Even before lockdown started, the team at Howard Worth had been working hard to support its clients by updating them with the constant information sent out by the Government.
The majority of the practice’s Work-From-Home team have been working from their spare rooms, studies and kitchen tables since the 23rd of March and from this moment on, the company has made communication with both its clients and its employees the priority.
From early March, when the company realised, it would be unable to hold its annual Budget Breakfast event, work started on a plan for a new, virtual way to deliver this information to their clients. On the 20th of March, filming took place with the presenters at their office, the content offering updates on Rishi Sunak’s first budget as chancellor as well as practical advice that business owners could use to help protect their companies going forward. The links to all the support films were emailed to clients and professional contacts as well as shared on the company’s website and social media channels.
By the end of March – the Howard Worth website also had its own dedicated Covid-19 Business Support Hub on the home page. This offers an easy portal to view information on everything from Grants and Loan applications to deferring tax payments, Furlough advice and how to claim Tax Relief when working from home.
In April, the Marketing team sent out 34,385 emails to clients giving them direct access to current, concise and proactive advice from our experts shortly after the details were issued from the UK Government.
In addition to the Covid-19 Business Support Hub, from early May, the team at Howard Worth added a new area to the website, the “Re-build and Recover” Information Hub. This part of the site offers practical advice and support to help businesses planning to start trading again as and when lockdown restrictions start to ease further.
On the 15th of May, a Live Rural Sector Q&A Webinar was held, open to any business trading in the rural or farming industry. The aim was to deliver updates on the financial options available to these businesses during the Covid-19 Pandemic as well as offering expert advice and answering online attendee’s questions. The webinar is also available to view on the website.
Even in a world of modern technology, the practice still relies on accessing some clients paper-based records. To ensure the safety of its staff, a local Courier service was engaged – to help collect, distribute and return client records whilst complying with social distancing rules. This eliminated any un-necessary contact between staff and clients. Other safe storage and accessing processes were also put in place to protect employees.
Whilst Howard Worth have taken client communication as a priority, they have also ensured that they support their employees’ health and wellbeing when they are working from home.
In addition to regular calls and virtual team meetings, staff have been encouraged to contact each other to catch up as well as having one of their dedicated mental first aiders to talk to if they wish.
A number of different social engagement activities have been arranged over the last two months. These have included weekly Zoom quizzes, social media campaigns featuring staff’s work from home animal companions, their mugs and images of any random acts of kindness they have experienced since lockdown.
Howard Worth has also produced a video support message featuring a dozen of its staff that was sent out to clients to offer reassurance that the individuals behind the business are still there for them. This proved to be quite an enjoyable experience for those involved – despite a few technical glitches!
The team also continued with its fundraising activity. One member of staff suggesting a “dress-up” for work day, where employees working from home got dressed up in their finest to raise money for NHS Charites. Their efforts raised £245.