Prepping for post-Covid-19

Simon Read

Simon Read

How are you preparing for life after lockdown?

I know that for some financial advisers the coronavirus crisis has not actually meant too much disruption to working life.

Many have told me they have been able to continue working much as normal, just replacing face-to-face client meetings with Zoom or similar. In fact, some have been enjoying it.

Mortgage broker Andrew Montlake told me: “It’s been surprisingly liberating and many clients are more than happy to use Zoom, Microsoft Teams or simply talk on the phone.”

I have written a lot in recent weeks about people and businesses that are having to adapt to the changed environment we are going through.

There are lots of challenges, particularly for companies that are customer-facing. For the moment, they have to consider such things as social distancing guidelines, and the provision of PPE and sanitiser.

But what is interesting is how the changed patterns of working may affect us in the future.

Many industries are discovering that their traditional way of working may be ready for an update.

I have interviewed companies in lots of different sectors and it really is refreshing to see how they are using the lessons from lockdown to put towards a positive future.

I spoke to a digital marketing agency, for instance, that is simply not going to return to office-based working.

“It will save us around 10 per cent of our turnover and means we’ll cut down on fuel, pollution and all the other surrounding costs associated with having an office,” its boss told me.

He acknowledges that the new way of working throws up fresh challenges. For instance, he pointed out that he needs to get all the company’s workers together regularly to brainstorm fresh ideas for clients.

His solution for the future is to simply book a room in a local hotel once every two weeks for the session, followed by a staff get-together over dinner. I have really enjoyed hearing about that positive kind of thinking in our current lockdown world.

I have worked from home on and off for most of my working life and love the advantages it offers, not least being able to avoid the unpleasant commute in the mornings and evenings.

But I know that many companies have been hesitant about allowing workers the freedom to work from home.

I think some bosses worry about losing control of their staff and that they will not be diligent without regular supervision.

My answer to that is that if you cannot trust your staff, you should not be employing them.

I have also spoken to lots of people over the years who worry that they will not be able to work properly at home because of the many distractions.