63% of UK SMEs concerned about workplace safety as teams return

A poll by Vistage, a world leading business performance and leadership advancement organisation for small and midsize businesses, has revealed that 63.2% of UK business leaders are most worried about the safety of their workforce as economic activities resume following weeks of lockdown. 

The latest Vistage poll came after the UK government last week issued new guidance for businesses about reopening as the COVID-19 lockdown begins to gradually ease. New directions include social distancing in workplaces and the wearing of face masks in enclosed places, such as offices and shops. However, in spite of these measures, the majority of UK SMBs still remain concerned.

In addition to this, the poll found: 

  • A fifth (20%) of business leaders are concerned by the prospect of a slow recovery
  • 7.3% of respondents fear the end of the government-backed furlough scheme and what that could mean for their ability to retain their workforce levels
  • Just one in ten (9.4%) have no concerns 

Geoff Lawrence, Managing Director at Vistage UK, said: “While many UK small- and medium-sized businesses welcome the new government guidelines, it is also clear that companies are at different stages of readiness to reopen. It is, therefore, no surprise that leaders and senior executives are concerned about bringing their staff back to work without adequate protection and procedures in place. 

“At Vistage, we are advising business members to carry out a risk assessment to address specific concerns relating to the transmission of the disease between staff and put in place processes to limit those risks. Additionally, leaders should familiarise themselves with the government’s guidelines on maintaining social distancing and instances where there may be exceptions.”

Vistage is an executive coaching and leadership development organisation where business leaders enhance their leadership skills and solve their most important business challenges. Members meet with their peers in group meetings, facilitated by accomplished, executive-level coaches, to help solve their most complex issues. They receive additional perspectives from expert speakers and a global membership community.

For more information, visit www.vistage.co.uk.