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Three lessons from an MD to safeguard your business and yourself

08 December 2021 Richard Rattue, Managing Director of Compli-Serve SA
Richard Rattue, Managing Director of Compli-Serve SA

Richard Rattue, Managing Director of Compli-Serve SA

For business leaders around the world, the pandemic has certainly brought its trials and hard lessons but there have also been positive trends that have emerged. Here are 3 lessons – and realities of good business – that I’d like to share as 2021 draws to a close.

1) It doesn’t really matter where your workspace is
The start of the pandemic may have been met with reluctance to migrate the office to being home-based but today we’re in the work-from-home revolution and the hybrid work week is in session. We know we can work remotely if we need to, we can rise to the challenge of keeping office momentum going, and we can combine home life and work in a way that makes sense. Every business is different, and some jobs are better suited to a home environment than others, but a hybrid of office time combined with work hours at home can be the best of both worlds.

Face-to-face meetings take more time out of the day with traveling and chatting, and we can perhaps do more when working from home, if we remain focused, but the social interaction once enjoyed at the office is difficult to replicate over the screen alone. It can be a challenge to keep workers motivated off site but measuring productivity at home is a good tactic to keep the balance in check.

2) A ‘chin up’ mentality is required
Keeping up morale in your team is crucial. It can be demoralising as a citizen of Earth these days. The news headlines only bring worries for the present and future, but we’re all in the same boat and life must go on. It’s important to stay in tune with your staff and colleagues to ensure they are coping and feeling encouraged. Ask questions about their wellbeing, keep an eye that they are meeting deadlines and when they are in office or when you interact over digital channels, ensure they feel heard.

3) You must make allowances for ‘off’ time
Ensuring a manageable work/life balance matters and self-care has really come to the fore in these times, even if we don’t always do it correctly. It can be difficult to switch off completely, especially when you run a business. I try to avoid checking emails late at night, over weekends, and when on leave, unless there is something urgent. One needs that time away as stress takes its toll. We can of course tolerate some stress, and it comes with the territory of being in business, but it’s best to avoid being a sponge to all the stress around you. Try to take on tasks that can conclude and realise that some opportunities must pass you by because they are simply too much to take on.

We only have capacity for so much, and there are many things we must do in any given day. Wherever possible, it’s important to be selective where you spend your energy.

Quick Polls

QUESTION

There are countless articles written about South Africa’s poor retirement outcomes. Which of the following would you single out as the biggest contributor to local savers not accumulating enough to buy an adequate and sustainable pension?

ANSWER

Lack of personal accountability
Poor participation in formal retirement funds
Reluctance to seek financial advice early on
SA’s high unemployment rate
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