Working from home

Clear communication and safety procedures vital for well-being of KBB retail staff

Openness, communication and clear health and safety procedures are the top strategies for KBB retailers striving to keep staff informed about working during the pandemic.

Kbbreview surveyed its kbbreview100, a brain trust of UK KBB retailers nationwide, about what they are doing to keep their staff informed when regulations can change overnight.

Nick McNally of Kitchens by Nick McNally in Edinburgh encourages openness with his team. He said: “It is hard to avoid what is going on in the world and staff have more awareness on how businesses can be affected more than ever. We encourage a culture of openness within the business and this helps with communication.”

Small teams are easier to navigate, as Stewart Woodruff of MBK Design Studio in Maidstone, has found out. He said: “There is only me and my daughter and she treats me like I have the plague! So, we socially distance at all times, we also have hand sanitisers on our desks.”

Many of the retailers we spoke to have had contingency plans and equipment in place since March to enable them to work from home.

Johnny Bacigalupo of Napier Bathrooms in Edinburgh said: “Our team communicate daily from home. We, as a company, have issued computers to all our staff and all our systems can be remotely accessed from them. We have a Teams chat facility and we have telephones.”

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Paul O’Brien, brand director at Kitchens International in Scotland, said: “Our staff are primed and clear on their responsibilities. Working from home where possible and have a firm health-and-safety directive from the company that the upmost priority is the safety and well-being of our team and our clients.”

Alan Margetts of the Kitchen Store, which has branches in London, Horsham, Brighton and Worthing, has several different means of communicating with his staff. He said: “We established a number of different channels in March 2020 to keep the team informed, which are now well embedded. This includes social media groups, Teams channels and regular video messages which keep our team abreast of any changes to opening, working patterns, health and safety changes and impact on work on site.”

Jim Geddes of JS Geddes in Scotland has made sure that all of his staff are aware of the internal procedures. He explained: “All staff were given a six-page document (prepared internally) on protocol regulations to ensure safe working within. Individually every staff member met with directors to discuss the ways ahead.”

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