Cornwall LivingIssue #110
The bigger picture
RRL’s ‘Intelligent Working’ system could not have come at a better time.
One of the region’s leading tax and accountancy firms, RRL, and its private client legal business, RRL Wills Limited, has finalised its new forward-thinking ‘Intelligent Working’ initiative, ready to implement as soon as government guidance around office working allows.
Prior to the first lockdown restrictions, prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, RRL had been introducing a remote working system. Paperless working had been implemented in addition to safe, secure remote connection to the firm’s IT network – something often dramatically overlooked by those attempting to implement such a structure.
The latter has involved a significant amount of IT investment over a number of years; in fact, part of the firm’s business strategy in recent years has seen it invest heavily in its IT infrastructure, in partnership with its IT support provider and cyber security consultants. The objective, has been to ensure confidence for clients in the security and robustness of the firm’s infrastructure, as well as enabling staff the flexibility offered by remote access. The process has been a long one – the culture development required to implement all of the changes has required buy-in by all arms of the business. However, it enabled the firm to immediately, and seamlessly, switch to home working from 24th March 2020, and move to a flexible ‘Intelligent Working’ structure when the easing of restrictions allowed. Indeed, client service has remained uninterrupted throughout the pandemic, and the firm has continued to disseminate vital information for both clients, and the wider Cornish business community, with proactive advice on the government’s many and varied, fast-changing business support schemes. Fast forward to spring 2021, when the government announced its most recent proposals for the easing of lockdown restrictions, and RRL consulted with all of its staff as to how they wished to work – a process which saw the business continue to move forward, irrespective of the pandemic, as staff were able to work flexibly either from home or the office.
The result of the firm’s ‘Intelligent Working’ approach involves hybrid home and office working, secure and robust IT infrastructure, providing flexible options to clients around methods of communication to facilitate a quality and tailored service, whilst maximising both productivity and the wellbeing of the team. But it is so much more than ‘hybrid working’; it encompasses so many different developments that, between them, enhance RRL’s service efficiency, as well as the development, health and wellbeing of the team.
At RRL, culture development is as fundamental to the business as infrastructure, and without either, it would not have been possible to implement such an initiative. This is a significant challenge for many businesses wishing to make changes immediately, but for RRL, the team’s vision and proactivity have enabled an invaluable lead-in time. Put simply, as we come out of what is hopefully the brighter side of the pandemic, RRL is proof that while it has clearly been devastating, it has, in many ways, prompted radical change, a lot of which is most definitely positive.