How Forbes' Housing & Regeneration Property Team is responding to COVID-19

Together we are Forbes


14 May, 2020

Aisha Bhailok

The working world is changing, and nobody knows how it will look next week, let alone in a few months. As we continue to work from home as much as possible, we have been thinking about how we have re-thought our work practices, adapted and welcomed the 'new normal'.

The 'New Normal'

Recently, we have received Government guidance to work from home where possible. This means more businesses are closing their doors and encouraging employees to stay at home. Adjustments are being made to give everyone the option of flexible working at home whilst juggling child-care and home-learning or caring for vulnerable relatives, meaning employees are being trusted to flex their hours through the day in order to deliver the same output.

Here at Forbes, we have an agile working culture which has helped us in our transition to working from home. With laptops, computers and automatic connections to our office servers, we can access everything we would be able to access at the office from the comfort of our own homes safely.

Whilst adjusting to the 'new normal' we have even seen an increase in productivity. We strive to put people before profit - this applies to both our clients and our employees. Our team is passionate about achieving results for their clients. This passion is clear and although 80% of our team are working from home, some team members are working safely at the office to ensure that post and documents are delivered so that clients matters continue to progress, ensuring affordable housing schemes, developments and home ownership transactions are not delayed.

Teamwork makes the dreamwork

One of the biggest changes we have faced is working from home. We had gone from an open-plan office to remote working in a matter of days. As a close-knit team we were a little concerned at how this change would impact our team morale. Thankfully, we need not worry as our numerous WhatsApp groups and regular telephone/video calls have made sure we are speaking to each other more than ever. Little things like regular check-ins on everyone's wellbeing has really helped us stay positive and adapt to our 'new normal' - even sharing our baking tips and fails!

Moving forward

Whilst these unprecedented times have shown us how adaptable we all are and highlighted qualities and skills of the team; it has also enabled us to reflect on what's working well and how we can improve further to move forward.

Something as simple as our team being paper dependent to suddenly becoming paper light over a few days in preparation for lock-down, has made a huge difference to efficiency (and not to mention the environment). In the past, we have had to tackle issues with things like electronic signatures, but lockdown has made the legal industry more tech-savvy and slightly lifted the barriers which could one day be broken. For instance, Land Registry are now accepting the Mercury signing approach for deeds. This will reduce problems with post, paper and scanning because of the coronavirus outbreak although does not assist clients with witnessing documents at present, though we are pressing for change on this.

As we move forward though these difficult times, we have no doubt that the next few months will have its challenges, many of which may be unanticipated. As a team we will continue to support our clients and we look forward to moving forward for the better, with a full team to help us to fully service our client's needs.

How we can help you?

The coronavirus has presented considerable challenges to every business. Every company will face difficult decisions. Alongside creating our own business continuity plans, we have prepared our team to ensure we are set to apply our expertise to support all our clients with whatever they need. Please visit our COVID-19 FAQs for our comprehensive list of FAQs to address the latest coronavirus concerns.

For more information contact Aisha Bhailok in our Housing & Regeneration department via email or phone on 0333 207 1130. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Housing & Regeneration department here

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