It has now been well over a year since we entered what can only be described as the most unusual of times. I for one am grateful for the fact that, as we entered lockdown for the first time, we were unaware that we would still be curtailing our way of life over 12 months later. But I have learned over this period that not all the consequences have been negative.
Improving our communication
How we communicate with each other has altered and, from our clients’ perspective, perhaps that has been for the better, with more regular and more varied means of communication.
The way in which our business has had to adapt to online meetings, events and market updates has proved that we can continue to deliver a high level of personalised service, despite the challenges that we have all faced. And whilst this does not replace the benefit of seeing one another and our clients face-to-face, I feel in many respects we have adapted remarkably well - and improved our IT skills in the process!
Addressing our work/life balance
Working from home has presented its challenges, such as a distinct lack of separation between work and home life. However, the flexibility it provides has been welcomed by those of us juggling careers and childcare in difficult times.
As a business, we had been aware of the need to adapt to flexible working. Covid-19 catapulted us into this scenario, and we have proved that it can work extremely well. Personally, I miss the social interaction of the team and the office, but believe a happy medium exists. My fear is that we all-too-quickly slip back into old habits and routines and ignore the opportunity the pandemic has provided to re-evaluate our working practices.
Understanding each other
I am very conscious that each individual experience of the pandemic has been different and that everyone, irrespective of their circumstances, has felt some degree of hardship throughout this period.
I believe this has led to us develop a greater awareness of how our colleagues, neighbours, close friends and family are feeling, and has allowed us to personally pause, reflect and take stock of our lives.
Applying these lessons as we return to normal
With a return to normal now in sight, the question is raised as to whether our interpretation of ‘normal’ has altered, and whether re-entering the world feels somewhat daunting.
As a business, we are aware that the transition back to working in the office may be a difficult one for some and have support in place for those who find it more challenging. The crisis has taught us that communication is key and having an awareness of each other’s situations and wellbeing has never been more important. Barriers have been broken down as we have faced a common threat, and working together and supporting one another has in many ways forged new friendships and connections. Therefore, perhaps a ‘new normal’ may be a ‘better normal’, providing us with an opportunity to shape our lives both personally and professionally in a more fulfilling and inclusive way. I am certainly looking forward to what our future holds.
Investec Wealth & Investment (UK) is a trading name of Investec Wealth & Investment Limited which is a subsidiary of Rathbones Group Plc. Investec Wealth & Investment Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is registered in England. Registered No. 2122340. Registered Office: 30 Gresham Street. London. EC2V 7QN.