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 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
Returning to work safely
As the UK moves into the next phase of the virus and various lockdown measures continue to ease, businesses are faced with the fresh challenge of establishing a way for their workforce to return safely, where possible. For most, a return to the physical place of work as it was pre-pandemic will be impossible and business owners will be responsible for implementing changes to the workplaces that ensure the safety of their staff.
In addition to the Returning Safely resources listed on their website, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) has produced the following guidance - in partnership with the IoD - to assist UK Directors in ensuring they have what they need to successfully transition to the next stage in the UK's recovery from the impact of Covid-19.
IoD/IOSH Returning Safely Guide
IoD/IOSH Risk Assessment Guide
Remote working policy
For those who are able to, 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.
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
For the fullest account of all available Government support measures, visit the Government Support section of the hub, with tailored advice for SMEs, the Self-Employed community and Directors in general.
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 remote wellbeing hub here.