Coronavirus: The start of winter

 

FBCC Member Efficio discusses what comes after Covid-19 and how businesses should act while facing the crisis and accelerate first steps back to stability in their newest blog post.

Many sectors face severe downturns in demand during the unstable times we are facing. Fiscal and monetary support, as well as compassion between businesses and individuals, will be required to emerge successfully.

Efficio talks about a four key risks, one opportunity framework to analyse your position:

The risks:

  1. Employee safety, and with it the populations safety, is everyone’s current top priority.
  2. Client demand is shifting rapidly both in magnitude and channel, like increased takeaway food, and companies are flexing to adapt.
  3. Business continuity is a key differentiator for clients and requires close collaboration with your supply base to deliver.
  4. Financial stability to support through a period of reduced revenue, liquidity issues and challenging financing situations is key – and some businesses will fall short.

The opportunity:

  1. Invest in innovation – the strongest will gain market share by leveraging their business continuity and deliver both new and improved offerings to their clients as we recover.

Read the full blog post here.

Our Tips for Effective Remote Working

Today we started the second week of remote working. The first week was a learning curve for us as the same way it was for many companies not used to remote working.  Every team is different but here’s a few tips the team FBCC have found effective:

Get in to a Working Mode: 

You will feel more productive when you are properly dressed and in your own work space. In order to get into a working mode, get dressed in the morning (don’t stay in your pyjamas all day) and make sure to dedicate your own work space at home. Don’t stay in bed or work in your bedroom if you have a choice – it’s better to dedicate your bedroom for relaxing and having a dedicated work space somewhere else. (We do realise that in London not everyone has the luxury of space, and if you do have to work from your bedroom try to ensure you separate your work time and your free time properly.)

Communicate Effectively: 

As we don’t see each other daily anymore, it’s important to develop effective communication channels. For instance, we use virtual chat platforms to reach each other quickly several times a day. In addition, we will usually schedule a team video call in the beginning and end of the day to catch up and coordinate our work tasks. It is also very important for us to make sure we are keeping up our team spirit even though we cannot be in the office together, so we tend to have virtual lunches and coffee breaks together.

Take Breaks and Stay Active:

During these times it’s extremely important to take care of your well-being. As we are working from home, it’s easy to just sit for hours and hours and forget to move. It’s important for both your physical and mental well-being to take breaks and stay active during your work days. Take a short coffee or tea break in the afternoon – this will help you to focus on your tasks. In addition, it is a perfect time to have a quick call with a friend! Go out for a walk in nature  – this will also help with your focus and creativity when you get a short break and some fresh air.

For more information, FBCC member Firstbeat wrote a blogpost on the importance of well-being during these times. You can read the post here!

Be Creative:

Although these times cause several difficulties for work and business life, it gives us a possibility to be creative and develop ourselves. During these times we can develop our organisations’ operations and come up with new ways of value creation. For example, as live events are not possible, the team FBCC is currently developing new ways to create value for the FBCC members. If you, as our member, are willing to help us, please answer our survey on how we can serve you during these unique times.

Participate the Survey Here

Stay safe and healthy!

FINNAIR AND FINLAND COVID-19 UPDATE

 

FBCC Member Finnair shared the following information for all our network (Updated 23.3.):

As all are aware the European situation is changing daily and sometimes by the hour, this makes life very difficult for all concerned especially our customers. Finnair will do all we can to bring people home as borders within Europe close.

Finland has just released its COVID-19 restrictions. The following will apply from 19MAR at 00.00 hours HEL time and will be in place until 13APR 2020 24.00 hours HEL time:

 

  • Border Controls will be reinstated on all intra-Schengen routes
  • HEL airport will be kept open for cargo flights and for returning passengers (see below list of passengers that can be accepted for travel to/via HEL)
  • Foreigners who are currently in Finland are allowed to exit the country
  • Finnish nationals are recommended not to travel abroad

 

Only the following passengers will be allowed entry:

  • Nationals of Finland
  • Family members of nationals of Finland (provided that the family member is entitled to enter and stay in Finland)
  • Holders of valid Finnish residence permits
  • EU nationals who are registered as staying in Finland
  • EU nationals and holders of EU issued permanent residence permits, who are returning to their respective EU country of residence via Finland
  • their health condition needs to be taken in to account – if the passenger shows any signs of illness, entry may be denied
  • Non-EU nationals who are leaving the Schengen area via Finland to return to their country of residence; e.g. Japanese national travelling CDG-HEL-HND

 

Non-Schengen to non-Schengen travel via HEL:

  • Travel from a non-Schengen country to another non-Schengen country is allowed via HEL, however, the passenger should be traveling to his/her country of residence and remain in the non-Schengen transit area of the airport. The passenger must be eligible to enter at his destination, taking into consideration any possible Corona restrictions of the destination (therefore travel should be limited to passengers returning home)

 

Over the last few weeks we have made a number of announcements  regards  our change policy, please find below what this is currently:

In case a flight is cancelled: Full refund or postpone travel until 30 November 2020*.

