As we mark the dawn of a much-anticipated 2021 and bid farewell to a year most of us are very glad to see the back of, I thought I'd share some of the lessons I've learnt over the past nine months. I hope these will resonate with you.
Although for many of us, the past year has been incredibly tough, for others, it's not all been doom and gloom.
For a start, I think we've evaluated far more what's important and what matters to us most – the role of family and the support of colleagues featured heavily for me in 2020.
The way we work…
For us and many of our clients, the way we work has changed forever. For the better - in most cases.
For years, many small business owners and employees struggled to juggle the demands of running a firm alongside managing childcare – especially for the long summer break.
After being forced to adapt and offer remote working to their staff, many workplaces have become truly flexible and inclusive. This was long overdue. Whether a member of their staff is caring for a child or an ageing parent, it has proven to be more than possible to work differently.
A blended approach featuring home and office working is what has become the norm, easing pressure and creating a happier workforce.
I have lots of friends who have shared childcare responsibilities with their partners to enable a balance of work and childcare and there has finally been understanding from the majority of employers in extending greater flexibility to their staff.
Thank goodness that the days of having to be seen sat at your desk to prove commitment, are finally numbered (if not completely over).
Feeling lonely in business?
In 2020, I suffered periods of loneliness in business. At times - without the company of clients and colleagues, I missed having a small group of people that I could both be myself with and share a vision for developing business – be it theirs or ours.
For me, 2020 has taught me how important it is to have a solid support network. It's priceless to be able to seek out individuals or a community where you can trust each other and know you are committed to each other. This should include any professional services like accountants and solicitors – people you can trust and they trust you.
This pandemic affected every part of our lives. It impacted our livelihoods, our health and our emotional wellbeing, so make sure if you haven't already, that you establish your support network for 2021.
We work in partnership with many businesses, charities and individuals across West Sussex and beyond. Please feel free to get in contact with one of us for an informal chat about your business finances on 01403 337490.