Seven Months on and I'm Still Juggling the Balls!

Unbelievably five months ago I wrote about the challenges faced working and adapting to “lockdown” because of COVID-19 and now we are somehow in October, and whilst currently we are avoiding “lockdown” we are still adapting to a new working world!

The challenge in the early months of COVID-19 was balancing work with home, whilst having everyone around, and ensuring the needs of clients could be met. A challenge I initially thought would be for a couple of weeks but, which quickly, turned into a couple of months. However, I coped and the new working way evolved. I started work earlier, I home schooled, I carried out motherly duties, hairdressing duties, housekeeper duties and progressed my cases as far as I could, with the courts granting stays on cases where steps to progress just could not be taken. Even defendant insurers were being reasonable!

Then came the next challenge…..the end of lockdown. Hooray! I thought, things will go back to normal…children in school, husband back to work, dad moved back to his own home and I can go back to work to progress my clients’ cases with them getting medical examinations and rehabilitation. 

I waited, with excitement, for the ‘announcement’ from the managing partner for the date to return to the office. I was ready….I had seen my hairdresser so no longer looked like captain cavemen, my nails were done and I had bought a new pair of shoes. Yep I was ready!! 

But, in the announcement the managing partner said he was not in a rush to get us all back to our desks, that we needed to wait to see what the impact on the virus would be when the schools re-opened, along with the bars and restaurants. Whilst I was disappointed I still thought it would be okay, I believed we’d know in a month or so that all was going to be fine and we’d go back to normal!

The services our firm offers are vast and often clients need their legal advice without delay. The plan to remain in the status quo, with some staff working at home and some staff working in the office, meant the cases could continue to be progressed. Should the worst happen, with someone working in the office receiving a positive test for COVID, those who’d been at home could swap places, meaning the vital services for our clients would continue.   

Another few weeks on and the challenge continues. Unfortunately, COVID-19 does not appear to be going anywhere any time soon and so the business, and its people, have had to adapt to a new working world, but we have successfully found a way to do it. Clients are having rehabilitation such as counselling just through a virtual platform rather than a face to face, they can have their medical examinations for the reports required to progress their legal case, even if they too are on the virtual platform, their cases can be progressed and settled, virtual platforms can be used for court hearings, settlement meetings and meetings with barristers. I now have my own office in the spare room where my dad used to be, so when my boss rings he no longer can hear the washing machine in the background!   

So seven months on and yes I’ve still got this! I still work at home but, can see clients either in person by appointment or virtually, at a time when it is convenient for them, even if it is outside “normal” office hours, whatever they used to be! I can deal with the court process so deadlines can be met and cases can still be settled. Whilst I personally very much hope the new virtual world will not take over completely, and there will be some return in the future to the old normal working world of one to one contact, it is a way of life that does work.

Whatever the new “normal” may turn out to be, one thing is for sure, I have got this! We are more adaptable than we think and I have a lovely new pair of shoes to wear!!