Franchisees and franchisors share how they are adjusting to the new normal
As more of the UK turns to self-isolation and social distancing, balancing personal and professional lives with home-schooling and other duties, remaining positive through these trying times is paramount.
In this new series, we speak with franchisees and franchisors from across the UK to find out how they are coping with “the new normal”.
Lucas Vigilante launched his ActionCOACH business in Benfleet, Essex in early 2011. Since then, he has firmly planted himself as an expert in his local business community. The support he offers business owners has seen huge success, and the COVID-19 pandemic has meant the coaching he gives is more crucial than ever before. He describes what working from home means for his business.
On working from home with children
“I’ve worked from home for most of my career and created a space where I can work comfortably and productively. Now, with the children at home, that space is more important than ever. To maintain their routine, we have made a school timetable which runs the same as a normal school day. It includes different subjects, with a little exercise and regular breaks.”
On coping with the pressure
“My clients are dealing with a variety of situations, which means I’m adapting my style to meet their demands. If clients are thriving in this situation, I am meeting with their heightened need for support. If clients are facing downtime, I am getting them to focus on answers to the question: ‘If you’re going to come out of this in better shape, what will you focus on now?’”
On balancing work and personal lives
“My children know when the door is shut, I’m on a call. It sounds quite regimented but by having those signals for them, it establishes a physical line between work and home time. We have implemented a routine for all family members, not just the kids, sharing out chores before we get to relax. At the end of the day, we’re a technology-free zone so we can have an open discussion about what we’re up to without any distractions.”
On remaining positive
“For work, I’m in contact with my clients more. They need me now more than ever. I think that creates a level of reassurance and sanity for both them and me, so we can come through these difficult times stronger than when we went in.
“At home, there’s a lot of creativity. We’re a musical family and it’s played constantly - it helps us all stay upbeat. It is also part of our daily routine to check in with family members. As I have elderly parents, there are more calls being made to see how they’re doing. The kids have even created a pulley system, called the Bucket Lift, to deliver supplies up to their apartment building without even going in. They loved that!”