10 tips for your staff training

Some of the areas you could consider include:

Health and Safety

Many members of staff will have been furloughed for months, so it’s worthwhile investing time in refresher training and going over the hygiene and safety basics.

Food Safety

  • Do my staff remember best practice for storing, preparing, cooking and handling food?

Risk assessments

  • Are these completed and up to date? What new risks do I need consider and manage?

Manual handling

  • Are my staff aware how best to protect themselves and others from injury?

Slips, trips, and falls

  • All signs point to a busy period ahead, are accidents more likely to happen?

Mental health

  • My employees have been through a lot this year, have I helped ensure a positive work environment?


Well-trained staff know and understand compliance best practices, mitigating risks and complying with the law.

Data Privacy

  • Do my staff know and understand data privacy laws? Will they remember how to handle and store data securely?

Cyber security

  • Phishing attacks and social engineering are on the rise; do my staff have enough awareness training to protect our business?

Equality and diversity

  • Have I taken positive action to promote equality and equal opportunity?


Prioritising clear and consistent employee training will not only improve staff performance, but also enhances work-culture and boosts efficiency.

Customer service

  • Are my guests having the best possible experience?

Stress management and wellbeing

  • Healthy behaviours help build healthy workplaces; am I supporting my employees’ wellness?

We have also created an in-depth guide to hospitality staff training including:

  • Identifying the 3 steps to a safer, more skilled, and motivated workforce
  • More top tips for reopening hospitality venues from Health and Safety and Compliance training specialist, Darren Hockley
  • A handy reopening checklist for your venue, offering advice on a range of topicsImage

For inspiration (or just for nosey parkers!), here’s what some of the team have been keeping busy with during lockdown:

Managing Director Darren Hockley

I’ve been focusing on quality family moments such as playing board games and having movie nights with the kids.

We’ve drawn up a roster for who chooses the film and a separate one for who chooses the pudding each night. We’ve also dusted off the jigsaws and plan to do one each weekend. Being as busy as I am I sometimes miss out on family time. So it’s good to look for the positives out of every situation. We’ve also been mopping up that long list of DIY jobs!

Operations Manager Jenny James

I’ve been staying active and here’s some of my top tips: when going outside for exercise, try to go a different route every day. Time yourself, count the number of steps – challenge yourself to do more every day. Take time to look at nature, enjoy the lack of traffic, and do a jigsaw!

Sales Manager Sarah Stainton:

I like to do a lot of exercise even on an ordinary week, so, for me, it was really important to get even more exercise given the reduced amount of fresh air I’m going to be getting indoors. Therefore, I signed up for a few of the free exercise apps that people are offering to ensure that I’m doing something different each day, and I’m making sure I get out for a daily walk/run too.

Marketing Manager James Walton:

I’ve actually really enjoyed the slower pace of life at weekends, no dashing here and there to swimming, martial arts, etc. with the kids (this is all good fun but quite hectic at times!).

I’ve got back into house music which has been my passion for the past 25 years, and I’ve been cooking more too which is another passion of mine. Nothing fancy, but highlights have been a lemon chicken risotto and lamb hotpot, both of which went down well with the kids which is half the battle!

I think we’ve all been really lucky with the weather, so there’s been BBQ’s and lovely family walks too.

Instructional Designer Tara MacKinnon:

Here’s a few things I’ve been doing:

  • Daily laps of the local park – that luckily lets me continue to feed my Pokemon Go habit at the same time as getting my daily exercise allowance in.
  • Getting the garden ready for a self-sufficient mini allotment that I’ve been planning for years but not gotten around too
  • Daily choir practice with Home Malone … not plucked up the courage to actually record me and submit it yet though
  • Daily video calls with the family – spoken to them more in the last week than I did all of last year I think!!
  • Listening to my playlists and dancing around the living room
  • Doing the virtual pub quiz on Thursday nights and comparing scores with my friends on messenger and Facebook
  • Virtual boardgames using Board Game Arena and discord to chat to the other gamers
  • Re-learning to play the guitar with Fender free lessons. Although, I haven’t actually had time to start this yet other than to put new batteries in my autot-tuner!

