Burning Issue: May ’20

May 1, 2020

What has the impact of the coronavirus outbreak taught you about business resilience and how do you think it will help strengthen future operations?

Paul Wellstead
Developer
Spectrum Business Park

As employers and employees adapt to the impact of COVID-19, the importance of flexibility and community has come to the fore. Together, we are stronger and a robust business community such as that at Spectrum Business Park and the wider East Durham area increases resilience and the availability of support. I believe there will be an evolved view of traditional workspace in the future. Office facilities will become more agile and flexible to co-exist with an increase in off-site and homeworking. Our Spectrum 4 office has recently been let to Believe Housing for this very purpose.

Andrew Thompson
Managing director
Mobile Mini UK

Our business has been forced to evolve very quickly – from how we engage with customers to the way our team works – and changes that wouldn’t necessarily be considered under normal circumstances have shown the strength and opportunity within our company. Leveraging technology to become more responsive and accessible, while reducing operating costs, means we have the potential to become more profitable, benefitting both the customer and our business. By putting our team first, taking on board ideas and coming together, we have been able to make some fundamental changes that will enable us to continue to grow.

Colin Bell (pictured)
Business growth director
North East Local Enterprise Partnership

What has been achieved in the past three weeks would normally take 12 months. Businesses have pivoted quickly to change working arrangements, what they offer, their processes and systems, and all while taking a people-first approach. It is a clear demonstration of what is possible when an urgent cause – that people are directly connected with and care about – aligns with collective ingenuity, resources and energy to achieve incredible results.

John Sayers
Managing director
Hodgson Sayers

The COVID-19 outbreak has taught me that whatever I knew about business resilience, it was not enough. This pandemic has rendered all business resilience models obsolete and thrust us all into unknown territory. Nobody was prepared. This is a cruel and unforgiving virus that strikes indiscriminately and thus weakens the fabric of society of which business is a part. The strength and resilience comes from the people who cope, adapt and persevere. Businesses need to use that strength to build a more resilient model, one that draws on that indomitable community spirit.

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