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Elephant in the Zoom - news article image

Elephant in the Zoom

1 May 2020

2 minute read

One of the other Shaw Gibbs Partners sent round a “Lockdown Lingo” which included this great phrase; the glaring issue during a videoconference call that nobody feels able to mention e.g. one participant has dramatically put on weight, suddenly sprouted terrible facial hair or has a worryingly messy house visible in the background.

We’ve all been learning different ways of working and living over the last couple of months and this is such an accurate observation of one of the key changes we’ve been grappling with. To dress up or not to dress up, that is just one of the questions. As a team we’ve been meeting each day for a Virtual Tea Break as it is vital that all feel part of the team regardless of whether we are working next to each other or miles apart. Amongst other things we have had:

  • Facts of the day (did you know that the stage before frostbite is known as frostnip?)
  • Film recommendations (The Breakfast Club : unknown to the younger members but universally remembered fondly by the older ones)
  • Spotify playlists
  • Quizzes (why on earth did Kanye West call his first child North?!)

This may reveal more of us than we might like but hopefully there is nothing there that will shock or dismay!

Something else that we’ve been doing, both on the Financial Planning side and the Accounts/Business Advice side, is helping the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments write a couple of guides to help employed people and the self-employed/business owners. These have just been released and are now available on our website:

There hopefully useful information for handling the current environment and being prepared for the return to normality.

As to when the return to normality occurs, that is still totally unclear. Not just when the current restrictions might start to be relaxed, nor whether we will go through a rollercoaster of relaxation/restriction/relaxation again, but when life returns to life as we knew it. One impact is that whatever the current situation might be for companies, until we get back to something closer to normal we won’t know which will have been permanently damaged and which will receive an early boost which will make up for the losses they are currently suffering. So however positive the recovery in investment values over the last couple of weeks have been, we are to an extent in a strange situation where Government support is being used to buoy up the economy and we need to be prepared for economic problems as we come out of this support structure, as every sliver lining has a cloud.

For now, we leave you with another lovely piece of Lockdown Lingo, Covid-10, the 10lbs in weight that we’re all gaining from comfort-eating and comfort-drinking : also known as “fattening the curve”.

Elephant in the Zoom - news article image


Ed Gibson

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