Still living life with purpose

July, 2020

An update from us at Affinity

We seem to have all adjusted well to life in lockdown now and will no doubt retain some of the lessons we have learned when adapting to our new normal.

Ian and Anita were already well versed in working from home and were able to hit the ground running. Everyone now though is missing the face-to-face contact and is now looking forward to getting back into the office again. Ian is especially missing the quantities of tea that everyone else seems to make him when he is in the office!

Adapting quickly

In some ways, it was quite surprising how quickly and easily everyone seemed to adapt to working from home (the value of a good disaster recovery plan!). This has got us thinking now about how we may adopt this in the future and have a much more flexible approach to working hours, patterns and locations. Being forced to use new technology such as Zoom on a regular basis has been a bit of an eye-opener for everyone.

Andy is the hero that continued to be in the office most days, which means him opening and scanning in most of the considerable amount of post that still arrives every day, as well as dealing with all the normal day-to-day client work. It is surprising in 2020 how much paper is still being generated by certain investment and insurance firms. A project for us later this year will be to see how we can reduce this.

Many of the team have been continuing to juggle work with home schooling and what feels like endless shifts in a café. If we never hear the words, ‘I’m hungry, what can I eat?’ again, it will be too soon!

The team speak every morning via Zoom at our daily ‘huddle’, where we discuss our struggles and share positives, achievements and crucial tasks for the day. We are always joined by Marnie, Teresa’s little girl, who keeps us entertained with her thumbs up, waves and endless supply of very funky sunglasses! We also host regular quiz nights, where Lisa never fails to disappoint with her extensive fancy dress repertoire!

Favourite things

The easing of lockdown has meant that we have been able to do more of the things that we love.

Ian, Sam and Andy are back on the golf course, even if they are a little rusty. The jury is out on whether golf makes them happy – it definitely depends on the day!

Ian and Sam are lucky enough to live near the sea and have been enjoying long evening walks along the shore.

Anita has enjoyed walking for miles with her dog Dexter, especially now she can go out more than once a day, and has also managed to enjoy fish and chips on the beach in Whitstable, meeting up once again with her mum and daughter (whilst socially distancing, of course).

Amber is halfway through Couch to 5K and hopes to keep the running up once this is all over. At the moment, she admits it is a little bit of ‘me’ time away from her ever-hungry teenagers. She is also enjoying long walks through Loose Valley discovering places she never knew existed.

Tracey has been enjoying bike rides with her daughters; it has been a while since she has been in the saddle, so she is definitely feeling it! Her garden is looking beautiful from all the love and attention it has received. We are all looking forward to tasting the fresh produce later in the year.

Teresa’s garden is now home to a garden swing, a bouncy castle and a tent, where she has spent many a night under the stars with her two children. She is now venturing further afield and exploring local green spaces and discovering the beauty on her doorstep.

Ramona has been exploring in local woodlands and getting back to nature with her two young sons, who love nothing more than to get dirty on their daily adventures.

Lisa has embraced the home-schooling, even setting up a tuck shop with a strict spending budget (teaching them proper financial planning young!). She has been enjoying the sunshine and getting out and about with her children.

Government guidance

We are, of course, adhering to government guidance, with most of us continuing to be working from home and only attending the office in shifts and when necessary. We cannot really see this changing in a significant way for a good few more months yet. Rest assured, however, that we are fully functioning, are open for business and now have considerable experience in running all sorts of client meetings via Zoom.

We are planning to host a client event of some sort once the social distancing rules have been adjusted to allow such things, so we really do look forward to seeing as many of you in person as we can later in the year. In the meantime, please do let us know how you are getting on with your own personal lockdown adventures. What new things have you learned, and how have you been keeping active? Let us know, perhaps even let us have some pictures, and we will do some updates on Facebook.

What our clients say

"Many thanks for your part in all this and I will be mentioning, and I trust that this is acceptable to you, to my accountants, Applied Accountancy, that you have given me excellent advice and been most helpful and prompt about it all."

Mr Leigh-Pemberton CBE DL, Kent

What our clients say

"Ian has always been helpful and hugely knowledgeable. I am a woman on my own and I feel that Ian is someone I can trust with my finances as I find much of this area very difficult to understand. He is professional and competent, as are all his staff."

Geraldine, Surrey – Client for 7 Years

What our clients say

"Finances, investments, pensions etc are all complex issues and generally complicated & difficult to understand. We chose Ian Painter of Affinity to manage our savings because he is very professional in his approach and his knowledge covers every aspect of the market to offer the best advice to secure our investments. We are very happy with the service we are receiving from Mr Painter and his team and have no reservations in recommending him to others."

Martyn, Berkshire – Client for 5 Years