It is so much better being able to meet face-to-face again, says boss

FBC Manby Bowdler was one of the first legal firms in the region to reopen its offices in June following the introduction of new safe working measures.

A meeting held at FBC Manby Bowdler in Shrewsbury, with colleagues Neil Lloyd, Steven Corfield and Jo Heath
A meeting held at FBC Manby Bowdler in Shrewsbury, with colleagues Neil Lloyd, Steven Corfield and Jo Heath

Managing director Neil Lloyd said it was important for both staff and clients to re-introduce office working and in person meetings, once the necessary safety measures had been put in place.

“We’ve worked effectively as a remote team throughout lockdown, but feedback from both staff and clients was that it would be good to re-introduce some normality once it was safe to do so," he said.

"Some colleagues missed the social aspect of working together and with sensitive matters, clients can sometimes prefer to speak face to face.

“Using the government and Public Health England advice, we were able to complete all the necessary risk audits and put in place measures to keep team members who wanted to return safe.

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“We did a staggered return at the start of June and introduced a desk and appointment booking procedure, sanitising and deep cleaning protocols as well as other measures to keep people safe such as protective screens in reception and only one person at a time in lifts, toilet or kitchen areas.

“There were no major challenges in terms of becoming Covid-19 secure, it was just really important to communicate with all the team so they knew about the measures introduced. Our new normal will certainly be a blend of home and office working.”

FBC Manby Bowdler has offices in Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Telford, Willenhall, Bridgnorth and Church Stretton.

Richard Sheehan, chief executive of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "We've seen through our members a phased return to work and we as a chamber have been no different.

"Members want a team who feel reassured that they are working in a Covid-safe environment and I think employers have been very good at ensuring that.

"We have seen an efficient workforce working from home and going forward I expect there will be a balance of home working and working from an office.

"Clearly other businesses have suffered from a drop in volume of workers not being in an area which has impacted on local spend.

"They will need assurances they will get the volume of customers they need to be able to continue to operate without the need to make redundancies, which nobody wants to see at this difficult time."

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