Laven Extends Work-From-Home Period until April 2021
Posted on 16 Jul 2020
As the UK and Europe are slowly lifting the lockdown measures associated with COVID-19, we are reminding our industry colleagues that the risks to businesses and staff are not over. Furthermore, as people start commuting and travelling more regularly, the risk of spread becomes more probable, and thus a resurgence in COVID-19 cases is unfortunately quite likely. We still stand firmly behind the statement we made back in March, that it is essential to limit the spread and protect the most vulnerable in society, whether this is the elderly or those with chronic illnesses. It is because of this that Laven has decided to allow all employees to continue working from home until 30 April 2021, the end of our next financial year. We have, however, implemented an online desk-booking system which allows Laven staff to use the office with the necessary safety measures in place and to meet clients and potential clients safely in our boardrooms.
Unexpected Benefits of Working-From-Home and having a clear policy
Beyond the initial benefit to public health, it is certainly worth looking more broadly to find the many positive impacts we at Laven have been experiencing because of working from home. Firstly, removing the need for a commute has increased staff working flexibility and productivity. Eliminating the average hour commute at either end of the working day not only promotes a better work/life balance but in some instances has led to a rise in productivity. From our records, this rise in productivity does not seem to stem from an increase in staff working hours but might be explained by the reduction in “commuter stress”. Indeed, in a report produced by the NHS and the Royal Society for Public Health, 55% said they turn up to work stressed as a result of their commute (survey of 1,500 people). There is also the initially overlooked financial benefit of working from home that is money saved on public transport into our London office. This is especially true for staff that have to buy season tickets ahead of time. Many of these findings were confirmed in a recent staff survey undertaken concerning Laven’s Business Continuity Planning (BCP) and working from home more broadly.
Another positive in working from home is the benefit to the environment. As this UN report points out, the reduction in industrial travel, road traffic emissions and global air travel as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown has led to “significant reductions in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions”. Laven has been longstanding advocates for environmental causes, and we see our new working-from-home policy as well as a reduction in travel to on-sites all over the globe as another positive step in the right direction. We are also delighted to say that clients have been extremely supportive, especially as the use of Laven Tech, be it our compliance module or our due diligence module, have made the process very easy.
Until quite recently, it was unlikely that Laven could have sustained this working from home policy. As Laven Managing Director of Due Diligence George Wood pointed out, we have witnessed an “unprecedented change and acceptance in the way businesses operate. This is especially true for those industries where staff can operate with all or the majority of people working from home”. Yet with the implementation of more advanced third party software such as Microsoft Teams and Microsoft SharePoint, along with the rapid improvement in other online telecommunications technology, Laven staff have agreed that they feel more connected than ever. This alongside the continued development of our software Laven Tech which includes a secure Document Exchange cloud solution and a fully compatible Compliance Monitoring system that has meant, for the most part, we have not had to change the way we service our clients.
We are here to help
We hope that our clients and industry colleagues have found this a useful insight behind allowing all staff to work from home. We hope other companies follow suit in implementing a more permanent working from home policy to protect staff health, the health of those most at risk from COVID-19 and the environment going forward.
If you want more information, visit Laven’s COVID-19 Resource Centre which contains all the information we have released to support firms throughout the period. We will continue to update this with new information relevant to our industry as and when required.