Since the coronavirus pandemic began, things have changed dramatically. There are more and more people who must work from home. I have already been working from home for over 6 years, so I was curious to know what it was like for someone who had to make major changes in regard to their work during this pandemic. I started thinking about who to talk to about this and thought of my mother-in-law. She runs a guardian/conservator/Social Security payee company and has over 200 clients, most of who live throughout the Mid-Michigan region. I spoke with her in-depth regarding the changes that she had to make to keep her business going during this pandemic and how she was making sure her clients were still taken care of.
Changing the Way Meetings Are Done
One of the things that my mother-in-law was responsible for doing was having meetings with home caregivers, assisted living facility directors, and the courts. Before the coronavirus pandemic, she always did these meetings in-person. However, now things had to change. For the most part, she stated that she was doing her meetings through Zoom. The afternoon that I spoke with her she had a court meeting through Zoom and that was new for her. She has also used Facebook Messenger live video calls to keep in touch with some of the home caregivers for some of her clients. She had never done this before either.
Keeping in Touch with the Clients
She also knew that it was very important that she kept in touch with her clients. It is her responsibility to make sure they have the money they need, groceries for some of her clients, and just to make sure they are doing alright. Before the pandemic, she had a schedule for which clients she would visit on which days, which clients just needed checks sent out to them, etc. Those that just needed checks sent out to them, she just keeps mailing those out. However, there are also some clients that came to her house, before the pandemic, to get their check. Now, she just places those in her front mailbox for them to pick up (no face-to-face contact needed). For the clients that she needs to visit (mostly those that live in assisted living homes, but some in their own homes), she has been using Facebook Messenger live video calls to check up on them. There are a couple of her clients, she said, that she must check on face-to-face. For these clients, she goes to their home and just talks to them through their door. This way she is still following the social distancing order and still able to make sure her clients are doing well.
Handling Future Business
Now that the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way that my mother-in-law has to do business right now, she has actually realized that some of her clients prefer the method of Facebook Messenger live video calls over actual visits. For these clients, she plans to continue doing those video calls and just checking in on them face-to-face every once in a while.
For the future of her business, she is unsure of when these guidelines are going to be lifted. She stated that once the social distancing order is lifted she will still be a bit cautious about visiting people for a while to avoid a re-spread of the coronavirus. However, she is looking forward to things going back to the way they were before.
She stated that technology is not really her thing, so all of these programs she needs to use to handle communicating with everyone is a bit much. She is glad that she can do her part to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
My mother-in-law stated that her biggest challenges were being able to learn how to use Zoom and Facebook Messenger video calling. She said that she still sometimes misses meetings or calls because of technological issues. However, she is doing her best she can with the situation that is happening at this time.
I have worked from home for over 6 years. It did take me a while to get used to doing so. With my mother-in-law having over 200 clients and multiple meetings a week, I can only imagine how stressful it must be on her to have to switch the way she has been doing things. However, it sounds like she is using the resources she has available and doing what is best for her clients at the same time.