How software can help family offices through turbulent times
Since December 2019, the world has been engulfed in a rapidly-spiraling health crisis, as the novel coronavirus COVID-19 spreads to further and further reaches. The phenomenon has led to one of the most widespread instances of remote working, with offices across the globe turning to software to continue business operations. This, in fact, led to a massive outage of enterprise communication platforms Microsoft Teams and Zoom Communications, as an influx of new users appeared to overload their servers.
Moving your team to a remote working arrangement is undeniably safer for both your employees and your business operations at this point, but it comes with plenty of challenges. For small teams who are accustomed to communicating frequently within the office, relying on communication services like email or Slack may not offer the same experience. However, the paramount aspect of running a business–governance and organization–is where software really shines.
Productivity and Agility
One major concern for business leaders during this time is whether their teams will remain productive while working from home. Luckily, there are dozens of software solutions available for project management and productivity. Some solutions, like Notion, specialize in creating intuitive workflows for project management, saving changes in real time and retaining version history for premium users. Others focus on scheduling, meetings, and databases, allowing families to effectively keep track of each other for smoother collaboration.
Other aspects of keeping a family office productive and agile may include making sure documents are signed and sent off on time, or making sure that all important family members have viewed or interacted with certain information. Likewise, it will be increasingly important to remain vigilant of information chains, and ensure that everyone in the family has what they need for business operations.
With reports of cybercrime on the rise during the work-from-home period, it’s now more important than ever to invest in software solutions that offer the highest level of cybersecurity. It may instinctively seem safer to invest in building out your own firewall, but the advantage of going with third-party software is that their security systems are constantly updated with the latest industry-standard tech, staying one step ahead of hackers who may seek to access confidential information. Additionally, tailored services for family offices ensure that your data won’t be sold or utilised in any way by the company.
Perhaps the most important factor in any well-run, functioning family office, is clear lines of communication between management and other members. The current health crisis opens businesses up to all kinds of uncertainties. Many are feeling the pinch as sales slip, and others are being forced to lay off staff, further affecting stalled business operations.
In times of uncertainty, it falls to leaders to project the realistic risks to the organization, keep an eye on weak areas, and communicate any issues with the relevant people before things get out of hand.
Lines of communication naturally become shaky when a team isn’t face to face with one another, but with clear scheduling of meetings and regular check-ins, any team can continue to be agile and productive during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are plenty of individual applications for solving these areas of concern, but it’s much simpler to instead make use of a platform with integrations that address the individual issues. By investing in such software, you avoid the complicated chain of billing and credit card subscriptions that comes with separate applications, in addition to only having to train your team in one software as opposed to two or three and avoid confusion amongst your team over what information needs to be stored where.
There are a few factors common to all crises, that are exhibited clearly in the COVID-19 outbreak: panic, information asymmetry, loss of control, and scrutiny. While it is likely to be a test of leadership and governance, it is also an opportunity to change established practices and move toward a workflow that may ultimately be even more efficient.