As we enter the seventh new week of lockdown we realise that the move to Level 4 will not change much on a day-to-day basis. Level 4, for most of us looks remarkably similar to level 5, except for a specified curfew from 20h00 to 05h00 and the 6 to 9am lifting of the ban on movement for personal exercise, allowing for walking, walking your dog, running and cycling within a 5km range from your home.
This continues to reinforce for me that the world we will return to, will be different, a very different normal.
I would like to share with clients and friends, a few of the challenges and opportunities that the time has provided us as a family and from a business perspective:
- It has allowed for quiet time – As the Queen said on the 5th April 2020 during her rare, historic COVID-19 address to the British nation, after saluting healthworkers and all Britons, she put it well “And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths and of none are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect in prayer or meditation.”
- Virtual working – The sudden shift into 100% remote working conditions meant that we needed, together with millions of people worldwide, to rethink how to work and how to manage client, team and all business relationships. The truth is that it is extremely possible to work virtually but there is a certain something that is harder to get in a virtual meeting as opposed to those face-to-face. The virtual workplace—like the physical workplace—is still a social system, and in social systems relationships matter.
- Family and gratitude – “This is child abuse,” was uttered by my two daughters, though with smirks on their faces, when doing some of the additional chores that have been required during this time. There is now greater appreciation and gratitude of everything around us and this is what is needed for all of us to live more fulfilled, happy and content lives.
- During lockdown, most of us will have a bit of extra time on our hands, even if it is just the time we would have spent on the road. We decided to do something more constructive than work through the wine collection… which unfortunately did not last long…. We thought we would ensure that the financial advice we always give clients, we had implemented at home and so looked at the following pieces of advice that we offer to clients in ensuring a solid foundation to any financial plan:
- Re-evaluate your short, medium and long-term financial and lifestyle goals.
- Go through bank statements carefully and review actual spend: Technology allows us to track spend easily but it often gives us insight that is not comfortable.
- Start an emergency fund, no matter how small contributions are to start with.
- Understand your payslip and group risk and retirement benefits offered through your employer, if any.
- Review your individual risk benefits and ensure that the benefit amounts remain appropriate.
- Regularly review and update your will and ensure that you have a living will in place.
- Find ways to give:
- As a family we are assisting with food relief for those in Masiphumelele, making up sandwiches and hard boiled eggs that are given directly to those in need.
- As a business, we continue to support Green Pop in the planting of trees and Sparrow Society in the sourcing and making of masks:https://www.facebook.com/SparrowSociety/