Paul Onions
3 minutes length
Posted: 21st May 2020

Cats, kids, cakes, and communicating – embracing the 'new normal'

By Paul Onions

How the world has suddenly changed.

Who would‘ve guessed that dogs, cats, and kids bursting into the room, barking, laughing, or crying, would become just a typical part of business meetings in 2020?

Who let the dogs (and cats) out?

Who’d have imagined a fluffy feline would be answering questions in a Parliamentary hearing about the future relationship with the EU with a meow? Yes, a key meeting about Brexit (remember that?) was briefly interrupted by Cabinet Minister Michael Gove’s pet. It happened!

An amusing video (below) pokes fun at all the things that happen during a remote call now.

Can you picture your Danish wolfhound leaping on you in the old boardroom or your toddler sitting by your feet, while the finance director delivers the latest performance figures?

Yet, here we are, and look at how accepting business has become to the ‘new normal’. I think now is the time that we should be accentuating the positives.

Let’s enjoy the liberation

We’re not stuck at home, unable to get out – we’re free to work in a much more relaxed environment. Work-life balance has significantly improved, and no commuting means people can be more productive. Incidentally, IRIS has espoused the benefits of flexible working for some time – summed up in this video below.

And most importantly, I can now make scones. Like many people, I couldn’t bake before lockdown and only got to enjoy a cream tea when I was on holiday. Well, not anymore.

But moving away from tasty snacks, let’s go back now to the initial point about remote meetings.

Facetime, not face to face time

Video calls are a key example of how communication is turning digital and it’s happening across generations, in every walk of life. Everyone is embracing digital as almost their only way of staying in touch.

Your gran may have baulked at the idea of Facetime not long ago, but now she can’t wait. Then there’s the school mums’ book club via Zoom – which in my house is still really just wine and gossip.

The same can and does apply to clients.

Can client culture be changed?

For all those accountants that said their clients didn’t want to interact digitally – they preferred to drop off their cardboard box of files – they can’t do that now. There’s no better time than now to get people to change behaviour because they’ve been forced to think differently.

That brings me on to how valuable our online solution IRIS OpenSpace can be for an accountancy practice. Talking to customers its abundantly clear how vital it is now.

OpenSpace is a better way to exchange information and communicate with clients. It means:

  • Instant, secure file sharing
  • Easy data collection
  • Speed and efficiency
  • Cost savings – no postal fees
  • Share and access files wherever you are, on any device
  • No concerns about viral contamination of physical post
  • Seamless workflow – joined up with the rest of your software
  • Handy e-checklists via IRIS Personal Tax

You can be up and running immediately – just register your details here.

And it’s part of the standard IRIS package. So, jump on the new digital bandwagon and take advantage.

If cats and kids on work calls and cake baking during office hours has become acceptable, how can digital file sharing with clients not be?

Want to learn more?

Need more help with adapting to the new ways of working? Visit our hub and our OpenSpace page.