Coronavirus  

Prepping for post-Covid-19

Simon Read

Simon Read

But all those I know who have been forced to over the past few weeks have simply got on with it.

The truth is that for most white-collar workers, if there is work to be done, the location does not really matter.

Some people I have seen have felt it necessary to create proper-looking workspaces and home, with multiple screens, ergonomic desks and chairs, and in a space away from distractions, such as the TV or family.

Others report how important it is, they feel, to get properly dressed before starting work at home, some even still donning a tie.

That may be necessary for video meetings, but there is no real prescribed way to make a success of home working.

My advice to people has always been: do whatever makes you feel most comfortable.

But recent experience has taught me that, if you are going to be having a video meeting with a client, you should at least take the time to change out of your pyjamas or dressing gown.

My feeling is that the new way of working that so many of us have had to get used to will prove to be lasting.

Mr Montlake agreed. He said: “Face-to-face is great, but I think this represents a watershed moment and many will be happy with video meetings or telephone.”

One financial adviser’s client told me: “I’ve just had one of my regular meetings with my IFA via Microsoft Teams last week. It would have been lovely to do it in person as usual, but we covered everything we needed to.”

That gives me a sense of where we are at. I reckon more and more advice business will be conducted through video once lockdown is over.

It will save a lot of travelling time, which will make many people much more efficient and able to catch up with more clients more regularly.

But, and it is a big but, there will still need to be face-to-face meetings.

Sometimes sitting with someone is the only way to get a sense of what they are really saying, or really need, through their body language, tone of voice or other physical clues.

So while the future is likely to be much more digital, it will not ever totally replace the importance of meeting people in person.

And personal advice is the thing that is going to be much more in demand in the future.

Simon Read is a freelance journalist