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Navigating new operations with a personal workspace

Navigating new operations with a personal workspace
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Navigating new operations with a personal workspace
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

In recent months our work settings have varied drastically: we may have gone from being fully office-based to working remotely during lockdown and now, for some, we’re beginning the transition back into the office. Our new Churchill Square Business Centre client, Adina-Leigh Collins, has begun operating in her personal workspace - a business environment that may become the new normal for many, as we find ways to expand our horizons beyond the remote-working sphere.

Grant Saw Solicitors

Our new Kings Hill customer, Adina-Leigh Collins, is employed at Grant Saw Solicitors – a law firm established back in 1851. Though the company has offices in Greenwich and Blackheath, Adina-Leigh has recently started working in her own space at Churchill Square Business Centre.

The firm provides a wide range of legal services, including residential and commercial conveyancing, wills and probate, commercial leases and business sales and acquisitions. The firm also has an established family-litigation team, employment team and litigation department that can assist with a range of litigation disputes, including breaches of contract, disputes over wills and probate and landlord and tenant litigation. Grant Saw Solicitors’ wide-ranging expertise means the firm’s clients range from individuals and small-to-medium-sized companies, through to much larger, international businesses.

Before and after the coronavirus outbreak

“Other than always getting my morning coffee, there is rarely a ‘normal’ routine when it comes to working in litigation,” says Adina, “My day is very much dependent on what urgent emails or telephone calls I receive when I turn my computer on!”

Despite her experience in dealing with the unpredictable, nothing could have prepared Adina for the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The biggest point of change for her was the differences that arose when working with the court system.

“When lockdown came, I had various hearings and court deadlines in my diary and it was, understandably, very difficult to get a proper answer as to whether the hearings would be proceeding remotely, or just immediately be adjourned,” says Adina. “This caused uncertainty and made it difficult to advise clients with confidence as to what to expect, but I found that all my clients were very reasonable, and it transpired that adjournments imposed by the courts were largely helpful.”

Fortunately, the firm itself has weathered the lockdown storm well and Adina has a real sense that she’s collaborating with her team:  “Despite the fact that there are over 50 members of staff spread across various departments, everyone’s done –  and is doing – what they can to support each other.”

Moving to Capital Space

Having worked at our Churchill Square Business Centre for a few weeks now, Adina has been able to settle into the workspace and get into her stride. Previously she was based at Grant Saw Solicitors’ Sidcup office, so she now appreciates an easier commute to the Kings Hill–based centre, as well as the ability to meet others in the workspaces around her.

“I live close by and so this space seemed perfect in terms of convenience for me – and it is!” she comments. “It’s understandably quieter than expected, as I am sure more people are working from home, but I’ve met some of my new neighbours here and I’ve already settled in nicely.”

When it comes to the challenges posed by Covid-19, Adina says she’s been pleasantly surprised by her ability to cope: "Some of the things I thought would be challenging have in fact turned out to be very ‘doable’,” she comments. “For example, I started working remotely at around the end of March and was concerned about being able mentally to switch off after work.  However, implementing little things, like maintaining a clear lunch break and physically packing away when I was finished for the day, certainly helped.”

As has been the case for many businesses adapting their operations during lockdown, Adina’s main challenge, she feels, was in moving from partial electronic and paper-based files to a fully electronic system, “I had two court-hearing bundles to prepare shortly after the nationwide lockdown and the courts expressly directed us to file them via the e-file system. It was quite the experience trying to prepare two court bundles of over 200 pages each, implementing electronic bookmarks, when you’re used to printing documents out, hole-punching and putting them into a file with dividers instead.” Luckily, Grant Saw Solicitors had been spending the past year or so perfecting its online system, helping the team to feel more prepared when it was time to fully implement this resource.

Communication is paramount

With reference to important lessons learnt during the crisis, Adina says, “I think we take it for granted that we can just turn around and talk to colleagues if we’re stuck or have questions about a case. It can be harder to pick up the phone.” However, thanks to the exceptional combined experience and knowledge of Grant Saw Solicitors’ litigation team, Adina has been able to thrive in her new workspace with plenty of support during this isolated time.

Business strategy moving forward

Adina’s firm has its sights firmly focused on future marketing and sponsoring events, having recently announced its 2020 Charity of the Year as Bromley, Lewisham and Greenwich Mind, a charity that works alongside people with mental-health needs, helping to improve their quality of life. Says Adina, “I’ve no doubt that our marketing efforts and fundraising will continue, albeit perhaps not on a face-to-face basis for the foreseeable future!”

It’s been great to welcome Adina-Leigh to our Churchill Square Business Centre, and hopefully with the support of her company, as well as from our business support team, she can continue to thrive in her new workspace in this time of transition.

To find out how Capital Space virtual offices or business premises
could benefit your growing business,
call 0800 107 3667