Business Development Executive Lara Kendall:

After 26 years I finally have the time (and absolutely no valid excuses) to learn how to cook. Luckily Hello Fresh has still been delivering so I’m not doing it totally alone. I will be attempting to make Duck A L’Orange tonight, so wish me luck! It’s a great way to unwind after work.

I’ve also had the opportunity to have a clear out in my bedroom. I’ve found a host of skincare products and face masks that I had forgotten about, that coupled with my no-make-up look whilst isolating philosophy will hopefully mean I have glowing skin by the end of this lockdown!

Alongside doing the standard video chats with my friends and family, I’ve also started sending letters and care packages to my grandparents. Just including small things like photos or seeds for their garden but it’s something they can look forward to!

Want to add your favourite lockdown activity? Drop [email protected] an email to be included.

Ready or not, many coronavirus contingency plans have resulted in remote working for the foreseeable. Seize the opportunity to build trust with your employees.

Due to the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, the UK has entered one of the biggest remote working experiments ever seen.

However, many businesses were unprepared for the shift. Some were (perhaps unfairly) concerned about trusting their staff to be engaged and work productively whilst away from the office, surrounded by the distractions of home life.

snap poll indicated that 76% of HR leaders reported concerns from managers about the productivity of teams mandated to work from home during the outbreak. This is the same concern that – prior to the outbreak – led only 56% of managers to agree to flexible and remote working, even though work policies permitted it.

COVID-19 could change all this.

Government advised social distancing has left organisations with no choice; they have been forced to revisit and reassess remote working policies – redesigning them to include everyone possible, not just MDs and senior members of staff (these are the occupations of those most likely to work from home according to the Office of National Statistics).

Once the dust settles it’s possible that the face of business will be changed forever. Staff that proved their trustworthiness by stepping up to the plate and continuing to be productive at home may question previous decisions not to be given the chance – and rightly so.

Trust is an essential building block of any successful team and, if there is a way to find positivity in the midst of the infectious outbreak, perhaps building trust between employers and their employees is one of them.

For managers looking to use this time to encourage transparency and cultivate strong workplace relationships with their team, here are some effective and simple strategies to try:

Set the right tone

Think about it, why employ someone to work for you that you don’t trust?

Micromanaging and being overly controlling encourages cultures of fear and distrust. It’s demoralizing and demotivating for staff, and will erode your teams’ sense of unity and purpose.

As a manager, it’s your job to set the right tone from the top. Lay down your expectations for productivity clearly, during onboarding, and let every member of staff know the part they play in reaching your common goals.

Clarifying how each employees’ contributions complement each other and play a part in the success of the business as a whole is a surefire way to keep everyone motivated and on track – wherever they happen to be working from.

Open communication

Maintaining continuous and transparent communication is the most effective way to keep your team collaborating effectively.

For remote workers, this will often mean using communication software rather than face-to-face chat to stay in touch – although this can actually be a blessing!

Without the distraction of unnecessary meetings and unexpected interruptions and office noise, it’s easier to keep communications purposeful.

Whether it’s daily or weekly check-ins, shared status updates, or collaborating using task management platforms, regular communication with your team drives motivation and feelings of accountability; it also demonstrates your investment in the team.

Keep the personal touch

When we spend 8 hours a day working side by side with people, we tend to get to know them quite well!

For remote workers, however, this isn’t necessarily the case, and managers will need to be more intentional about connecting in order build healthy working relationships.

Incorporating time for personal connection into team interactions will help build empathy, trust, and commitment. Try scheduling a virtual meeting just for personal updates, or creating a separate chat space that’s ‘just for fun’.

