These materials are intended for use by Financial Advisers only

OneFamily Adviser

Tips for advisers working from home

Remote working was already growing in popularity, but sometimes change doesn’t happen incrementally – sometimes it happens overnight.

How can you make the most of remote work? Here are our tips for advisers.

Improve your internet connection

When you’re working from home connectivity is important. Not only does it determine how quickly you can load online resources, but it is the backbone of any internet calls or video conferencing.

If you’re finding your internet connection holding you back, consider:

  • The position of your router
  • Nearby electronic devices that could be interfering with it
  • Bluetooth or other wireless connections that could be interfering with it
  • Using a password – make sure you’re not sharing your bandwidth with a freeloader
  • Rebooting your router
  • Getting a wifi signal booster
  • Getting a new router

Digital face-to-face contact

Emails are good for detail, phone calls are good for making a connection, online chat software can be a good way to manage casual or urgent conversations, but don’t disregard the value of digital face-to-face contact.

Your body language and facial expressions help you communicate effectively and minimise understandings, and face-to-face communication is also an important way to create and maintain relationships. If you haven’t tried online video calls and conferencing Skype and Google Hangouts are good (and free) places to start.

Author and psychologist Susan Pinker has written about the mental and physical health benefits of face-to-face social contact, explaining how close social contact has helped Sicilians live long lives.

Managing tasks and files

If you need to share folders and files with colleagues, there are several free, online solutions that may help you continue to do this. The security of sensitive data is obviously very important so encryption and password protection should be considered where appropriate.

Trello is particularly good for managing tasks through various stages of completion. You create ‘cards’, which are typically individual tasks where you can add descriptions, updates and upload files. Then you can move the card between custom columns (e.g. to do, doing, done). Multiple users can share cards, add comments and collaborate.

Google Drive is also a powerful way to manage all sorts of documents. Even if you don’t have Microsoft Office installed on your home computer you can still upload a spreadsheet, word document or PowerPoint presentation with Google Drive, make a copy, edit it and share it. You can also invite users to review or comment on live documents.

Post

One of the first challenges many advice businesses will face is around post. Incoming post needs to be distributed to the right person, which can be very difficult if offices are closed.

Some businesses scan their post so it can be stored and distributed electronically, but if offices are closed who is going to scan them?

Royal Mail has personal and business redirection service, but this could still be a challenge for advice businesses. Perhaps it is a good time to encourage customers, colleagues and partners to get into the habit of delivering documents digitally.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

With this huge change to our daily life, it’s important that we ensure we maintain healthy, balanced lifestyles. As well as diet and hydration, we need to be thinking about exercise.

When you work at home, it’s easy to miss out on all the little bits of exercise you would do during the working day; like walking to work, climbing the stairs or just moving around the office.

Keep moving around. Whether it’s a quick stroll around the garden, around the block or just up and down the stairs, take the time to move your body regularly. Maintain and adapt your daily routines to include exercise.

It’s natural to feel stressed, anxious and lonely at this strange time. You are not alone. The NHS has published informative guides on practical steps you can take to feel better. If you feel like talking to someone the NHS website is also a good place to start.

Support those around you

Consider your customers and colleagues who may be feeling particularly isolated and lonely right now. While staying indoors is the right way to protect the NHS and save lives, we need to be aware of the impact these lifestyle changes are having on our mental wellbeing.

We’re here to help

We’re rising to the current challenges. Our secure online portal is operational as normal and we’re just a phone (or video) call away if you need our assistance.

Find out more about our 2020 business continuity.