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WhatsApp brings businesses together for extra support during lockdown

9 November 2020

Two north east businesses used WhatsApp to help SMEs across the north east navigate the challenges faced by lockdown earlier this year.

Accountants Robson Laidler approached the team at Inspired HR to see if they would be willing to join a group for their clients who needed help with HR issues. With a lot of these companies facing uncertain times due to the changing workplace requirements, they needed as much help as possible to navigate the new employment landscape.

Nikki Masterman, Inspired HR’s Managing Director, and her team of consultants spent the following months providing legal templates to help businesses furlough staff properly, as well as guidance on how to deal with potential redundancies. Through their wider network they were also able to help companies with health and wellbeing advice as well as health and safety information for workplaces that wanted to bring staff and customers back.

The team provided this guidance as a goodwill gesture to Robson Laidler’s clients, helping them to continue trading by allowing them to spend more time and energy dealing with the day-to-day running of their companies.

Nikki said:

“It has been a privilege to help provide support to Robson Laidler’s clients over the past few months. Without this a lot of the businesses would not have been able to survive, as a lot of the new requirements were quite complex.


“By looking after furlough issues, redundancies, and providing the templates so that staff were aware of their positions under the new guidelines, we helped owners focus on the other aspects of their businesses during this uncertain time.”

This support continues to this day, as the team regularly issue breakdowns of the government’s statements to ensure business owners have access to the news that directly affects them.

Graham Purvis, Managing Director at Robson Laidler, said there was no real thought that went into the group other than a desire to help business owners at a time when there was a lot of conflicting and confusing information being released on a daily basis.

“From the very start, the emphasis of the group was about helping our clients. We wanted to be on hand to answer any questions they might have; it meant that we were manning the group from 7am until as late as 10pm some nights, but it’s worth it for what it meant to the businesses involved.


“It was great to see our clients interacting directly with each other as well. On a few occasions several of them have had a need for new suppliers for things like PPE, and the group has become a bit of a hub for them to share recommendations and referrals for extra work.”

Both companies are committed to continuing to foster these relationships within the group. While Graham admits it may need a name change soon, they have no intention of stopping helping businesses make sense of any new announcements.

This article originally appeared in the November 2020 edition of Northern Insight, which you can view on their website.

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