Giving staff an outlet like this shows you value their wellbeing and happiness – and that you trust them not to abuse the outlet in lieu of getting the job done.

Be Flexible

Having a flexible approach can build trust during periods of remote working (not to mention it’s proven to help retain experienced and skilled employees).

Small things, such as allowing variable arrival and departure times will mean employees can leverage the time of day they feel most productive, helping to balance work with home and family responsibilities.

Within reason of course, having a flexible approach to home working, will increase commitment and loyalty from staff members. Meaning it’s far more likely they will be willing to go the extra mile when the team needs it.

Working remotely for the first time or due for a quick refresher course? Try our Remote Working awareness course to stay safe and healthy away from the office.

With the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus globally, a majority of businesses are following up on the official advice of social distancing, encouraging employees to work remotely and ensuring business continuity. While remote working has its benefits, it could also lead to potential cybersecurity risks for employers and employees.

Here are some helpful tips for ensuring cyber safety and information security when working remotely.

Work on Secure Network

The first and most important step to working remotely is making sure you are connected to the Internet, ready to connect with your workplace, communicate with colleagues and access business information online. Failing to work on a secure network can make you vulnerable to a cyber-attack, compromising your systems and business information in such a critical time.

Top Tip:

Make sure you are using a virtual private network (VPN) or a secure home network with strong end-to-end encryption, for example, Office 365 SSL session. Using an unsecured network such as public WiFi could inadvertently create an access point for hackers and cybercriminals to exploit and make your systems susceptible to cyberattacks.

Secure Your Personal Devices

With so many employees working remotely, many organisations have authorised the use of personal devices when working from home. Using your personal device for work is fine as long as you are keeping it secure and have the most up-to-date software and settings running on it.

Top Tip:

It is very important to make sure that you are running the most up-to-date anti-virus software on your device. Anti-virus software carries out regular scans of your computer and removes any malware detected. Make sure you are combining the anti-virus software with a robust firewall – software that monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic on your machine. This will ensure that you are significantly reducing the risks of cybercriminals successfully infiltrating your machine.

Beware of Phishing Attacks

Beware of cybercriminals looking to exploit the current situation on the coronavirus pandemic. Phishing attacks are designed to gain unauthorised access to confidential information through email.

Security experts are reporting a substantial rise in phishing email scams related to the coronavirus – the worst they have seen in years. The BBC has followed up on reports of individuals and businesses being targeted with phishing emails. The campaigns include tax refunds from the HMRC, email attachments from the World Health Organisation (WHO), bitcoin donations to help fight the coronavirus and scare tactics aimed at giving up work or personal email details.

Top Tips:

  • Never click on links in emails that you receive from people you don’t know.
  • If you’re not expecting an email, always examine the content of the email thoroughly and look out for grammar or spelling of the email – these are the tell-tale signs of a phishing scam.
  • If the email is claiming to be from public bodies such as the HMRC or the WHO, don’t open these emails as these are well-known phishing scams circulating currently.
  • If in doubt, always forward the email to your IT team first and get help in verifying if the email is legitimate.

Keep Business Information Secure

Any business information you access from home will be protected by secure login and password. Be it your work email, online business applications and communications tools. Weak credentials are easily exploited by cybercriminals and setting secure passwords is your first line of defence against hackers trying to gain unauthorised access to businesses’ systems.

Top Tip:

Use strong and unique passwords each time and make sure they are a combination of letters, numbers and characters. Apart from setting up secure passwords, try using multi-factor authentication for your organisation’s systems. Multi-factor authentications work by verifying user identity by multiple credentials, normally a password and a code sent to the user’s phone by text or an additional security question.

Effective information security is key to optimising business information while remote working. Keeping information security risks under control will not only protect your own interests, but also those of your organisation, your customers and all other individuals or organisations that you hold information about.

Helpful Resources

Here are some more helpful tips and resources to help you while remote working:

Remote Working awareness course

Try our Remote Working awareness course to stay safe and healthy away from the office.

