The potential impact of a global pandemic has long been discussed and played out in many crisis planning scenarios over the years. However, no-one could have predicted the outbreak of COVID-19 and its impact.
Measures taken in respect to social distancing and social isolation, restricting the previously limitless freedom of movement enjoyed by so many of us are themselves unprecedented (world wars excluded). There has also been a significant impact on cash-driven businesses. Suddenly their cash generation has disappeared. The knock-on consequences being on their employees and families. In short, it could be said we have suddenly become very disconnected.
We are very much in unprecedented times; however, it is not all doom and gloom, and any situation presents opportunities. Companies and people that can react and evolve quickly enough will come out stronger.
Taking Jersey and the business of well-being as an example, it is inspiring to see local Yoga Studios and fitness centres transition smoothly and quickly from operating from fixed premises to being online. Therefore ensuring their clients can continue to connect to enjoy their practice, fitness and general well-being. An Island blessed with restaurants is seeing a number transition to a takeaway and delivery model continuing to allow clients to connect with sumptuous delicacies and cooking. Of course, none of this transition will be easy for these businesses; however, they have and are adapting. So, what is the driver behind this?
Yes, there will be quite a lot of drive and determination to continue and make what they each do work. However, there will also be an element of "having been thrown in at the deep-end". Never has this old-adage been truer. We have all found that we have been thrown in at the deep-end in some ways and are very much seeing who sink or who swim. The other driver here, though is technology.
Adapting and utilising the power of technology is proving to be really important at this time. Technology has been a viable means of connection over generations from telegram, telephone and fax to online platforms such as email, online messaging and video services like FaceTime and WhatsApp. However, today this has evolved so much more. We have never been so much more connected, and technology such as Microsoft's Teams for businesses allows employees who are used to sitting in an office, to all to continue to be in touch if not physically at least virtually.
Also, situations such as this can drive innovation and ingenuity within businesses. There can no longer be a "this is the way we have always done it" mentality. The way that was will likely not work now. In looking at how you go about what you do from day to day, everything can be reassessed and perhaps done a different way. Again, technology can be a driver to facilitating the innovation drive. Today, there is an abundance of power apps that can drive workflows and processes, allowing employees to focus on greater value add activities than perhaps they did previously.
At Fiduchi, we have been investing in our technology platform over the last few years, transitioning to a wholly online platform and allowing our people to become more mobile. Such a transition is not without pain and of course, does put people outside of their comfort zones, however, in continuing our business today we have been able to transition our people to remote working while staying connected. Yes, there have been some challenges; however, our business continues.
We also see innovation and acceleration in how we use the technology platforms we've invested in. This will see automation of specific tasks, workflows of certain processes, freeing us up to stay connected, both with each other and most importantly, our clients. We will, of course, make sure we have at least showered before we connect online with you!
Yes, in the future, we will still see physical meetings and connect that way too; however, we do understand that out of the current situation our business will evolve again for the better.
So, for our clients, we are there for you. We have not locked down or socially isolated from you; actually, we are very much ready to connect. We are there to help you with whatever you need. Whether it's to help you with your transition at this time, to connect and say hi, or to assist in ongoing matters. Your Fiduchi team is there. And for anyone else, come and find out about Fiduchi, and our #FiduchiFamily. We would love to connect with you!