How has getting back to the office gone for you?
For many of us, July 19 the so-called Freedom Day marked the beginning of the return to working from an office.
The Government removed most of the restrictions previously in place, as well as the instruction that we should work from home if it was at all possible.
But, of course, the virus didnt necessarily get the memo and just disappear overnight. The Government has said that the return to the office or factory should be gradual over the summer with infections likely to continue.
Hows your crystal ball?
My bet is that youve spent a fair bit of the last 15 months or so gazing deeply into it and trying to predict the future.
And Im equally sure that lots of your predictions like mine have been wide of the mark.
If there was any certainty to be had when the pandemic struck, it was that nothing was certain.
Funny, isnt it? When we talk about a toxic work culture, we always assume we are talking about another company.
But how many of us in positions of leadership actually know what the working environment is like on our own shop floors and could honestly say there is no evidence of toxicity there?
From a business point of view, there is nothing to be gained from a poor work environment. Productivity drops, morale plunges, staff start taking more sick leave and employee turnover increases as unhappy workers vote with their feet.
Add in the possibility that at some point a really toxic environment will lead to expensive tribunal or court cases, and it is a situation which needs remedying as soon as possible.
There was a fairly seismic change in the tax rules for employing contractors at the start of this month and its already causing headaches.
Under the new IR35 arrangements, if you hire self-employed people and are a medium or large-sized enterprise, its now your duty to make sure you do so on the correct tax basis.
The change means that anyone you take on consistently should be employed on a PAYE basis rather than being left to look after their own tax affairs.
As the rollout of the vaccination continues and starts to include more of the general working population a key question is being asked by employers around the country.
Can I force my staff to get the jab?
The short answer is no. Any medical intervention generally requires the consent of the individual and if your employee doesnt want to have the jab that is their choice.
But the real-world situation is a lot more nuanced than that. Your staff may feel strongly that they do not want to work with anyone who has not been vaccinated and feel that you are putting them at risk if you dont insist that everyone has the jab.
The pandemic is continuing to leave a huge mark across the nations business community.
Jobs have been lost, businesses mothballed, and spending slashed as worried workers rein in their expenditure amid the ongoing uncertainty of what might happen next.
So it might seem an odd time to be thinking about taking new staff on. But by using the apprenticeship scheme companies can not only give a valuable opportunity to new starters, but also do so in a cost-effective way.