Information Security awareness training

With the flexibility to work from home in the current climate, it’s a great time to refresh your knowledge of keeping business information secure and working safely online. Try our awareness training courses on key information security topics to working safely and securely away from the office.

Business Contingency Plan (BCP) for Infection Outbreaks

blog post with helpful tips for businesses on drawing up a business contingency plan and ensuring business continuity.

Mental Health While Working Remotely

blog post with helpful tips on how to care for your mental health while working from home for longer periods.

The government are now advising us to avoid all but essential social contact, and as many organisations implement voluntary or mandatory remote working policies in response, it means a lot of us are facing a new challenge.

Perhaps you’re used to working in the office, or only work from home on the odd day here and there. Even for those used to working remotely, being forced to do so in the midst of an infectious outbreak can feel daunting and it’s important to support and manage our wellbeing during this time.

Try to stay focused – it will help

Rightly or wrongly, it’s likely your boss is concerned about your productivity whilst working remotely – particularly if it’s unusual at your organisation. Now, whilst many of us can be trusted to get on with the job at hand during this time, it is true that you will have to battle distraction in order to do so.

At the moment, one of the biggest distractions is the news. Checking for COVID-19 updates, or clicking on news alerts as and when they pop up, is going to be hard to resist.

But employees should be wary of scrolling themselves into despair. Relying on unreputable sources for news about the outbreak can fuel anxiety, making it difficult to concentrate and putting your mental health at risk.

Remember, many news sources rely on click-bait and scaremongering for views, so schedule “news breaks” – maybe 1 or 2 a day – and stick to them. Turn off news alerts and choose your outlets carefully, ensuring they are quality sources (try Gov.uk or the World Health Organisation).

Designate a Workspace

Without a physical office to escape to, it can be hard to keep work and home life separate. Not everyone has a ‘home office’ and it’s likely you’ll be using personal equipment to get your job done.

Blurring the line between work and home can be bad news, though. It means you never truly ‘switch off’ and, conversely, become less and less productive. Home life can also suffer from the imbalance.

Remember, your workspace doesn’t need to be its own room, but you should take steps to make if feel ‘apart’ from the rest of your home.

Choose an area with good natural light (avoid screens facing windows which can create glare) and ensure you have a comfortable, supportive chair. ‘Entering’ work might be as simple as flicking on your desk lamp or opening your notebook – whatever works for you – but this physical signal means you are ‘at’ work mentally.

When you are done for the day, make sure to close all tabs and programs related to your job. Turn off your lights, close your notebook, and tidy other desk items away.

They key here is to do whatever it takes to ‘leave’ work.

Transition in/out of Work

Lack of commuting time is often touted as one of the benefits about working from home, however, you may find it’s not all it’s cracked up to be after a few weeks have passed.

You see, the time between work and home, whether you drive or take public transport is important. It’s wind-down time which allows us to mentally prepare for our evening routines. Many of us use this time to read or listen to our favourite music – it’s a time when our brains ‘switch off’ and enter a more relaxed state.

Without this time, then, our brains don’t always have time to hit reset and this can make it difficult to switch from thinking about that big deadline to thinking about … well, anything else. In other words, jumping directly into leisure time can make work bleed into our personal lives, and this can mean bad news for mental health.

If you can, try to think of a ‘transition’ activity. Perhaps, you enjoy walking the dog, or browsing for a new dinner recipe. Whatever it is, developing this as a habit over time will help your mind wind down after a hard day.


If your office is suddenly working from home, it means a lot of the social interaction you’re used to getting is cut off.

For a while this might seem a blessing, after all, it means less distraction and noise! But it’s important we don’t forget that we need to be around others. We are social creatures and it’s the random interruptions throughout our working day that keeps things feeling unique. Without them, working alone can get dull and, even worse, can feel isolating.

