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COVID 19 - Will we ever shake hands again?

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It's a whole new world, that's for sure. As we all wait with bated breath for our Taoiseach's announcement today, we have strong hopes that restrictions will be eased. But the saying 'be careful what you wish for' circles in my head.

Of course, we all want that 2km barrier to be lifted to see our loved ones, to taste the coconut cappuccino from our favourite local and get back to our colleagues but we must be careful not to move too quickly.

In recruitment, we are very fortunate to communicate daily with our customers who range from sole traders to multinational employers. Each company has its own challenges, as does every individual.

Certain sectors were hit hard and early like services and hospitality. Others were able to adapt swiftly to remote working, changed shifts, altered workforce and some are taking advantage of government supports.

Other sectors supporting or supplying the front line ramped up and even changed their whole business model with impressive speed and agility. Everyone is now wondering, what's next?

Well, one thing's certain, COVID-19 is here to stay for, at least, the medium term. Regardless of what is announced it seems evident that we as a nation and the world as a whole will have to learn to work and live with COVID-19.

Once again we'll be challenged to innovate and find new, safer and more efficient ways of working. It's a giant leap for mankind and not one we were expecting.

Supporting businesses

Industry bodies such as IBEC and Enterprise Ireland are supporting businesses to prepare to mobilise teams safely when the time comes. The CIF, for example, have designed an Online Induction programme designed to be taken by all working in the Irish Construction Sector.

Cpl have a consultancy arm assisting businesses and can help you with almost anything people related, whether it's the welfare of your team or getting you future ready. Reach out to us if you could use some help and we can arrange a virtual coffee. There is someone to help you with almost everything and it's all available online.

When we can get back to the workplace, expect for social distancing to be part of the 'new normal'. Temperature checks and self-declarations may become routine. Sanitisation will be of utmost importance.

Many businesses have and will benefit from physical separation, others will save on real estate and continue to work remotely. You'll still be able to tell that your beautician and hairdresser are smiling, even if it's under a mask and we may greet one another with a wave.

Our kids may have to read about shaking hands in their history books, but the important thing is we'll adapt, we'll innovate and together we'll find a way through it.

If you'd like advise on preparing for business during and after COVID-19 please get in touch.