Franchisees 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”.
We speak with Cassie and Emanuel Georgouras, owners of F45 Shepherd’s Bush, about looking at the positives, including time spent with family, working, eating and training together.
On working from home with children
“Lockdown has made us consider what is important to us. It has given us the perspective to see that we previously had little time to just be together. We are both working from home now which can be chaotic with a brand new baby.
“Hugo needing constant attention, and there is the added pressure that my business has been significantly impacted by coronavirus and I have been thrust into the unchartered territory of pivoting it to the digital world, so it is very uncertain times. But in spite of this, we are generally very positive.”
On coping with the pressure
“We definitely have our share of challenges and there are significant challenges ahead, but we are safe, healthy and together, so I feel lucky. We make an effort to be kind to each other and considerate of the fact that we are both under various pressures, so we check in with each other and we do what we can to make the other feel looked after.
“We have talked a lot lately about how our family is the priority above all else, and I will always think of this slower pace of life and the way in which it has solidified our bonds, and hopefully, take the lessons that it has taught us forward.”
On balancing work and personal lives
“We spend a lot more time with Hugo than we ever would have and that’s something that I would like to maintain once we go back. It has really struck home that this is an extraordinary time to be with our kids that we will never get again. I love getting to know Hugo so well, and it’s been a bit of a revelation that I don’t need to rely on others to do a good job at raising my kids!
“In terms of work and the future, for now, it is somewhat out of our hands. Our members and team are my primary concern, and at this point, our main focus is supporting them. In a funny way, the distance has brought our F45 family closer together.”
On adapting to the new normal
“We have always been goal-oriented as a couple and individuals, and life has been busy, fast, social and we tend to seek out excitement. Being a business owner has meant that I was back to work a couple of weeks after Cressida was born. Emanuel works in finance in the city, so between work, business, children, both of us fitting in our respective exercise and socialising, our schedules were more or less maxed out.
“We train together now, which is something we used to do regularly but haven’t done since we had children. We get to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together, which feels like a real luxury. On the weekend, we generally cook something more special, open a bottle of wine and dress as if we were going out. Life is simple, and it turns out that simple is pretty good.”
On staying positive
“I had my birthday in lockdown a couple of weeks ago – Emanuel whipped out some champagne and caviar and we had Zoom drinks with friends. Halfway through there was a knock at the door, we opened it to find half a birthday cake that my friend had made for me (she’d eaten the other half!) and some candles and matches. It’s the little things that made it a really special day.”