Lessons From Working From Home: Finances, Kids And Staff – Forbes - Freelance Rack

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Lessons From Working From Home: Finances, Kids And Staff – Forbes

Roy Ferman is the founder and CEO of Seek Capital.

As COVID-19 has caused many businesses to move to a work-from-home “lifestyle,” those of us in the business world have all made significant changes to how we operate and interact with one another — both at work and at home.

As an entrepreneur, I am hard-wired to focus on growth opportunities within our business, which can often be at the expense of other critical business matters. It’s part of the journey that every entrepreneur must learn how to handle effectively. In speaking with fellow business owners and sharing my own personal experiences, it seems that today’s entrepreneur has been forced to grow up faster than the natural trajectory that we were on.

Entrepreneurs are always juggling several balls in the air, but things are different lately. My COVID-19 enforced work-from-home experience has given me a greater understanding of those around me, allowed me to connect with them in different ways and, perhaps most importantly, helped me appreciate how much we need one another. My hope is that these lessons can help you in your business and home life moving forward as well. 

Staff Relationships Evolve

Our work-from-home life has evolved greatly since it started more than two month ago. At the start, my staff looked to me and their managers for direction on how to perform their job in this new environment, but as time has gone by, we have all evolved to needing one another. Just as much as our staff look to their managers for directives, our managers look to our staff as a constant reminder of why we are all here.

In essence, teams need their managers for vision, energy and focus, while managers need their teams for energy and purpose. Both need one another.

Kids Photobomb Videoconferencing, And That’s OK

I’m proud to say my relationship with my kids has also evolved from our home-office experience. While they juggle the demands of video conference schooling, I juggle the demands of videoconference working. While I would once lock the door and ask my kids never to interrupt a work call, I now leave the door unlocked and accept and even welcome the occasional interruption for a cuddle from one of my daughters. They have grown to understand my “do not disturb” times, and between calls, I will meet them in the “cuddle zone” (aka the hallway) for some intense 20-second cuddle time. This has become one of the best parts of working from home: just connecting with my kids, countless times a day, even if it’s for 20 seconds. I encourage you to find ways to connect with your loved ones throughout the day as well.

Nimble Financial Planning In The New World

None of us are strangers to the affect COVID-19 has had on the economy, our industries and our businesses. The sheer number of changes our team has experienced has required us to be more focused and precise in our financial planning than ever. Additionally, we are more nimble in our business execution. As we forecast based on our best estimates, we are required to financially plan several months out, cut expenses, renegotiate terms, restructure teams and, of course the hardest part, layoff fantastic team members who the business can no longer afford in this new world. This part of the business now requires significant amounts of time on an ongoing basis as the world around us is changing so quickly.

The crisis has forced business leaders to hone their financial planning skills, accomplish more with less and question every budget line item with a critical eye. But I believe we’ve actually become better financial operators because of this.

Silver Lining: Five Years From Now, We’ll Be Better For It 

Though none of us are happy about the impact COVID-19 has had on our economy or our businesses, the silver lining is it has allowed us to gain a different perspective on our relationships, our finances and everything in between. In discussing this with our company’s financial controller, we concluded that our five-year forecast is actually a lot stronger from a growth and profitability perspective because of COVID-19.

It may not feel like a business positive today, but the world will evolve. We may never go back to the way things were, but we will most definitely not stay in our current structure. As our economy grows, I believe it is because of COVID-19, not in spite of, that business will flourish for years to come.

Mastering The Work-From-Home Life

Mastering working from home? Though I don’t believe such a lifestyle can ever be truly perfected, I do believe we can all improve our current conditions. My advice to any entrepreneur would be this: Stay on top of your business finances obsessively; forecast and reforecast continually based on changing conditions; build strong relationships with your team members and embrace your loved ones at home — utilize the opportunity to be with them and learn from them.

Working from home is not a showstopper — it’s merely a part on the ever-winding road that we call life. We can’t fight it. We can only ride it out, learn from it and be better prepared for the next time we encounter something equally challenging.

Forbes Finance Council is an invitation-only organization for executives in successful accounting, financial planning and wealth management firms. Do I qualify?

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