The Joys of Running a Small Business From Home in These Difficult Times

With small businesses now trying to operate from home, many are see challenging times during the coronavirus pandemic, with employees trying to juggle work around home-schooling, IT problems etc. Ann Manning MD at ManningUK insurance in Henley gave us a insight into her first day working from home..

9.00 Today is my first day working from home, do I dress; do I put makeup on?

9.10 Chaos resigns as all our emergency plans for employees to work from home seem to have failed. What we had not legislated for was weak and intermittent broadband. Telephoned our IT consultants but apparently they have a list of people with the same or different problems. They will get to us when they can.

10.30 Fancy a coffee………normally someone offers me one but today I make my own.

11.00 Telephone call with a distressed client wanting to put all his Motor Fleet on laid up cover for the next 3 months. Fortunately, his insurer is the QBE and they have been very proactive and put in emergency measures for just this situation. Phew!

11.30 Even more distressed client in the construction industry. This morning 20 of his tradesmen from a European country resigned as they are going home to be with their family. We discussed a Penalty Clause in the contract. I felt I was not really a great help to him but at least I was a sympathetic ear.

12.30 Conference calls with our Automotive Department and Commercial Department. Both have different demands and they sound very stressed.

13.00 Well it is lunchtime…………..where do I get my lunch as no sandwich shop? Ah I make my own but what do I have to put in it. Such a different way of working.

13.30 The sun is shinning and I take the opportunity to have some exercise and walk around the block here in Lower Shiplake. Lovely walk but would have been better shared.

14.00 Where did I put that file? Normally, I am very organised and know exactly where everything is, but working from home I have not got organised yet – I am sure things will be better tomorrow.

14.15 A client telephoned normally associated with the removal of asbestos. As they need to diversify and have all the quarantine equipment, they have offered their services to carry out deep cleaning where the coronavirus is detected. Will insurers extend their liability policy to cover them? Can I find the underwriter as this risk is insured at Lloyds of London. Yes! spoke with the underwriter and he was very happy to extend the policy in these circumstances and would not charge any additional premium.

16.00 Conference call with each department. The day has brought its challenges and colleagues are stressed not only from the virus but the alien working environment.
Spent time saying it will be easier tomorrow and thanked them as we all pulled together.

Did I learn anything today? Yes, I did. A business is not a business without truly dedicated people and I have a great team and I am very lucky. One of our colleagues has 4 children and all I could hear during the conference call was laughter and screaming. Clearly, he has had additional pressure today. Hang on in there you have another 12 weeks to go!


Leave a Comment

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.