In common with a significant part of the UK population, and apparently much of the world, members of our firm are mostly working from home, and have been for the last 10 days. Many of our clients have started to do likewise, this week.
Fortunately, our IT system makes this relatively straightforward. IP Draughts can call any of his colleagues on their internal, 3-digit phone number, and it will ring on their laptop or other device in their home office. If you need to speak to us in a multi-party phone call, we can arrange a conference call facility, or we can do 3-way calls readily on our phones or via an app.
We have also started to use Microsoft Teams, a kind of video conference call facility, which worked very well for a partners’ meeting yesterday.
None of this is ideal – face-to-face meetings are sometimes much better – but we can make it work. We are also planning to hold regular, non-work meetings with our colleagues to try to replace the usual social interaction, and reduce the sense of isolation. If you are someone with whom we regularly deal, please let us know if you have any particular requirements or wishes for interaction, e.g. as to frequency, timing, methods, etc.
We have cancelled or postponed our upcoming courses, including the one-week course on IP Transactions, due to take place at UCL in April, which has been rescheduled for November. We are aware of other conferences that are going to be run digitally rather than in person, e.g the BioTrinity conference.
Our thoughts are with people whose jobs require them to have face-to-face contact with members of the public, such as those in retail and hospitality businesses. They face both the worry of being infected, and the worry of potentially losing their jobs if their business is badly affected in the short term.