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UKWA is rolling out a new digital self-audit tool to help the warehouse and logistics industry to up its game.

Covid-19 has changed the world for everyone, but most certainly for those of us in the warehousing and logistics industry. The pace of online spending has accelerated exponentially, with internet shopping now representing an astonishing 32.8% of total consumer spend according to latest ONS statistics. As we’ve noted for some time at UKWA, logistics has become the new retail, and this rapid transformation is bringing us as logistics providers and warehouse operators ever closer to the consumer. While this creates great opportunities for growth, there are significant challenges ahead too. To survive in this fast-moving, demanding environment, and to operate efficiently, sustainably and profitably, it will be essential that businesses ensure compliance and manage risk. Many of our larger members already have compliance and good governance at the heart of their business – particularly if they deal with hazardous substances, food or other sectors where demonstrating compliance is a given, but for many SMEs this is new territory. The pandemic has given rise to a specific set of required standards that businesses must now adhere to, regulations which seem to change with every new government announcement. Brexit – now only a matter of working weeks away – will doubtless generate still further new demands. Now is the time for our industry to take a more strategic view and step up our game. Only by understanding and continually monitoring processes and performance can businesses manage risk, commit to a culture of continuous improvement, and deliver a service that is fit for purpose. To support our members on this journey, UKWA is rolling out a new digital self-audit tool, developed in partnership with rradar, a specialist law firm with deep experience in the field of compliance and regulatory issues, with the technical expertise to build a digital solution based on our legacy audit, designed to reduce commercial and legal risk. The new tool, which has been piloted by members of the UKWA management board, will provide members with their own governance platform, identifying areas that need attention at strategic, operational and ground level across all key business functions, also providing a central repository for all governance, compliance and insurance documentation. This is an important milestone for the Association, replacing as it does the previous ‘MOT’ type audit with an extremely flexible digital solution, designed to keep businesses compliant and protected from risk on an ongoing, real-time basis. Part of our mission as UKWA is to drive up industry standards. Not policing those standards, but rather helping professionalise our industry by facilitating continuous improvement and supporting our members in managing their businesses more effectively, equipping them to operate successfully in the future, fast-changing digital world. Peter Ward UKWA, CEO

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New campaign launches to celebrate the hidden hero behind the wheel

Great to see this campaign to give thanks to the most valuable asset in the UK transport sector; the drivers who have gone the extra mile.A huge thanks to all of our drivers at TLP, and indeed all of the drivers across the UK who have kept the wheels of industry turning through the Pandemic. We salute you! https://www.ukhaulier.co.uk/news/road-transport/drivers/new-campaign-launches-to-celebrate-the-hidden-hero-behind-the-wheel/ Global telematics and tracking providers, Teletrac Navman, has launched “Who is a Commercial Driver?” – a campaign to give thanks to the most valuable asset in the UK transport sector; the drivers who have gone the extra mile. The initiative, in partnership with Brake – the road safety charity – sees 15 commercial drivers from fleets across the UK join forces to share their stories about how they kept Britain moving during Covid-19. Delivered through an uplifting and inspiring video campaign, “Who is a Commercial Driver?” aims to raise awareness of the extra pressure the pandemic has put on the country’s commercial drivers, as without their continuous efforts, communities across the nation would have struggled without access to essential goods, services or healthcare. Richard Lilwall, Managing Director, at Teletrac Navman, comments: “It’s these workers, on the front line of logistics, who not only have an important role to play generally, but who have kept this country going over the past six months, with everything from vital life-saving PPE deliveries, to fast-moving consumer goods that keep the economy ticking over. “What’s more, extended working hours, more vehicles on the road, an increase in shifts, and more deliveries per shift have all become the norm in recent months for those drivers bearing the load, in partnership with their colleagues in logistics. For their dedication to ensuring everything gets from A to B, we want to show our appreciation.” Katie Shephard, spokesperson for Brake, says: “The past six months have been extremely challenging times for everyone across the UK and it has been a pleasure to work with Teletrac Navman on this project. As a road safety charity, Brake understands the challenges around driving for work and is proud to support this campaign to thank commercial drivers, especially during this difficult time.”

