What leaders think
Angela Knight CBE – SID at TPICAP plc, NED at Taylor Wimpey, Arbuthnot Latham & Co, Provident plc, Encore Capital Group Inc, Chair of the Group Risk Committee at Provvy
What challenge did you tackle and overcome in your business this week?
I am a non-executive director on several Boards and we have weekly/fortnightly virtual Board update meetings. As well as FaceTime , Skype and Zoom, I can now reasonably successfully do Teams and as of this week, Webex. Not bad for one born in the pre-computer age and went through school and a university science degree, using log books. No calculators then.
Which ongoing business challenge is occupying your thoughts this week/month?
The unlock. One of my companies is a house builder and has announced its back to work strategy. But we are all clear that the ‘new normal’ will be different from pre-Covid. So preparations for the unlock, do not just include when to commence, keeping employees and customers safe, travel, maintaining business continuity etc, but it’s also about who and how many prefer to continue working all or part of the week from home and how to accommodate that. And whether anyway several and smaller offices or pods in places where employees live, rather than bringing everyone back into a few central locations, should be the model of the future.
Best thing about working from home/remotely?
Much less of the working day is spent on travel, leaving more time for socialising. An hour virtual drinks with friends most evenings.
Worst thing about working from home/remotely?
Get distracted by house chores.
Best factual news source on Covid-19?
Haven’t really found one, as they all seem to give an authors opinion (and that’s a negative one). Worst for facts is Trump.
Who or what has inspired you this week? (They don’t need to be famous)
The people who did wonderfully daft things for the 2.6 challenge. Such as the person who decided to run backwards in a carpark and the one who swam the distance in a pond in their garden, tethered to a post in the lawn.
Best programme/film you watched on TV/streaming this week?
Am catching up on the back catalogue of TV series that I missed, but like, such as Judge John Deeds. Eldest son who decided that lockdown with Mum was the best option (ie someone to cook meals and do his laundry), is appalled at my choice.
Are you doing more or less exercise than a typical week when you commute and if more, what?
Difficult to compare as I can’t go to the gym three times a week any longer. However, I do a decent walk each day and I am back on my old bike (last ridden ten years ago and now purple and rust coloured).
What are you consuming more of (that you should not be) now you are not in an office environment?
Warm toast and butter.
Any words of wisdom?
Increase your social life as I have done, by a virtual drinks with friends every evening.