Planning for Covid-19 ‘Free-Day’

The British government has made much of its use of the finest military planners to help with the logistics in its response to the Covid crisis. Many have made analogies to fighting a war. While we should not get too carried away with such talk, some parallels can be drawn. 

Every business needs to tackle the current challenges of managing cashflow and, more importantly, staff morale, making use of government support where necessary. That is crisis management. However, they also need to anticipate what their business might look like when Covid-19 sanctions are lifted.

This is much like when the Allies began planning in earnest for D-DAY in December 1943. They did not know then that the actual date would be June 6th 1944. And they did not know that it would take nearly another year for VE Day to come about, never mind that it would take decades to rebuild the post-war economy.



No one can tell us when, if ever, we will be free of Covid-19. But we do know that we are likely to be six months away from Free-Day and even then it may be staggered from profession to profession and country to country. The one thing the pundits do agree on though is that the post-Covid world will be different and that rebuilding functioning economies and democracies will be a challenge.

There is a military maxim that holds true for this: ‘Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted.’  While we’re spending time at home, hopefully harmoniously with our loved ones, we may not have access to a crystal ball to predict the future. But we do have time to think and time to talk online in a way we have never done before. We should use this opportunity to learn and resolve issues at a distance.

Assuming Free-Day is six months away, what can we best do from the confines of our home now?  A business spring clean is good place to start.


  • Where is the knowledge in your business?

Is it in your data, whether structured or unstructured? Is it in the heads of your staff?  Or is it in both?  Whichever, work out how best you are going to capture it. If you ask your team to spend some time downloading it, and you spend some cash on data analytics, you’ll be in a better position to relaunch come Free-Day.


  • What assumptions can you make to help you plan for the future?

For example, are people going to travel less post Free-Day because of fear, cost or environmental concerns? If so, are you making the most of online platforms or do you have an overseas network who can support you?

If you have adapted and learned to operate successfully online, how desperate will you be to resume your daily commute to that expensive office? What does that mean for the future of commercial real estate? Are you able to start discussions now with partners, suppliers, clients to prepare the ground for Free-Day?

Does the online world offer up opportunities to identify new markets? Is the relationship between business, society and government going to change? Will we all develop a higher social conscience? Or will we become more selfish?


  • Have you got into the right mindset?

We really are all in this together. It’s a time for collaboration not competition. It’s not socialism versus capitalism but rather a time to find solutions that are mutually beneficial.

Do you have any outstanding issues or disputes that could be resolved by taking stock and entering a facilitated negotiation that will allow you to start again with a clean state? Are you prepared to set aside differences and make the first move?

If a pre-Covid contract had a force majeure clause, how should both parties honour it?  Or should they have a discussion along the lines of ‘that was then, and this is now.’  It’s about looking for the common ground that will allow both parties to build up their business, rather than one using all legal means to extract their pound of flesh from the other.

To quote from The Merchant of Venice:  ‘The quality of mercy is not strained.’

If you work out what matters to you and your business now, you’ll be better prepared for the unintended consequences of the current restrictions and their eventual relaxation.

If you’re worried about a commercial or private matter, whether as a result of Covid-19 or not, please don’t let your worries escalate. We can help.

Call us on +44 (0) 20 3287 2802 or email for a confidential chat.


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