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Tips On How To Work From Home During Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing life as we know it… from handshakes to home working. For many of us, working from home is unchartered territory in this new COVID-19 world, that we’ll need to settle into and adapt to. A survival map through a day of working from home might be of some help to us, so let’s create one to make for a productive time away from the regular office. WAKING UP This is about setting routine, far more than it is about rising early. With the suddenness of not having anyone to check what time you clocked in – or if you’ve even clocked in at all – a steady waking routine will keep you motivated to work. The average UK citizen spends an estimated 45 minutes on travel to or from work. Yours might be more, or it might be less, but you’ve now got some extra time in the mornings. Let’s be honest – the temptation to lie in and let your sleep break whenever it pleases is great. It will benefit your productivity levels far more, however, to stick to a daily rising schedule, even if it does squeeze in the few minutes not used for travelling. PREPARING YOURSELF FOR WORK Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, you had a series of events during the week that geared your mindset towards work. Ranging from your alarm to breakfast, through to your commute. Working from home might feel like you’ve had no time at all to create that buildup to a good workday. You might feel like you’ve hopped straight out of bed and into your job. Bypass this feeling by doing some of the little things that bridge that gap between bed and work. Getting dressed is a good start. Ditch the daytime pyjamas for something neat, even if it isn’t your uniform. Eat breakfast as usual. Take a few minutes to remind yourself of the tasks to be done for the day. Again, the aim is to prevent leaping between home and work too quickly. Conversely, once you’ve finished your home workday, you’ll also need to take a bit of time to wind down. Perhaps pack up your workspace or take a few minutes to stretch. YOUR WORKSPACE Perhaps one of the most essential parts of working from home is to create a separate workspace. Not everyone has access to studies, home offices, or desks. Also, not everyone likes to work in silence, or with other people around, or have a potentially distracting window view. How you create your home workspace is entirely up to you. Whether it’s the kitchen table or your garden furniture, make it comfortable and work-conducive for you. STAYING CONNECTED DURING THE DAY So, you’ve risen on time, gotten into the correct mindset, and sat down at your own workspace… what next? It might feel strange for those of us who are usually cocooned in the hubbub of office activity to be suddenly alone. Or it might be difficult not to have all members of your team project present in the same boardroom. We are lucky, however, to be living in a time where connecting with each other is still possible. If you are working from home during COVID-19, consider using platforms that can connect you to your colleagues digitally. There is an abundance of platforms to choose from – perhaps Slack, a messaging system that allows collaboration on shared tasks; or Telegram, an instant messenger that can also be used to create contact groups. When it’s not work-related, try and stay connected with your friends and family via social media. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has got us all in lockdown, it doesn’t mean that we can’t still interact with anyone. Staying connected with our loved ones will avoid us feeling isolated as well as preserving our mental health. THE END OF THE WORKDAY It’s a different dynamic, working from home. How do you really know when to clock out? The answer depends on the kind of work you do. A lot of places suggest setting designated working hours. You might get ready and make sure you are at your workspace by 8 am every day, then finish off at 4 pm. This works well if you are in a dynamic industry where new information constantly comes in and gets processed… think supply chain management or someone who handles queries for a business. If you are in a task-based business – such as freelancing, or property management – you could also choose to set goals and specific tasks for each day and finish off only when you have completed your work objectives for the day. In both cases, it is important to remember that when working from home you are primarily responsible for your own performance during the day, and that you’re accountable for your levels of productivity. With that being said, however, working from home allows you the rare chance to work to your pace and limitations. You will know when you need to stop and pick it up again the next day, and there is nothing wrong with this. A NEW OPPORTUNITY With that simple walk-through of a productive day working from home, we now have a foundation to build on. See this as a small opportunity to create your own enjoyable, rewarding workspace while working remotely during the COVID-19 epidemic.

