What I’ve Learned From COVID-19: So Far … Part Four

What I’ve Learned From COVID-19: So Far … Part ThreeWelcome to the fourth and final part of my series detailing what I’ve learned from the Coronavirus pandemic – so far. To read the earlier parts, click here. In this part we’re going to look at creating the new “normal” and what a working day might look like when lockdown is lifted.

Remote working works

Many of you will know, my team have worked in a “results-only working environment” for a long time. That means we work where we want, when we want, as long as the work gets done. Think it sounds too good to be true? Well, our team are the proof that it works. We’re happier and more productive. I don’t know any business owner that will say “no thanks” to that.

Taking control of your daily schedule makes you more productive – not everyone works at their best nine-to-five. I estimate that a team member working from home can complete a five-day work week in just four days.

There are a multitude of ways of communicating with your team – if you’re not sure where to start, get in touch. I’ll share with you the complete setup we use to keep our team connected. Our daily online huddles bring us together as a team and are a good outlet for a bit of fun, as well as staying up to date.

Many businesses have been thrown into disarray with accommodating homeworking. But, had the technology already been in place, the transition would have been smooth – trust me, I’ve done it. And it’s worth it.

The office is dead, or is it?

Many business owners are starting to reconsider their investment in physical office space and I support that, but there is a caveat. I know remote-working is productive; you save travel time and expense, there are fewer pointless meetings, online meetings are quick, convenient and more reliable than ever. But working solo doesn’t suit everyone. Some of your team will be feeling isolated and craving to be back in the office.

Use the time while we are on lockdown to have a conversation with your team – an honest and open discussion about the pros and cons of working from home. If you’re considering remote-working long term, don’t risk losing your key talent. There will be a compromise – perhaps a smaller office, or use of a co-working space.

Save time, money and the planet

Remote working isn’t just about how you connect with your team – your clients can benefit, too. What would it mean for your business if you can have face-to-face time with your clients more often, more cost-effectively and very efficiently? Online meetings are here to stay and I’m a huge fan.

Meetings are just like grocery shopping. When you order your food online you’re not distracted by the colourful displays or end-of-aisle promos. You log in, find what you want, check out and wait for the doorbell to ring. Meetings in person are similar to shopping at the store: you arrive, chat with the team in the office, grab a coffee, fifteen minutes later you sit down at a desk and reach for the agenda. An online meeting could be finished before the in-person version has even started. Online, people are focussed on the matter at hand. If a further meeting is required for something off-agenda a new session can be arranged in seconds.

The efficiency alone is valuable to your clients, but there’s more. Meeting more frequently will allow you to have a bigger impact – be that more support through the buying journey, or more regular strategy sessions if you’re an advisor. I urge you to take ten minutes now and write a list of all the ways an online meeting is better for you and your client. Then share it with your clients and get their buy-in, to keep the positives even after lockdown.

Create the new “normal” that suits you

What lessons have you learned as a business owner during lockdown? I’d love to hear from you, comment below or drop me an email paul@meadesgroup.com.

Whatever you have gained from this period, please put it to good use. Don’t just revert back to the old ways when lockdown is lifted. Apply the lessons long term and use them to deliver a better service at a higher profit.

To read earlier posts in the series, click here. If you want to discuss how Meades can help, get in touch.