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Coronavirus wreaks havoc on UK Businesses

Joel Kempson
Written by Joel Kempson, Personal Finance Writer

17 April 2020

New data from ONS reveals the harsh realities the coronavirus pandemic is having on businesses, Money.co.uk comments on this; as well as provides tips on how employees can remain productive and healthy throughout lockdown

New data reveals the crippling impact of coronavirus on UK businesses, as one in four halt trading and 63% see a drop in turnover.

The survey* of 5,316 businesses, compiled by the ONS, revealed that while 75% of businesses have continued to trade throughout the coronavirus pandemic, 38% have seen a significant drop in turnover.

Joel Kempson, personal finance expert at money.co.uk, said : "Many businesses are struggling to stay afloat during this crisis. The UK Government has stepped in with unprecedented measures to help, but the latest ONS figures show that many are still feeling the strain.

"Consistent cash flow is vital for small businesses, and there are a number of government schemes designed to get cash to where it is needed. Results of this recent survey highlight both why these schemes are so essential to keeping businesses afloat, but also how they may not be going far enough during these unprecedented times."

To help small businesses navigate the government scheme set up to support them, money.co.uk has created a helpful 'What small businesses need to know' guide to the process that includes a tool they can use to start the application process for funds.

A small number of businesses (5%) have experienced growth during the COVID-19 lockdown, reporting that turnover was higher than usual trading.

Findings additionally highlighted that the furlough scheme has been vital to many, with more than a fifth of the workforce (21%) currently on the scheme. The government has now extended the furlough deadline up to the 19 March, allowing more workers to become eligible.

The government has also announced a lockdown extension of at least three weeks, meaning those who can work from home will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

With this in mind, the personal finance experts at money.co.uk have created a Working From Home guide to support the millions working remotely in remaining productive and healthy during the ongoing pandemic.

Maintain regular hours:

Set yourself a clear schedule for when to start working and when to stop, with regular breaks in between. Routine is often highlighted as an important part of our daily lives, so it's helpful not to break away from your usual working timetable.

Working remotely often leads to you over working, usually due to guilt for stepping away from your computer for a break. Don't be nervous to take your usual coffee break, or lunch hour. In the long run, these breaks will lead to a boost in your productivity.

Have the necessary equipment:

Make sure you have all the necessary equipment to do your job comfortably. For example, many of us have become accustomed to using multiple screens in the office to facilitate multi-tasking. Most organisations that allow remote working will support you in getting the equipment you need.

For those who aren't lucky enough to have a regular home office and instead spend their days working on a stiff kitchen chair, take a few minutes every couple of hours to stand, stretch and walk around. Sitting at your desk for hours can have untold lasting effects on your health.

Boost your WIFI:

There's nothing worse than bad WIFI when you're trying to get things done. Make sure your router is located on a shelf or the top of a cabinet and is unobstructed by furniture. This will help the signal reach all parts of your room.

Similarly, avoid placing your router near other household electronics such as microwaves, cordless phones or baby monitors, which can interfere with your WIFI signal.

Communicate:

This can't be emphasised enough. Regularly inform everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability. When you finish a project or important task, say so.

It doesn't necessarily mean you have to write an essay to explain your every move, but it does mean repeating yourself.

Exercise:

When you're no longer commuting to work or walking from one meeting room to another, it's easy to get stuck to your workspace.

Even going for a half hour walk at lunch is a great way to keep both your body and your mind active. Alternatively, join the millions logging into Instagram Live or Zoom workouts.

For more information on working from home, including your rights as a home worker, and the financial impact COVID-19 may have on your finances, please visit: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/coronavirus

*SOURCE: ONS- Business Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Survey

About money.co.uk

money.co.uk is one of the UK's leading comparison websites for financial services. We help consumers compare mortgages, loans, credit cards, bank accounts and insurance from more than 600 providers.

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Salman Haqqi

Salman Haqqi, Senior Personal Finance Writer

Salman Haqqi spent 10 years as a journalist reporting in several countries around the world. He left the world of journalism to pursue his passion for personal finance.

Read Salman Haqqi's articles and guides
Joel Kempson

Joel Kempson, Personal Finance Writer

Joel Kempson devotes his time to helping people navigate the world of personal finance and make informed decisions about their money. He spent his early career writing about TV, movies, comic books and rock music.

Read Joel Kempson's articles and guides