As our industry continues to change and transform over the course of the most recent global events; the way we approach work, our colleagues and our customers are also changing. Now, more than ever, we are noticing the need to support local companies, our employees and customers. It's an overwhelming feeling of responsibility and obligation, but, there are small steps you can take to ensure the wellbeing of your business and your customers.
How you can help in uncertain times
Before we get into some ways you can help your business and others, we think it's important to quickly acknowledge the importance of self preservation. During times of uncertainty it's easy for us to take the world's problems onto our own shoulders to help those you may be unable to help themselves. When leading and assisting your team or customers to survive and thrive during times like these, it's easy to forget about yourself.
Consider some of these suggestions, inspired by Beyond Blue, that you can implement to help ground yourself:
Set realistic goals about what you can achieve.
Keep your work hours in check.
Reach out to mentors and colleagues for support.
Maintain personal interests outside work.
Find time to switch off from technology and step away from the office.
Now that we have given you a reminder on how to ensure your own preservation during uncertain times, let's jump into what you can do for your business and your customers.
Working from home
There's no argument; construction remains essential work. It's vital to growth and helps keep our economy running. Despite the recent closure of most businesses, Australia's construction sites have been deemed essential and are "exempt" from the long list of companies to shut down, even at the height of the pandemic. With this said, however, our Australian Government is still urging people to work from home where possible, which may include running your business remotely.
Whether you are a veteran of the working from home lifestyle, or you're brand new, this blog post covers common safety measurements you and your team should take to ensure a happy, healthy remote work environment and consistent customer experience.
Improving hygiene practices
The importance of hand sanitiser and social distancing is taking up each nook and cranny of the media cycle at the moment. They are also two things that once seemed like unlikely practices on-site. However, Master Builders Association (NSW), have provided us with a list of workable solutions for improving hygiene on-site, and ultimately, keeping your team and customers safe.
1. Practice social distancing
Brainstorm ways to enable social distancing of 1.5m to reduce in-person contact of workers before heading on-site. You could stagger lunch breaks, or even minimise the number of employees in work groups or teams.
2. Use personal hoists and lifts where possible
Enforcing your team to travel to necessary floors or promoting the use of stairs will assist in social distancing and keep your workplace equipment clean for yourself and your employees.
3. Communicate and keep up to date
Due to some of the unknowns you simply might not have all of the answers to employee, stakeholder or customer questions. As a result, it's vital to be transparent, frequent and consistent in keeping relevant parties informed of your position and actions, this includes advising of any new policies or procedures.
Purchasing from local suppliers
As imports and borders shut down, so too do our everyday suppliers. With more than 60% of Australian's building industry importing materials from China, the deepening impact these last couple of months on supply chains has brought on a new challenge for local businesses to search for alternatives. Aussie company SOLOS Glass, reported a 30% jump in inquiries from anxious builders keen to keep their projects on track.
It's bitter sweet, but now, more than ever this is the perfect time to review suppliers and support, (or continue to support) local Australian producers and manufacturers where possible. Of course as part of the community, we must adapt and ensure we are doing our part for Australian businesses too and hopefully together our mutual support will continue to make a difference and keep doors open.
The way we now do business is becoming the ‘New normal’ and we can’t be expected to adapt right away, but by narrowing down your list of challenges into actionable steps and thinking outside the box, being supportive during uncertain times can become that little bit easier.