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Information and Advice

Man taking a phone call in a home office

Protecting yourself and your organisation in challenging times like these requires support, guidance and skills from a range of sources, covering everything from employee physical health and wellbeing to working from home advice and tips, supporting employees with mental health issues and cyber security advice.

We’ll be updating this page constantly as new advice becomes available – in the meantime, IoD members can access our Information and Advisory Service where necessary. As a reminder, this service is comprised of:

Business Information Service – A team of eight researchers with access to a suite of databases covering: corporate governance, company information, market research; news and journal articles; template contracts and company policies. Contact the BIS team below.

Business Information Service

Directors Advisory Service – A panel of business professionals (lawyers, accountants, marketing strategists) available to talk through specific issues. Contact the DAS team below.

Directors Advisory Service

Remote working policy

Our factsheet on setting up an office provides advice for start-ups looking to establish their first premises but contains useful advice on working from home and the logistics of creating a home office as a streamlined version of your usual place of work.

Our law of flexible working advice offers guidance for those who may face difficulty during this period - such as those with children, dependents, health problems or unsuitable conditions for working at home. Working time regulations may also need to be flexible in individual cases to retain a good work life balance, or to create bespoke working hours for your employees.

If you have moved to remote working but need to maintain a manned phone or postal system during this uncertain time, the IoD offers a Virtual Office package. Depending on your needs, this features a dedicated phone number, switchboard, postal address and other business tools, managed by the IoD.

Cyber security

Our how to prevent IT disasters focuses on ways in which you can secure your cyber activity, security operating systems and external support you can call upon if something does go wrong during a remote working situation.

As your employees move to remote working, it can be useful to share back-to-basics guidance on email calendars and instant messaging and strong passwords to ensure data is being kept safe across computers or mobile devices and the reputation of your brand or business is not compromised by inappropriate language, data breaches, cyber criminals or content in emails or messages sent on behalf of your organisation from a home working environment.

Trade and supply chain

Beyond temporarily closing local and national businesses - how is the outbreak of coronavirus affecting international trade and global supply chains? Our Trade Policy team provide insight into the current impact on business, as well as background on how the outbreak reflects a globalised economy.

Read the Trade Policy team's article on trading through coronavirus here.

Supporting your employees

As part of its response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the UK government has announced a series of measures to support continuous employment by UK companies and businesses. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is in its early days of planning, but our factsheet contains information for employees and directors facing furlough, as well as a template letter to send your affected employees.

The government’s guidance on sickness absence and SSP is evolving as Covid-19 progresses, but keeping yourself and your employees up-to-date on each of your rights and responsibilities is key.

Having a rigorous staff wellbeing policy in place also ensures your employees feel safe and supported during uncertain times, whether they are working in their usual environment or remote working, as well as ensuring your employees' mental and physical health is supported.

Your business will undoubtedly face challenges during the Covid-19 outbreak, whether it is loss of revenue, redundancy or outplacement policies or inability to provide your usual level of products or services. Our business resilience factsheet offers guidance around this.

Physical and mental wellbeing

Remote working - especially when working at home - can blur the lines between professional and personal time, so our factsheet on managing your time can help you ensure the right boundaries and goals are set to manage your workload and work life balance.

For more information around taking care of your own and your employees’ mental health during this challenging time, please visit our Covid-19 mental health hub here.