The key here is to maintain communication – especially with your manager/team. Come up with a plan between you for staying in touch, how often you will check in each day, and how you will communicate on group projects and new assignments.

It’s likely you’ll encounter new challenges as you begin to work remotely for long periods of time, and that’s fine. Think about who you might normally go to for help and drop them a line. Just because you’re not in the same building, doesn’t change your working relationship.

With the advent of collaboration platforms like Microsoft Teams and Slack, it can be tempting to stick to text-only communications, but you might find it’s best to pick up the phone at least once a day. Doing so can help relieve feelings of isolation and loneliness and is likely to prevent miscommunications.

Working remotely for the first time or due for a quick refresher course? Try our Remote Working awareness course to stay safe and healthy away from the office.

Infectious diseases often spread when bacteria, viruses, or other germs are passed from person to person, for example, through touching, kissing, or coughing and sneezing near uninfected people.

Infectious diseases can be caused by:

  • Bacteria – These one-cell organisms often help humans (e.g. by aiding with digestion), however some are responsible for diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis and are treated with antibiotics.
  • Viruses – Even smaller than bacteria, viruses cause a multitude of diseases, e.g. the common cold or flu. Antibiotics cannot kill viruses; they are treated with antiviral medication.
  • Fungi – Many skin diseases, such as ringworm and athlete’s foot, are caused by fungi.
  • Parasites – A parasite is an organism that lives on or inside another organism and some of them can spread diseases, e.g. malaria.

There are simple things you and your colleagues can do to stop the spread of infectious disease in your workplace (and at home!)

  1. Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is widely acknowledged to be the single most important activity for reducing the spread of disease, although many of us don’t wash our hands thoroughly enough after using the bathroom, handling food or animals, or coughing/sneezing.

Remember to wet your hands thoroughly and lather soap for at least 20 seconds on the front and back of your hands, in-between fingers, and under nails. Always ensure hands are dried completely after washing and use warm water whenever possible

2. Cover your mouth and nose

Many diseases are spread through coughing and sneezing – remember, germs can travel 3 feet or more!

If you are unwell, you should avoid close contact with others (try to stand at least 1 metre away) and cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Keep tissues handy at home and work to catch coughs and sneezes and always throw away once used. Wash your hands after coughing/sneezing into them or using a tissue.

3. Stay home if you are unwell

It’s important not to fall into the trap of ‘presenteeism’ when unwell, as this risks spreading the illness to others (which could have a negative impact on the business at large) and extending your own recovery time due to lack of rest and recuperation.

When you are unwell, don’t shake hands, hug, or touch others. You might also call ahead for any medical appointments to see if there’s anything you can do to avoid infecting others in the waiting room.

It is OK to accept deliveries such as food/medical supplies, so long as you avoid close contact with the person dropping the items off.

4. Prepare food safely

Many of us eat or prepare food at work, so it’s important to thoroughly wash and dry your hands before preparing food, after touching raw food (including fruits and vegetables), and after eating.

When cooking or re-heating food, always follow the instructions on the label and/or check your food is piping hot in the middle. This helps to kill certain germs such as salmonella and E.coli.

Don’t re-heat food more than once and ensure your fridge is kept at the right temperature for food storage (between 0°C and 5°C).

5. Keep work surfaces clean

Some infectious diseases can be spread by touching a surface or object that has been contaminated by an infected person. Regularly cleaning your work surfaces (such as desk, tables, printers, door-handles and kitchen surfaces) will help reduce the spread of infections.

Clean surfaces with hot soapy water or your normal household cleaning product. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on correct product use. Reusable cloths should be disinfected and then dried after use, as bacteria and viruses can still survive on damp cloths.

Want to refresh your employees’ memories on how to prevent infectious diseases? Try our new short-course, ‘Preventing the Spread of Infection’ which details best practice and hygiene standards to minimise the risk of spreading viruses and other infections in the workplace. This course is part of our health and safety suite.