My Covid-19 experience by Helen Lamb

When we first started to see the impact of the virus outbreak, initially this seemed to be just happening elsewhere until we heard the announcement to enter lockdown and we all had to reassess our professional and personal situations.

The decision was made that from Thursday 26th March we would be working from home and at first it was an exciting thought but then the realization set in, where had my support network gone? We are so used to in the office sharing experience, talking through cases and just having those chats and banter that make being at work fun!

During these scary, challenging times I found myself needing support both professionally and personally more than any other time.

Professionally - what is furlough?,  when this was first announced I have to admit I looked on Google to see exactly what is was and what it meant.  I then realised that a lot of our clients would probably be in the same situation as me and not only did we have to learn how to pronounce it but also how it would impact everyone.  The first couple of days/nights I had all different scenarios running through my head and every client had a different situation and we worked together to get the best result for them, whether that was furlough some staff, some departments or full shut down. It was frustrating as the guidance and information changed almost daily and so as fast as you learned how that may impact our clients the goal posts were moved! 

Our helpline was ringing off the hook even though we had been early in communicating to all our clients what we would do to help and that we were contacting each one of them individually, I have never seen every single office phone ringing at the same time as mobiles ringing constantly. As a team we put in the hours needed to get through these calls quickly to try and reassure our clients that we can work with them to have a plan to get through this. This was much harder when as a team we were remote, the support we take for granted just isn't there so we had to be creative about having twice daily zoom calls and using our messenger service for any burning questions as we were all on the phones all the time so couldn't get through to each other!

Slowly over the weeks since this was announced everyone is aware of furlough and what they can do to help themselves, their business and their staff.  Next will come the challenging part of actually getting claims submitted.

The support required has not just come from Sarah and Amy but also from clients who have taken a couple of minutes before they ask their query to ask how I am, normally its was a quick “how are you?” but now it is  “how are you holding up and who is there for you if you are helping me” Its been really emotional and rewarding when we have had so many heartfelt thank yous from clients - it keeps us all going fighting the good fight.

 

Personally. This is a really hard time as my partner is a key worker and is facing this virus daily, seeing people pass away and I am checking his temperature every day.  I have become his support and we have 45 minutes each at the end of the day to talk about how we are feeling.  I honestly believe this is helping, although we both end up crying.

Working from home is different not sure of that is good or bad.

  • Good - because I can have the fresh air, my style of music on in the background and can concentrate on what I am doing with no distraction and find I am getting through work quicker. 
  • Bad - I have no one to share issues with miss the debates we have in the office and I have found I am talking to myself more, why do things make sense when said out loud?  It’s too easy to grab something to eat and the kitchen table and chairs are not as comfortable as first thought.

As in any crisis we have to adapt and as a team and at home we have done, I will be glad to get back to what was normal but in the meantime we keep working hard to support each other.

Anyway, hope everyone is keeping safe and if anyone wants some HR advice please give me a ring, if anything it will keep me away from the biscuits and left over Easter eggs.

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Testimonials

Dragonfly Grounds Care Ltd

You are all doing a fantastic job guys and I just want to let you all know we would be in a real panic had it not been for the support and advice you have given us so far. I really don't know if we would have been in business at the end of this. But with your exceptional effort I feel much more confident that we can ride this storm and come out the other end. The decision we made as a business to procure your services has paid massive dividends.

Thank you from all at Dragonfly.

Dragonfly Grounds Care Ltd

Northern Accountants

Sarah and the team at Quest have provided us HR support since January 2013.

Quest Consulting Services provided us with a comprehensive employment structure with contacts and a handbook and have been on hand to help me deal with the occasional issue I have faced with team members through their telephone support service.

As our personal Consultant, Sarah provides a quality, professional and complete service which is great value for money.

Northern Accountants

Off Limits Corporate Events

Sarah has transformed our HR and has introduced systems that have taken lots of hassle away from staffing issues within our company.

We have worked with Sarah and her team for 5 years and in this time our business has grown considerably. With telephone support available for all our Managers as they need it plus Sarah and her team proactively keeping us updated on changes in legislation we are reassured that we are in safe hands.

The HR software that Quest implemented also helps us keep on top of the routine aspects of HR such as holiday bookings, recording absence, holding personnel records which then allows Sarah and her team easy access to give us relevant advice.

Our Managers have also benefited from workshops run by Sarah to help develop their skills on handling issues such as disciplinary, appraisals, recruitment etc….

The support of Quest is invaluable and provides a much more cost effective solution than employing a HR Manager in house.

Off Limits Corporate Events

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