Coronavirus  

Workforce turns to tech in crisis

Alison Steed

Alison Steed

The last few weeks have pretty much turned the world upside down as countries around the globe are struggling to contain the spread of coronavirus, and it is changing the way we live and work.

Things we would normally do in person such as meeting clients, going to socialise at the golf club and so on are now put on hold for the foreseeable future.

Business owners are facing real financial difficulty and fear for the future of their livelihoods, even though the government has said it will pay 80 per cent of employee wages up to £2,500 a month to help support businesses.

Many advisers will be thinking about how their own business moves forward in the short and even longer term, so when it comes to helping other company’s clients navigate this difficult time, you will not only be able to sympathise, you are likely to empathise too.

Hopefully the crisis will be limited to a few weeks or months, but the chances are even once we are through this, the way we live and work could be changed forever.

The plethora of online services that help us keep in touch are essential at present and are likely to be increasingly used even after this crisis passes.

So, if your business has been lagging behind when it comes to technology and the different ways to interact with both your colleagues and clients digitally, now is the ideal time to catch up because it could save your business.

There are many ways to work remotely, and it is vital to ensure your client data is secure and that any methods you use are approved by the regulator.

The Financial Conduct Authority has said it recommends that advisers record calls with clients so that if there is a complaint at a later date, then you are able to produce the recording in defence of the actions you have taken.

With the fear some clients may be feeling now, given the volatility in markets, it might be wise if they are asking you to make significant changes to their portfolio for you to use a service that will allow you to record any remote interactions you have with them in case things go wrong later on.

So, here is a trot through just some of the services you might want to consider using while we are all in lockdown to keep in touch with colleagues and clients:

Zoom.us – some of you may use this already, but if not then it is worth a look.

For personal meetings it is free, and you can also use this version for a limited time of 40 minutes per meeting for group conferences.

As you do not need to have this software on your computer or smart phone to connect with someone, if you need to contact a client you can simply send them a link to the Zoom meeting invite, which they click to participate.