopening of other retail premises:
As businesses prepare for the reopening of stores, it is likely that some virus control restrictions will continue to be necessary to limit transmission. The BRC has worked with USDAW to agree practical recommendations for non-food retailers to consider.
The documents below outline measures to facilitate implementation of government advice in retail premises to ensure the safety of employees and customers. Over and above these specific measures there should be an open dialogue with colleagues to reassure them and discuss any concerns about the safety of their role.