By Suzanne Patrick-Lawrence
The pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to women in the workforce. In September alone, 865,000 women left the workforce, compared to 216,000 men. (1) That means that four times as many women left the workforce in September compared to their male counterparts.
It is no secret as to why this happened. The caregiving infrastructure has historically relied massively on women’s labor, even as the number of women entering the workforce has been exponentially increasing. As day care centers are closing, and schools continue to transition into virtual learning environments, women have been saddled with the brunt of the childcare and educational burden. Coupled with the lack of childcare and the increasing workload around the house, women everywhere are being forced to cut back drastically on their work hours, or worse, leave the workforce altogether. (2)
We know that women advisors are no different than women in other sectors of the workforce when it comes to juggling childcare, household duties, and their workload. So how do women advisors keep meeting the needs of their clients during the pandemic? We at Advisor Business Solutions have compiled a few tips that can help women advisors maintain their business—and save their sanity—during these times of uncertainty.
1. Remain Connected
Stay in close contact with your clients, especially during the pandemic when everyone may be experiencing difficulty. Reach out to them and be available to address their financial questions, in addition to their personal needs if they are open to it. Maintaining contact and remaining open to your clients will make interactions with them much more natural and productive. If a client needs help or advice, approach these situations with empathy and be open about your personal experience. Sharing your personal struggle and the problem-solving methods that have helped you will greatly strengthen your client-advisor relationship.
2. Focus On Achieving Balance
We know you’re ambitious and growth is vital to your business, but perhaps now is not the time to focus on expanding your business. To relieve the pressure you might be feeling, focus on balancing your business and your life first. After you have established a system that works for you, then reprioritize your goals and implement small steps to achieve growth coming into the New Year.
3. Strength In Numbers
It is very likely that other women working from home in your professional network are having similar experiences, and are also struggling to find a good work-life balance during this time. Reach out to them and ask around to see what they have been doing to manage their workloads. Having a supportive network of other women and knowing that you are not alone can help ease some of your stress and provide you with new and useful information.
4. Separate Spaces For Work And Play
Finally, establish a dedicated space for your office and another space dedicated to fun or free-time activities. Separating these activities and functions into different spaces will help you remain focused on your work and eliminate distractions and other barriers to productivity. If you don’t have the space for a home office, try to carve out a separate space in another part of your home and keep it free from distractions to help you concentrate.
We’re Here To Help
We hope these four strategies relieve some of the stress you’re experiencing while working from home during the pandemic.
If you’d like some help regarding your work-life balance, or if you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us at Advisor Business Solutions by emailing [email protected] or calling 562-439-4804 to learn how we can help.
Suzanne Patrick-Lawrence is president and CEO of Advisor Business Solutions. She is a business planning and communications specialist with over 20 years of experience developing business and marketing strategies for financial services, global corporations, government agencies, nonprofits, and small businesses. She is passionate about working with financial advisor practices seeking guidance, support, and structure to position their firms for a successful transition. To learn more about Suzanne, connect with her on LinkedIn.