This has been a difficult year for everyone, all over the world. In mid-January 2020 I flew back from India via Hong Kong only to arrive home to an email notice from one of my siblings that worked at a major east coast medical facility in the virology lab. Get ready this is going to be bumpy. With all the respect for those that have suffered with illness and loss I am first grateful that the six family members who contracted COVID made it through with little to no after-affects. I am grateful to FileThis and the new owners MX for allowing me to be a small part of an amazing and wonderful company as we navigated the sunsetting of a product.
I am truly most grateful for the women in Chennai that work for our CPA and Accounting clients. The notice from my sibling began a scramble for how our little outsourcing company was going to survive, the changes that we expected to occur and those we knew we could not foresee. We made it through. Not in small measure to our awesome clients that adapted with us, but so too, the families of our employees that adapted to having their wives, mothers and daughters take over a private area in their homes and turn it into a mini office. In November some of our employees were able to come back to our offices and by January 1, 2021 we should all be back in our Chennai office.
Like all the other parents out there they struggled with juggling kids, virtual school and multi-generational families, who were all used to making demands on their time while they were visibly home. Being a remote worker for 25 years it was not a surprise to me to see the strain and tiredness on their faces during zoom calls. The surprise was to them. They did not think it would be a problem. At first the idea of not having to travel to work, to adjust their time to work later in the day to accommodate their families was somewhat fun. Then the conversations changed to, “we can hardly wait to get back to the office, this was harder than I thought.”
In our office these ladies have very few distractions. No mobile devices in the work room. Social media is not accessed on work computers. If they want to eat the kitchen staff prepares their food. If they want tea or water kitchen staff again brings it to their desk. The children in the day care room are well cared for and can see mummy any time so that is the only distraction that occurs. Teams that typically worked fluidly found that they missed the connection of being able to reach out any time or even just joke and gossip. The social aspect of our office is one that still astounds me. It is always lively and happy.
Home was different, over time it was, hey you are here so you can cook, clean, take care of all the kids, respond to the needs you typically respond to when you are home, on our demands regardless of your work. It was difficult for them to admit that the juggle was becoming difficult. Working from home is an option that is certainly being put on the table for more and more employees. It will be interesting to see how commercial use of real estate changes in the future.
I am very grateful to those clients that continued to send us work and in many cases sending additional work as we could so quickly adapt to remoting. Also, the new clients that came on board during this rather crazy time for the accounting industry. And that crazy time leads to my final grateful list.
The Technology support and APPS that just rocked it not only for us but for the end user clients we worked on. First Coaxis Cloud Solutions. As usual your customer support and adaptability surpassed even out expectations. Thank you, Jaqueline, Lisa and Buck, for getting those new accounting firms that FINALLY switched to hosted servers, up and running without a hitch. Andrew and Mitch at RushTech for being our Cyber Security team. We learned a lot and we are learning more from you daily on how to monitor and stay secure.
Thank you too Maurice at LedgerSync. You stepped up and not only helped us but many accounting firms that needed to change fetching apps quickly during a more than busy long tax season. The clients we sent you had all good experiences and that was important to us.
Zoom, we always used you for clients but now the ladies used you just to stay connected to one another visually during the day as they worked in teams. Slack, typically our rules for its use are very tight. Lessening those a bit and the integrations we used with clients also helped with team communications across multiple countries and time-zones.
Many apps that we normally work with day in and day out to perform tax, accounting and bookkeeping work, scrabbled and scrabbled well in helping accountants and bookkeepers to navigate the moving target of PPP, EDIL and the Cares Act. The Gold star for us goes to Gusto Payroll. You were ahead of everything, adapted with each prevailing wind and provided the tools that made those crazy government changes easier to deal with. Not only for us but for the small businesses that use your payroll service and received loans through fast moving FinTech’s that you facilitated the connection with, thank you!
This is not over, however, there is a light, albeit not over at the Frankenstein Place. Soon this Rocky show will be over, hang tight and Happy New Year!!!!