I’m an athletics coach as well as a business coach. This means that I often get called in to make up the numbers for track and field events. I’m not very good at them but it’s easy to collect a lot of points by coming third of three in the less popular events. One of the events that I discovered in middle age was the 400m hurdles.
And, you guessed it, I have an analogy with business life.
400m hurdles may be a longer distance than 100m hurdles but there are the same number of barriers to cross. At the 100m start I can just see a row of obstacles and it is quite intimidating to stare at them while waiting for the gun. The 400m hurdles are spaced out so that I can only see one at a time and there is time between them to recover my stride before focussing on the next challenge.
For me, and for most of the accountants and business owners that I coach, the last 15 months have felt like a very long 100m hurdle event. Obstacles coming straight after each other with no opportunity to recover in between.
Now we’re heading back to a new normal which is more like the 400m event with time for recovery between each hurdle. It is up to us to make the most of the flat bits to recover and prepare as well as to move forwards, ever forwards.
Have you booked yourself a holiday yet?
Have you got your self a post-Covid plan? Can we help?
There’s still a big debate over returning to the office. Personally I was remote before Covid and I intend to remain so as I coach accountants and business owners around the world.
In favour of the office:
- Casual conversations and useful remarks
- Easier to focus
- Dedicated space and resources to work better
- Easier to supervise and train staff
In favour of home working:
- Easier to focus
- No commute
- Saves some childcare
- No micromanaging
- Better Covid risk management
In practice most organisations will probably opt for a hybrid approach but do watch out for
- Creating an ‘us and them’ division of those mainly in the office vs those mainly at home
- Mixing online and offline meetings. Will somebody go into the office just to sit on a Zoom call with clients and colleagues working from home?
Whatever you decide to do needs a thorough risk assessment and discussion with your team about their own concerns and preferences.
I have a deadline! I have until 21 June to get back in shape and get my life together. Yes, I’ve coped pretty well for the last year (and I’m aware that many have struggled) but I want to get back to thriving and actively enjoying life rather than making the best of things.
I know what I want to look like (20 years younger and a stone slimmer 😉) but I also need to think about what I want my business to look like. I don’t know about you but my 2020 plans were put on hold and 2021 was also curtailed. Although I managed to double the size of my business it was much more Plan Z than Plan A.
How did you do through the various lockdowns and restrictions? Was it business as usual or did you have to pivot? Will you continue with your new style business or will you go back to Plan A or do you have a new plan?
Will you work from home or office or a local hub or home office like me? I know a few people who have moved to bigger houses because they will be working from home more in future and want a proper office rather than a corner of the kitchen table. What will happen to your office premises? With the technology to work from anywhere in the WORLD where will you work from?
Did you introduce new tech for remote working and other efficiencies or have you spent the last year being cautious and cutting all costs possible? Do you need to invest in your business again?
Did you enjoy spending more time with your family and will you keep up baking banana bread or the foreign language you’ve been learning? Or were you too busy to do any baking? Are there any good things that you want to retain in your life and your business?
With a provisional date on the horizon we need to start preparing for the post-Covid, post-Brexit world.
What will you do from pre-Covid, what will you do from Covid and what are you looking forward to starting post-Covid?
Nobody can deny that times are tough at the moment with the double whammy of Covid and Brexit to cope with but we should still spare a thought for our environment and the world that we will leave for our kids.
The good news is that Covid has already prompted some good moves. Here are some ways that we can try to minimise our environmental impact.
- Working from home or even at a serviced office close to home will eliminate the need to commute. If you need a commute as a mental break then try a walk around the block at the start and end of the day instead
- Running a paperless office will reduce the amount of paper, ink and printers that are used as well as the file and furniture that we store them in. If you need some ideas then this is one of the free webinars that we run at least once a year
- Online meetings where possible. Bingo! One of the benefits of Covid is that more people are doing this already. Once they’re interspersed with some real world meetings (business or personal) they should create a better balance
- Walking, cycling and using public transport where possible will make a difference. Use a carbon offset scheme when car or even plane is the only option.