Home Business NewsBusiness Half of UK businesses still unable to run at full operational capacity

Half of UK businesses still unable to run at full operational capacity

by LLB Editor
14th Sep 21 12:37 pm

A new survey of 365 decision makers within UK businesses has uncovered the impact of the pandemic on business confidence, exploring how their fortunes have fared since the easing of lockdown restrictions. It found:

  • Half (50%) of all businesses are yet to return to full operational capacity
    • Figure jumps to 71% amongst micro businesses (2-9 employees)
  • 50% have experienced staff shortages due to the “pingdemic”
  • A majority (55%) say further lockdowns would be “extremely damaging” to their business
  • 63% are calling for the government to be more detailed about plans for financial support for businesses in the long term

Half of UK businesses are still unable to run at full operational capacity, according to new research from One World Express.

The global logistics firm commissioned a survey of more than 350 decision-makers within UK businesses. It found that 50% had not seen improvements in business performance since lockdown restrictions began to ease in April 2021.

Staff shortages placed a great deal of strain on UK businesses – largely attributed to the NHS track and trace app ‘pingdemic’. At its height in the week to July 21st, nearly 700,000 people in the UK were alerted to self-isolate.

Accordingly, the survey has found that half of all businesses have experienced staff shortages as a result of employees being asked to isolate by the track and trace system. This has had the largest impact on small businesses (10-49 employees), with 81% being understaffed, compared to 54% of larger firms (250+ employees).

Half (50%) of companies have been unable to return to full operational capacity – this figure jumps to 71% amongst micro businesses (2-9 employees).

One World Express’ research found that a further 55% of businesses believe that any subsequent national lockdowns would be “extremely damaging” to their operations. Meanwhile, almost two-thirds (63%) of managers in UK businesses feel the Government needs to be clearer about plans for financial support for UK businesses in the long-term.

Despite these concerns, businesses remain optimistic; the majority (56%) of decision makers still feel confident about the future.

Atul Bhakta, CEO of One World Express, said: “Businesses were never going to bounce back to pre-pandemic capacity immediately. Indeed, uncertainty around social distancing regulations, the track and trace “pingdemic”, as well as employee anxieties have evidently taken their toll on operations.

“Positively however, businesses appear to be turning a corner and feeling confident for the future.  Indeed, the reconfiguration of the NHS track and trace system, combined with the ongoing success of the UK’s vaccine roll-out sets organisations on the right path to returning to some form of normality.

“Business leaders are clear about the ongoing challenges posed to their post-pandemic recoveries – should the government now afford companies more clarity over the long-term financial support that will be in place, it is inevitable that we will see a rejuvenation on confidence.”

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