The last few months have tested all of us, personally and professionally. The Coronavirus pandemic put businesses into survival mode – quickly adjusting to new ways of working and having to make difficult decisions.

Now, the focus must be on creating the best possible conditions for your business to successfully move out of this “survive” period and go on to thrive in the future. We call this the RESET phase. This is a crucial time for reflection, planning, and action. Getting the HR fundamentals right now will set the conditions for your people, and your organisation, to prosper in the future.

We’ve created a 10-point document designed to help you through this phase – you can download it here. This downloadable covers a number of actions you will want to consider, including:

Go back to basics

Being in survival mode, it might have been that some of the HR fundamentals like working practices and company culture may have been overlooked. In the RESET phase, you need to check that the legislative basics are back in place and that you have caught up with HR essentials such as staff appraisals, furlough letters and risk assessments.

Furlough scheme

If you’re not ready to bring back your furloughed employees, the flexible furlough scheme allows you to take a step-by-step approach. In the RESET phase, you will be making decisions about who should return from furlough and the hours they will work. Whether you bring staff back partially or completely, this process requires careful planning.

Flexible working

In the coming months, we expect increasing numbers of employees will wish to continue working flexibly or from home and in a post-lockdown landscape, it is going to become more difficult to reasonably refuse flexible working requests. With every request, you should consider how it could work in practical terms and assess the advantages and disadvantages of the application – but remember you have 3 months to make the decision from the initial request.

Returning to work

Has homeworking worked for you? If your team has been thriving in a home environment, then some kind of remote working may be the future for your business. You may wish to take a blended approach for example, working at home and in the office. But if you’re thinking about returning to the workplace at this time, it’s not just as simple as going back to the office. You’ll need to make sure you’ve carried out risk assessments, taking appropriate safety measures and communicating with employees about the changes before they return. We’ve created a checklist that includes some of the considerations you will want to cover – you can find it here.

Reducing employee costs

For some businesses, lockdown will have an ongoing impact on staffing and during this reflection and planning phase, it may be that you need to make changes to contracts, such as reduced hours or reduced pay, as a way of avoiding redundancies. As a last resort, you may have to make redundancies – in this case you should take advice on how to carry out this process.

Further advice can be found in our 10-point guide, and after following these steps you should be moving into a stronger position for the future. Visit for more in-depth resources from the Reality HR team including factsheets and downloadables. If you have any HR concerns or questions around the RESET phase, or just want to chat things through, please feel free to contact us at