Working for a family law firm in lockdown
As part of Mental Health Awareness Week (and beyond) we wanted to share stories of how people in our team have adapted to working for a family law firm in lockdown.
First up is Christine Flint is the Office Manager at the Stowe Family Law office in Chelmsford.
Like millions of people across the UK (and the world) it has been strange turning my home into my office and transitioning into the ‘new normal’.
I am the Office Manager at the Stowe Family Law office in Chelmsford so used to being in the office every day working alongside my colleagues and supporting our clients.
So when lockdown hit, I had to embrace a totally new way of working and organise a family law office from my dining table.
Working from home
My partner and I live in a flat, so space is not really on our side. Initially, I found it hard at times to differentiate being at home from work as it had merged into one but setting a routine really helped.
My partner and I also talked through and defined some clear boundaries. This really helped to ensure we got the space and working environment that we both needed.
I feel I have adapted quickly to our new way of working, I feel we all have at Stowe. Keeping in touch and catching up is a necessity and we are embracing the technology available to us, using tools such as BlueJeans and Microsoft Teams.
Online is the new way of connecting with colleagues, friends and family and I am making the most of it. I have found I am speaking to more employees’ firm-wide than I would normally due to the new way of working and this has been great.
My manager has been so supportive throughout lockdown, as always, and has always kept me in the loop as to what is going on. We have weekly office meetings to catch up and check-in with one another. It may be virtually but the support is the same.
The Executive Team at Stowe is guiding us through this pandemic with regular communications including videos from our CEO posted on our staff intranet. They have kept our safety and wellbeing at the forefront at all times. I feel the firm is in safe hands to steer us through lockdown and beyond.
More flexible working
Now that the commute has been taken out of my day, a big positive for me is more time to myself. I can turn the computer off at 5pm, get on with a workout or do some yoga and start dinner by 7pm.
My release from work is going for long walks. It really helps me destress as I love to be outside in nature and need to constantly be doing something; the complete opposite to life in lockdown.
I understand this is not the same for all families as parents are having to home school children, keep them entertained and reassured throughout the day along with a supply of endless snacks. However, the silver lining is the time spent as a family, it’s so important right now and we should try to appreciate every second of it.
The impact of lockdown
COVID-19 has not only impacted us as a firm but also our clients. Together, we have done everything possible to make these changes without any effect on them and their cases.
We reacted quickly to the lockdown and new processes have been put in place to ensure we can work flexibly whilst maintaining our high-quality service. Our clients have been so welcoming and understanding of this, and I think this is the attitude we all need to keep going forward.
We are all in this together, and we will all get through this, together.
Christine Flint is the Office Manager at the Stowe Family Law office in Chelmsford.