In case a flight is still operating: Refund according to ticketed fare rules or postpone travel until 30 November 2020*.

Customers affected by local government restrictions: Full refund or postpone travel until 30 November 2020*. For example, passenger unable to enter the country due to travel ban or quarantine but flight still operating.

* Customers can change their travel date flexibly without a change fee and travel until 30 November, 2020 with the following policy:

  • Ticket issued by 30 April 2020
  • Original travel date is latest on 30 November 2020
  • Finnair operated and marketed flight on Finnair ticket
  • Rebook into the same class as the original flight or lowest available in the same cabin
  • Ticket revalidation permitted
  • Rerouting not permitted
  • Change made by 30 November 2020
  • Applies to all ticket types
  • OS AY CHANGE OF TRAVEL DUE TO CORONA must be added to all changed bookings

Please note that the change in the ticket rules doesn’t apply to certain agents with  special agreements with Finnair i.e. Finnair Holidays, Aurinkomatkat (Suntours) and Group bookings. It DOES apply to individual Tour Operator bookings using TO fares.

Find out an overview of April-June 2020 traffic here!

Follow Finnair’s website for updates!

FBCC Events and COVID-19

In light of recent developments concerning COVID-19, the Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce has made the decision to cancel any upcoming events for March and April, including Nordic Drinks and the Easter Feast at Ekte. This was a joint decision made with the other organising Nordic Chambers of Commerce. We apologise for any inconveniences caused by this.

We have a responsibility to our members and staff to keep them safe and we do not wish to cause people additional stress during this time. We will reassess again for our events in May, if needed.

Please see respective government’s advice relating to the virus, in Finland and the United Kingdom. Below you can find some links with useful information on the topic (Updated 23.03.2020).

Information for Businesses by FBCC Members: 

Business Finland: Coronavirus Information For Finnish Companies
Business Finland: Visit Finland Coronavirus Update for the Travel Trade
Department for International Trade: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance For UK Businesses
Goodwille Ltd: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice For Employers
Womble Bond Dickinson: COVID-19 – Business Continuity Planning
UHY Hacker Young: Coping With Coronavirus: Advice For Businesses & Corona Virus and the Stock Markets Update
Gowling WLG: Covid-19 OverviewCOVID-19 And Pensions: Practical Steps For UK Trustees  &  COVID-19 – Minimising the Contractual Risks in Construction
Danske Bank: Coronavirus Customer Support
Finnair: Most Common Questions About Coronavirus And Flying With Finnair
Nokia: CEO blog: Exceptional times require exceptional decisions
Nordea: Coronavirus: Ensure That You Are Able To Cope With More Than Just A Short Disruption Podcast
SEB: Extra Market Commentary – Global measures to counter virus impact
Gowling WLG: Managing Risk: an online resource hub

Information and guidance by the Finnish authorities:

Updates from the Embassy of Finland in London: Current affairs
Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL): Coronavirus COVID-19 – Latest Updates
Foreign Ministry: Coronavirus advice for travellers: Ministry for Foreign Affairs monitors coronavirus situation
Finnish Government: Government decides on recommendations to curb the spread of coronavirus
Finnish Government: Coronavirus: Latest updates

Information and guidance by the UK authorities:

Gov.uk:  Number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and risk in the UK
Gov.uk: Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response
Gov.uk: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for employees, employers and businesses
NHS: Overview – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please don’t hesitate to contact our team at events@fbcc.co.uk.

FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY: Building Sustainable Solutions- Working Towards a World That Lasts Forever

On Thursday 5th March the FBCC partnered with our Patron member Outokumpu to organise Focus on Sustainability: Building Sustainable Solutions- Working Towards a World That Lasts Forever event held at the Residence of the Ambassador of Finland 

Outokumpu is a global leader in stainless steel with the vision to be the undisputed number one. The company serves customers in a wide range of industries – from catering and appliances to building and construction, transportation and chemical, petrochemical and energy industries, as well as the process and resources industries – use our stainless steel and services worldwide. Being fully recyclable, maintenance-free, as well as very strong and durable material, stainless steel is one of the key building blocks for sustainable future. 

