Lockdown Lowdown: The Innes Reid team share home-working stories!

Lauren Cooper“I’ve never worked from home before, so I’ve found it hard not having my everyday routine. But working from home, apart from missing conversation with colleagues, has been absolutely fine. We tried our best to be as prepared as possible and that has really helped.

I’m sure like many people, as well as not being able to find any toilet roll in the shops, I’ve struggled with not being able to see my loved ones.

My two dogs have kept me busy and entertained, I even came back from the toilet to find one of them sat at my desk in the kitchen ready to work! They are loving us both being home all the time and the extra-long walks they’re getting.

I haven’t worn any make up for 7 weeks and my hands have never been this dry before!”

Lauren Cooper, Administrator

Richard Cooper“The lockdown has, at times, been a struggle, but thankfully I have had work to do and a large garden to maintain which has kept my mind occupied. I never thought I would get to watch all episodes of Peaky Blinders and Jonathan Creek, but I have managed that as well as several jigsaws.

I miss being able to go food shopping as normal. Now I have to stand in a queue outside Tesco an hour before they open dressed like a surgeon…..I never thought I’d see the day I would get shouted at for going the wrong way down the bread aisle.”

Richard Powell, Senior Paraplanner

Daniel Wyn Roberts“Technology has been a huge help in enabling me to not only continue to work and meet with clients over Skype/Zoom/Hangouts etc but also to socialise with family and friends. I think this situation would have been 100x worse if it was 10 years back when this technology was not so readily available.

The weather has been a huge help getting through this and I must admit that being able to dress as I please for most of the time has been a relief when the sun is beating down. Meetings with clients in shorts has definitely been a new experience!”

Daniel Wyn Roberts, Independent Financial Adviser

Georgia Perry“Lockdown started for us when the school closed. The thought of working from home with two children at home was a bit daunting but we’ve made it work. Along the way I’ve become an expert at multiplying fractions and on the life of Annie Edson Taylor (the first person to go down Niagara Falls in a barrel). I normally keep my desk tidy at work but here it’s been invaded by school supplies and Kinder egg toys.

My biggest challenge of lockdown has been cutting my husband’s hair – I’m not sure who was more nervous, him or me!”

Georgia Perry, Paraplanner

Andy ‘Chappers’ Chapman“Lockdown has made me realise how lucky we are to be able to work from a well-resourced and comfortable office environment. Working from home (a 1 bed flat) has resulted in me having to borrow/share my fiancé’s Dressing Table, which is not ideal. The update to our cloud-based back office system that was undertaken at the end of 2019 has made a big difference in helping us to transition to working from home.

Best thing about lockdown? Being able to cut down on my carbon footprint. I have put petrol in my car once over the last 9 weeks. I have also been able to cut out my weekly trip to McDonald’s, although this has now been replaced with 5 packets of Quavers a day.

Worst thing about lockdown? A lack of socialising and a lack of football. I never realised how much I would miss going to Old Trafford. My fiancé has commented on how much I’ve been moaning about not being able to go to Old Trafford, which has replaced my moaning about how rubbish the team have been playing. I’m not sure which one she prefers.”

Andy ‘Chappers’ Chapman, Paraplanner

“11 weeks without socks and shoes – bliss. I know it’s all very stoical but, generally, I have just got on with it – it is what it is and no individual can change it.

I have satisfaction that decumulation planning has worked (mostly). We’ve had really positive response from clients – they are appreciative of contact and surprised that values have not fallen anywhere near as much as the media would have us believe.

I have a strong sense of déjà vu about the ‘sit tight’ message and  I worry about how we address the question “why invest?” in future?”

James Keane, Associate Director

Darren Crane - lockdown work attire“Well, this is the most my dining room table has ever been used since I actually moved here 5 years ago! The dishwasher gets used 3 times as much, and the washing machine half as much. I really don’t need as many pairs of jeans as I own!  My new work attire consists of either joggers and hoodie, or cycling gear. 

Best things about lockdown?  Getting to know my neighbours better, turns out my new next-door neighbour owns a pizza oven and makes a mean pizza.   Cycling on empty country roads and doing things I might not normally under normal circumstances, such as walking in the countryside. 

Worst thing about lockdown? The girlfriend cutting my hair, I now only have a passing resemblance to Lionel Blair as a result; we’re still together though.”

Darren Crane, Independent Financial Adviser

James Price“Continuity of service has been made possible due to the investment Innes Reid has made into up to date back office systems, and our flexibility to adapt in the testing times. Adapting to these changes has been interesting to say the least. I have missed the face to face social interaction we so heavily rely on! On the plus side, I get to spend 24 hours a day, every day, with my fiancée…. (I’ve been told this is a positive).

My daily commute to the kitchen is certainly a much happier trip than fighting for a parking space close to the office – and sitting next to the fridge is handy for a guy who loves food!”

James Price, Paraplanner

Sarah Gorman“During lockdown I have been teaching and working, it has not been easy but my daughter and I have now got into a new routine. Teaching my daughter is sometimes a struggle, she is six and I think sometimes she is teaching me.

Working from home has been made a lot easier with the plans that Innes Reid set in place before lockdown began and we are all in regular contact. I also managed to come 3rd in the Innes Reid Zoom quiz which surprised me! I am looking forward to seeing my colleagues when we return to the office, playing squash with my Dad again and getting my hair cut.”

Sarah Gorman, Paraplanner

Amanda“Although I’ve worked from home before, it has certainly been a challenge to stay indoors for this long and focus on work whilst interrupted by kids and cats! Lockdown has helped me to appreciate my work, family and nature even more. The biggest challenge has been not being able to meet friends for a drink in the brilliant bars and restaurants we have in Chester, but I have loved going on long walks by the river.

I realised I was feeling rather isolated when I waited 10 minutes on the doorstep just so I could have a chat with the binmen! Hopefully we’ll be back in the office and out and about again soon!”

Amanda Wynne Evans, Marketing Manager

Gorilla drawing“Working from home has been a real eye opener and I have learnt that the Innes Reid office is a lot more peaceful than my office at home. I have developed my ability and confidence with video conferencing, which I believe will become a lot more important in the advice industry in the future.

I am missing socialising and especially going for a game of snooker and darts with my brother. I also miss sport. What a boring place the World would be without sport!! However, I am not sure I will be ready to go to another pub quiz for about 5 years! 

What I have learnt from lockdown is that I do not have the patience to be a primary school teacher. Home schooling has been a challenge and I look at my daughter’s teacher with a newfound respect. They deserve medals!!

Lockdown has allowed me to get fitter, I have been utilising my one exercise per day to clear my head after a year 2 maths lesson. I have also tried drawing for the first time which is a surprise, I never enjoyed art when I was younger. I found out that I enjoyed colouring in more than my children and then decided to try to draw a Gorilla. It’s like my dog Keano on a Monday morning!”

Andy Williamson, Independent Financial Adviser

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