Category: Recent Blogs


The Challenge’s of Returning to Work

Following on from our webinar, How to Manage Reluctant Returners, we are going to delve deeper into the issue which elicited much discussion and debate, of managing your team returning to work.


Scott Reed, Chief Technical Officer at SeeByte, is joining Margery to share some of the practical measures that they have put in place to make the office space Covid compliant.

SeeByte has 70 employees in Edinburgh with a small sister company of 6-7 in San Diego. Scott will be sharing how they have ensured accurate information for Test and Trace and the approaches the business is taking to get the team back to the office and working as a team safely and effectively.

There are some very practical and business related reasons that are driving these types of decisions and have given the management team a number of potential dilemmas as they balance the culture expectations of the team, demanding client requirements and management of expert skills and technical resources.

Please join us to learn more of that journey, come prepared to join in the discussion with your questions and scenarios that will broaden our understanding of this unventured pathway, in which we all are trying to find answers, solutions and strategies that will work for our businesses and organisations.

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Webinar Summary: Good News Stories

Important Management Lessons We Can Learn From Lockdown 

Following our Webinar yesterday Lunchtime, Margery has put together some thoughts and summarised the conversation…

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Taking Holidays & Travelling During Coronavirus

With travel restrictions starting to ease after months of lockdown, there is one thing on a lot of peoples’ minds…holidays. For many of us, lockdown has meant cancelled holidays, missed events abroad and not being able to see relatives who live further afield. It is only natural that we want to travel. However, there are some considerations to be made from an employment/workplace perspective to ensure that 1) employees are not put at risk and 2) so that employers are protected.

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Upcoming Webinar: Good News Stories

Important Management Lessons We Can Learn from Lockdown 


Date: Tuesday 21st July

Time: 12.30-1pm

There are many lessons we can learn from our period of lockdown as we ease out of it. Lest not we forget, we are going to take some time to share lessons and good news stories from lockdown. Stories which restore our faith in humanity and fellow human beings. Examples and strategies of how we can adapt and develop our new way of working and living. Positive stories which are worthy of sharing and recognising the value that people bring to the world of work.  By sharing these stories we hope to inspire you and act as a source of ideas and learning that you can then apply to your situation, circumstances and team.  

Margery will be speaking to Mark Hoolahan, CEO of The Thistle Foundation and Laura Taylor, Managing Director of Empowered by Cloud which is a cloud based accountancy firm to discuss the stories, strategies and lessons they have learnt during what has been a difficult time for many. 

We would love you to join us and to share your learnings either beforehand or on the day so that we can take away a positive nugget and plant a seed of hope or inspiration.

Only positivity and warm vibes allowed!!!

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Reluctant Returners: Webinar Summary

Participants on this webinar were anything but reluctant – it proved to be a topical subject matter with lots of questions and response to our poll.

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Furlough Fallout

The online poll during this webinar indicated that 82% of participants believed that either they would or may have difficulties with potential “us and them” scenarios as we plan, prepare and expect a return to work or the workplace.  So in this population this issue is real and expected.  The potential arises as a result of groups of employees who were previously largely ubiquitous, were then treated differently as a result of the lockdown.  Some remained at work in the workplace; some home based working; some furloughed; some made redundant.  Now with restrictions being eased and decisions about the future employment of all employees, there is potential for uncertainty and the opportunity for unequal treatment and inequality.

There is a real role for careful leadership and management of these potential scenarios and whilst there is no rule book or definitive guide on steps to take we would suggest that the following could go some way to mitigate any potential difficulties:

  • Communication to all to set out the context – what is happening in the business; what are the priorities and challenges; how all the team can contribute to the future?
  • Be aware of making assumptions about how lockdown may or may not have affected employees.  Take the time to establish where each person is at and how they are feeling.
  • Be clear about roles and responsibilities now and moving forward as these may have changed over lockdown and as priorities may have altered
  • Agree how we are all going to come back and be prepared that might need to change over time as we get used to new ways of working
  • Be mindful that previous tensions and difficult relationships will have not gone away and could have become more entrenched over lockdown
  • Address difficulties and differences of opinions – don’t leave them to fester
  • Be clear about the way forward and the part that all need to play to move the business forward onto the next chapter
  • Have authentic and perhaps difficult conversations to pave the way to the new norm

There are no definitive answers to this potential tensions and differences.  The first steps is to recognise there is a potential; then to assess where each team member is actually at, rather than make some assumptions; have clear and robust communication that sets the direction forward and deal with issues as they present themselves – it has not been an easy time for anyone and furlough may or may not have been “flip flops and G&T on the deck” for everyone!

On Tuesday 14th July, 12.30 pm – 1.30 pm we are going to drill down on how to manage people who are reluctant to return to work  and how you might approach these scenarios.

Book your place here.


Upcoming Webinar – How To Manage Reluctant Returners

How To Manage Reluctant Returners

Date: Tuesday 14th July

Time: 12.30 pm – 1 pm

This week we are continuing on the theme of getting back to work and the workplace. This week we will be sharing with you strategies to cope with reluctant returners.  Some of us are eager and willing to get back to work and return to the workplace. Some are a bit more ambivalent and others are reluctant. In this week’s webinar with Charlie Johnston, director at Paratus Executive we will be discussing:

  • How do you assess how your team members will react?
  • What strategies can you adopt to cope with their reaction?
  • Are there genuine and legitimate reasons not to return to work?
  • What is the leadership mindset to approach this and deliver a positive outcome?
  • What communication will be important in the coming weeks to re-energise the team?

There are no guidebooks or procedural norms for dealing with these sets of circumstances and the rules have not been written.  Therefore there are no rights or wrongs but are there some good practice guidelines and constructs that we can draw upon to drive your business forward, regain some lost ground and get the team working together.

Margery has some good practical organisational level strategies to share with you which is the first step but what do you do with the information that you gather? How do you respond and how do you get the team back to work, even those who might be reluctant? 

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Furlough Fallout: How To Reunite Your Team When They Return

One of the most unprecedented aspects of the current situation is the 9.1 million people who are currently furloughed, some since the 17th of March. For the vast majority they will never have experienced “time off” work like this.

There are by contrast those who have had to work all the harder during the past 4 months in reduced teams, working from home while also home schooling. Their experience will be night and day compared to that of their colleagues who are furloughed. It is therefore likely that this situation will have created a “them and us scenario” with possible resentments felt on both sides. Why was I furloughed and you weren’t? I’ve had to work longer, harder hours while you were sunning yourself…

How as an employer do you manage “them and us” furloughed situations and reunite your team?

At our next webinar on Tuesday 7th July from 12.30- 1 pm, Margery will be in discussion with Mark Blair, director at Effective Now how you can manage the ‘them and us’ situation in your own business and team. 

We will be discussing:

  • How to manage the ‘them and us’ scenario following furlough
  • How to reunite your team and get back to effective teamwork 
  • How understanding other people’s perspectives and experiences is key to effective teamwork

Effective Now is a people based consultancy who work with SME’s to make businesses more successful by making you and your team more effective. They work with companies who want to improve communication in their business, need to make significant changes and who want to achieve an effective working culture.

Mark’s background as an international rugby star playing for Ulster winning the European Cup, Edinburgh and Narbonne in France gives him some unique insights and experiences of effective teams and how you keep a team together even through the tough times.

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The Risks of Opening your Workplace and your Team Returning to Work

Bryan Mclelland of BSM Training & Consultancy joined us for our most recent webinar on 30th June 2020. With lockdown provisions continuing to ease across Scotland, many workplaces that shut down significant parts of their operations or potentially the entire operation are in the midst of planning to get up and running again.

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