What’s happening right now in Commercial Property

Author: Josh Powell

As I type this blog, the UK is beginning its third week of lockdown, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Schools are closed; we’re confined indoors for all but essential journeys; plus, the PM is still in intensive care at St. Thomas’. These really are unprecedented times.

As someone who works in Commercial Property, you’ll be dealing with your own unique issues on top of all of this. Not least the uncertainty now surrounding the industry and the worry around a return to the dark days of c2008.

There are a number of key differences this time around relating to the economy however, the majority of our network believes there will be a V-shaped return to form in the markets with a “bounce” incoming as soon as the worst of the virus has passed.

For now, we find ourselves in an unfamiliar working environment, unable to go to the office or interact in person with colleagues and clients.

Here are three issues that the people we speak to have on their minds.

 1 – Is working from home working for you?

We’re all homeworkers now, but are you finding that working from home makes you less productive? Or maybe you’re feeling isolated without your team nearby to support you?

Here are 5 ways to stay motivated when working from home:

  • Video chat – You may be going on Google Meet or Zoom to talk to your colleagues about what you need to do work-wise, but take some time to socialise as well. It helps you feel more connected to your team.
  • Measure your output – Your manager can’t see you working, so it’s down to you. Set goals for the day and make sure you hit them.
  • Collaborate – work with your team on projects, the way you’re used to in the office. Tools like Google Docs can help you work together.
  • Make sure you stick to a routine, set your alarm and stay active.
  • Dress for success – sitting in your pyjamas may be appealing at first, but for extended periods of home-working, get dressed as if you’re going to the office.

2 – Will demand for interim / contract workers increase? What about IR35?

The government has postponed the rollout of its IR35 reforms to the private sector until April 2021, so businesses, contractors and freelancers can cope with the impact of Coronavirus.

Contractors in the private sector will be pleased with this news. On the other hand, if you’re recruiting people to your business, you can take advantage by using this time to get the best contractors onto your payroll. Your contractors will be more critical than ever as we emerge from this crisis. Make sure you have the best bank of knowledge and skills so you can get ahead of your

competitors. Contractors offer important expertise and flexibility in the current climate, we’ve already seen a shift away from permanent recruitment, with more employers opting to work with temporary resource.

At Joshua Robert, we welcome this delay, given the economic situation and the challenges that lie ahead of us. We have a broad portfolio of professional interims who are available at short notice – these individuals can help businesses address short-term challenges as well as planning for the future.  If you need our help during this time, just give Joshua Robert a call.

3 – Are you ready for video interviews?

Video interviews were already popular, but now we’re all shut in our homes, it’s all that’s available. As we emerge from the crisis, expect video interviews to become commonplace. Recruiters and candidates alike enjoy their time-saving aspects. Businesses can get top candidates quickly, while candidates can be ready to interview anytime, without having to take time off work.

If you’re a candidate who is unsure about how to win at video interviews, here are some tips for success:

  • Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview
  • Create a neutral space for your interview, without distractions – not your bed!
  • Keep the conversation flowing – don’t read from notes
  • Avoid technical issues by testing your equipment before your interview
  • Don’t forget to summarise the key points and confirm the next steps

Find out more

This period of uncertainty will not last forever. Health-wise, we will get through it if we keep to the guidelines and don’t take risks. This is the most important thing.

In business, I’ve been recruiting in property for the last ten years. There have been more ups and downs than I can count, but it never fails to amaze me how resilient the industry can be. There are uncertain weeks and months ahead, but I firmly believe that we can recover and come back stronger than ever.

If you want to be in the best position to capitalise when demand returns, it’s time to talk to Joshua Robert. Give us a call on 0121 5820877 or email the MD, Josh Powell, at [email protected].