We’ve very much aimed for business as usual. However, what has changed is that it is most definitely a longer day, starting work early and finishing work late, but during the day having more time for exercise (lots of walking, Zoom yoga and bootcamp), meals and time with the family.
Trying to maintain the 9-5 routine is just not going to work for me.
The Easter holidays, a lack of structure and a constantly open fridge, did not result in a harmonious house! With my two girls (aged 13 and 11) now “back to school”, we seem to be settling into something that better resembles some sort of routine. We all seem to work better and get along better knowing what we’re all doing and when.
Within the business, one thing that remains a constant is our 9am team meeting. With the team all working from home, it’s a chance to catch up on what’s going on, what everyone has on their radar and to identify if anyone needs any help.
So far, working from home has been a fairly seamless transition, but I’m sure like many out there, until the systems were tested, we never really knew what problems might come up. Simple things, like some of our processes relying on a piece of paper, have had to be changed.
We’re very conscious that our clients want to be hearing from us to reassure them about all that’s going on and we really are trying, wherever possible, to continue business as usual. All our client meetings are now being held via Zoom.
If anyone ever tells you that a lady in her 80s won’t be able to do this, don’t believe them!
Where previously I might have sent a client an email with a quick response to a query, I’m now picking up the phone, and they (and I) are appreciating the human contact. We’ve increased our regular communications with our clients.
I’m sending a weekly email, which might include a brief market update, but it will be brief – clients are aware of what’s going on in the markets broadly and I don’t think we need to remind them. But, we always tell them that we’re here to answer questions, if they want to ask them.
More importantly we’re focusing on positive news, maintaining physical and mental wellbeing and maybe some hints and tips for things that clients could be doing, things they don’t normally get chance to do – a spring clean of their filing or reviewing their utility bills.
We’re all learning from our current experiences. We’re learning about things we might want to change within the business. We’re learning about things that we might to change in how we work. We’re learning about appreciating the simple things in life.
I’m hoping that I’ll be able to carry a lot of these things forward into a post Covid-19 world, and here’s hoping that won’t be too far away...
Nicola Watts APFS Chartered Financial Planner, Chartered Wealth Manager, CFPTM Chartered FSCI - director of Jane Smith Financial Planning
After joining the family business in 2000, Nicola qualified to provide advice in 2001, and has been a director of the business since 2006. Since the retirement of her mother (Jane Smith), Nicola bears sole responsibility for the management of the firm, and the advice provided to clients. Nicola is married to David and has two young children, Emily and Olivia, and Poppy the black labrador.