Are You Coping?

COVID-19 has hit the world a few weeks ago; in Malta it’s been nearly 3 weeks since we all started working from home. The world has been thrown into utter confusion but do we join ranks?

At Asteria, we decided to take our equipment home (to the extent we could), and work from our desks, particularly because we are a mix of vulnerable people, those who commute only using buses, and because therefore it makes more sense.

The law firm (SAGA Juris) has shut its doors to clientele, to protect its members and the employees. The courts are closed anyway – acts cannot be filed except using the emergency procedure to open the court registry using extraordinary means. There are, underway, a number of discussions with the Chamber of Advocates that might enable proceedings to resume if they are urgent or if they can expediently be dealt with online (such as sittings of certain cases). This might cause trouble with prescription (time-barring) and the current legal notice that suspends all prescription from running until further notice.

One uses this kind of down-time to advantage: catch up on compliance work, catch up on know-your-client procedures, finalise onboarding procedures, reviewing client work (in some cases, with a view to cleaning out the cupboard).

Another useful suggestion is to use this time to embark on habit-building activities: working some nice new habits into one’s routine. Decluttering of one’s desk is a good example, or using the morning hour on a fixed day to carry out spot-checks on client files.

For most, work has ground to a halt. If this is your case, there are many free online courses to build on existing skills. If recognised and accredited, so much the better as one increases the employability; if not, the certificate of attendance will show an interest in self-development, which indirectly also improves employability. It is also a creative way of keeping the brain active.

On the other hand, those who are busy must take this time to learn to balance work and life. A healthy work-life balance is key to delivering a good service, one that the client looks forward to receiving. This is key, and this time in our lives should be made the most of, specifically for this purpose – much needed down-time if you weren’t getting it, and to recreate new, positive habits slowly, one step at a time.

By Geraldine Spiteri

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