The successful event brought together more than 80 people from the industry including key decision makers in infrastructure, architecture and politics 

The event focused on sustainability and using sustainable solutions in building process, and how stainless steel can solve many current issues in water distribution, architecture and infrastructure. After Ambassador Markku Keinänen’s opening speech, Mr Maciej Gwozdz gave a presentation on stainless steel and why it is a sustainable choice. The attendees then heard from Mr Peter Bamforth about water distribution and the benefits of using stainless steel in water piping. Next up Mr Jörn Teipel talked about stainless steel in architecture, followed by Mr Andy Backhouse discussing the use of stainless in infrastructure. The event finished with a Q&A with the panellists and Camilla KaplinOutokumpu’s Senior Environment Manager 

The guests were left with a deep understanding of the importance of a long-term outlook when it comes to sustainability in building and infrastructure. While carbon steel may seem like a cost effective choice, when you consider the cost of maintenance over the next decades, the cost becomes unsustainable. Whereas stainless steel will last at least a 100 years without any maintenance (the only reason to say only a 100 years is because stainless steel has not been around longer). 

The FBCC were proud to work with Outokumpu on this event More photos on the FBCC Facebook page!

Intellectual Property and OSS: How to avoid splash damage

All developers will be familiar with Open Source Software (OSS) and how convenient it is, but they may not be as familiar with the legal requirements associated with the varying associated licences out there.
Rayyan Mughal, a commercial contract lawyer at the FBCC member Marks & Clerk talks more about this topic in his latest article featured on VR/AR Pioneers.

OSS licences fall into effectively two groups; permissive and ‘copyleft’.
Permissive licences are those which allow developers to build the OSS into their own code without any commercial restrictions.
Copyleft licences, on the other hand, are generally much more restrictive and often require developers using this kind of OSS to ensure their derivative work is also made open source.
This obligation to make new code open source can deny developers access to a key form of protection in the form of confidential information and trade secrets.

There are varying intellectual property rights which cover the work done by developers and businesses working within the VR/AR space. Rayyan Mughal concentrates on copyright. Copyright seeks to protect the tangible form of expression of ideas and not the ideas themselves.

The important point to note for developers and/or businesses is that when using OSS they should ensure they are fully aware of the licence terms associated with the OSS they are using. The fall-out from not doing this is that the licence terms of the OSS could potentially preclude them from categorising the source code, for example.

What if a business is contracting a third party to create something for them in this area, though?

Read the full article at VR/AR Pioneers.

 

 

Coping with Coronavirus: Advice for Businesses

FBCC member UHY Hacker Young shared useful advice regarding Coronavirus. You can find the full article written by Andrew Hulse here!

Due to Coronavirus some businesses will be faced with loss of trade whilst others will no doubt experience staff shortages due to illness or fear of it. UHY Hacker Young’s advice is to avoid over-reacting but prepare for a period of disruption.

Read the key points of the article below:

Planning

Now is the time to plan for damage limitation. To make decisions about the action you should take, you need to understand your cost base and embark on some kind of financial modelling, using your intuition about likely scenarios. On the other hand, if your business is already facing financial problems, insolvency advice is needed.

Keep your people safe

Ensure that your staff have enough information to recognise symptoms of corona virus and that there is a clear reporting system in place. Develop an action plan for your workplace so that if any team member, or visitor, is suspected of having the virus steps can be taken immediately to mitigate its spread. Make sure that all of your team are aware of the plan.

Employees’ rights

Employees have a right to be paid in full if an employer instructs an employee to stay away from work because, they have just returned from a virus hotspot. However, if an employee refuses to come to work their rights to be paid are severely limited.

Read the full article written by Andrew Hulse here!

FBCC MEMBER MARKS & CLERK IS RECRUITING

The FBCC Member Marks & Clerk is recruiting a Business Development Executive.

The Business Development (BD) Executive will provide high quality and effective marketing and BD support for Marks & Clerk Law. This will include supporting on individual client development initiatives, key and priority client programs, pitch proposals, legal directory submissions, marketing collateral, events, and significant ad-hoc projects.  The role is an integral part of the wider Marks & Clerk marketing and business development (MBD) team in the UK and worldwide, with specific responsibility for assisting the MBD initiatives of the partners and solicitors of MCL. Travel to other Marks & Clerk offices around the UK will be expected.

Marks & Clerk LLP is the leading and largest firm of Patent and Trade Mark attorneys in the UK with over 60 partners and 350 employees. Their attorneys are highly skilled in all technical fields.  Marks & Clerk has 8 offices in the UK: London, Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

You can read more about the position and apply here.

Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce

The FBCC is an independent, non-profit organisation, recognized throughout the Finnish, British and international business communities. The Chamber offers four different membership categories: Patron, Corporate, Professional and Young Professional.