Lisburn firm says remote working initiative boosted staff morale

A local financial life planning firm closed its headquarters for a full month recently as all staff took the decision to work remotely.

The team at AKFP Group, which comprises eight staff members, left their office in Lisburn on June 30 and spent the next four weeks working away from the office.

Having streamlined all systems, they were able to access everything required from the cloud to service clients as normal. Calls into the office were shared and diverted to an allocated mobile and clients were made aware so that face-to-face appointments were scheduled the month prior as part of a planning phase.

Director and Chartered Financial Planner, Roger Kennedy, commented: “All of our clients and the whole team were really supportive of the initiative. All client queries were dealt with efficiently and in line with our service levels. Working remotely enabled my team to spend more time with their loved ones and get out on a summer’s day – providing they had completed their task list!”

The firm says it is planning to roll out the ‘one month remote working initiative’ again next year as the morale of the team was lifted.

James Gordon, Technical Manager, commented: “I was able to spend more time with my family, which as a result gave me an increased drive to deliver for clients and complete my daily tasks. There is a high level of trust in the office and it’s a great feeling to be given the flexibility to do this. We did have to visit the office occasionally to review post, but that wasn’t a problem.”

Working remotely is a growing trend within the SME arena, with strong arguments for and against.

In the case of AKFP Group, usual restrictions were minimised due to a cloud based project management system, which aided the effectiveness of remote working. All staff worked collaboratively for a positive outcome for their clients and reaped the benefits of being able to change venues, eradicate long commutes into the office and above all, increase the happiness of employees.