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Preserving Your Mental Health During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Travel bans. Large gatherings prohibited. Sports events cancelled. Stock markets plummeting and nothing but widespread panic about the repercussions of Covid-19. It’s been an extraordinary start to 2020. The government’s request for us all to stay in total lockdown until this all blows over has been a big ask, one that is mentally challenging for all of us. The important thing to remember is that this will eventually all be over and that we’ll go back to our usual daily routines. But for now, we need to find ways of looking after our mental health and that of our friends and families. Below we’ve outlined some tips that will help you adjust to the demands of your new confined space and routine. Make goals and work towards them Routines add structure and purpose into our daily lives, helping us to take our minds off all that’s happening around us. Working from home solves this issue but if you’ve been put on furlough, then find a hobby or an interest and set goals around it. Ever wanted to learn more about digital marketing or stock investments? Then have a look at Lynda.com or Udemy. They have an abundance of courses for you to take advantage of. Look at this period as an opportunity to learn and sharpen your skills in areas that might increase your value as an employee once this all passes. Dress properly This might seem like a strange one, but the clothes you wear can affect you psychologically. Choosing to wear pyjamas whilst doing your job will affect your mood and attitude, as well as how you approach assignments. Dress as you would for work. Stay connected with your friends and family One of the comforting thoughts about the COVID-19 crisis is that everyone is in this together. Stay in touch with friends and family via social media and be open about your lockdown experience. Schedule virtual coffee breaks with your colleagues and keep talking to people so you don’t feel isolated. Be selective with your information intake Working from home makes you more susceptible to receiving a barrage of information from the tv in the background and social media. This can only elevate stress, especially on Facebook and Twitter, where a lot of these articles are for deliberately created for click-bait. It’s important to stay informed but it’s equally important not to overindulge. If you feel compelled to be updated on what’s going on outside, limit yourself to sporadic doses. Spend 30 minutes in the morning listening to the news whilst having breakfast and then another 30 during dinner. Tell your boss what you need The transition from a traditional office to your home can be a bit of a shock so you want to make sure that it goes as smoothly as possible. To be able to fully adapt, it’s likely that you’ll need to invest in new software and programmes to maintain the same levels of efficiency. Being at home, you may not have the same software or equipment as you would in the office, which will only make your job more difficult and stressful. Avoid this scenario by not being hesitant about asking your boss for the right support. Create work-life boundaries Working from home, you’re likely to mesh both your work and personal life together. Not defining clear boundaries between the two can make life overwhelming. Taking on every work assignment because you’re uncertain about when your workday finishes or agreeing to every household chore will build up stress and frustration over time. Review what responsibilities you have from both sides and be willing to negotiate with your family members and co-workers when you feel overworked. Create a timetable for your kids One of the positives you can take from the current crisis is that you now have more time to spend with your kids, creating a real opportunity for quality family bonding. Choosing not to do so will make them feel neglected and dampen their moods, which will inevitably rub off on you. Prepare a list of activities for you to get through in the evening with your kids and let them know about it so they’ll have something to look forward to. Striking this balance between work and family will help to boost morale and decrease stress. Exercise Exercise is famous for producing endorphins - chemicals that induce happiness - making them an incredibly powerful way of reducing stress and anxiety. Being in lockdown means that we have to get creative with our workouts. Right now, the entire fitness industry has shifted its focus into creating content for home workouts, so there’s plenty of material online that will help you find a routine that fits in with your current situation. Exercising daily is paramount to preserving your mental health during this pandemic, so make sure to prioritise it. Seeing the positives At times like this, it’s easy to be negative but by taking a more positive perspective on things, you’ll realise that this is an excellent opportunity to grow and focus on developing skills that you otherwise might not have had time for. Working from home gives you more ownership of your life, forcing you to be focused and disciplined. This won’t last forever and if you take advantage of this unique scenario, then you’ll come out the other side a better person.

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