During challenging times, be they what we are facing now with COVID-19 or be they other challenging moments we all face during life, you will hear people say that you must ‘soldier on’, ‘this too shall pass’ and ‘chin up’, etc. I am particularly guilty of the ‘this too shall pass’ comment, or you may find me quoting Winston Churchill’s famous line, ‘when you’re going through hell, keep going’. These are all good words of advice, and they fundamentally can be summed up by a very human trait called resilience.

Another very human trait in moments of concern is fear. Fear of the unknown. In many ways we are all facing that now. Resilience is meant to be the ace in the deck which is meant to trump fear. But how does resilience work, and how do we know if we are being resilient or just in denial?

’Resilience‘ is usually defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. An inner toughness if you will. However, ‘quickly’ is a relative concept. The important component of the definition is actually the word ‘recover’.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will see lots of industries facing financial hardships, people segregated from colleagues and families and, sadly, many people falling sick, with some dying from this terrible disease. There will be testing times for many. Through it all communication and remaining together as a network and community will be extremely important. It is a paramount feature of the human condition. Within Bentleys we have seen great demonstrations of collaboration at network level with the national boards of both Australia and New Zealand, our human resources and business development teams working closely to ensure there is quality communication internally as to what each of our firms are doing from a workplace perspective, and ensuring we are adequately looking after our people while maintaining business continuity. The safety of our people – both their physical safety and their emotional wellbeing – remains our highest priority. Having a safe and secure workforce is of course also a critical foundation for Bentleys to being able to provide proper assistance and meaningful advice to our clients in handling this crisis. Our people will then be best placed to offer the quality of advice our clients have come to expect from Bentleys.

I encourage you all to remain in touch with friends, family and colleagues no matter what types of flexible working arrangements or enforced living conditions we have to undergo. Ask if they are okay. Remaining in touch may need to occur virtually, but that is still important to do. Virtual meetings are easy to do, with virtual coffee catch-ups being an important way to maintain these important social bonds. Indeed, many client meetings can also be conducted virtually, as you know. It is important for Bentleys staff to remain active with you, our clients and our community, as we appreciate that many will be going through some challenging times. If you are, in whatever aspect, please ask us for assistance. If we can’t help, we may be able to introduce you to someone who can or at least assist you with circumnavigating the plethora of information out there at the moment.

I encourage our clients, our community and our staff to stay fit and healthy during this time, so try to maintain a daily exercise routine. It is good for you. Get some sun if you can. All of this adds to your overall capacity to ‘be resilient’.

Rest assured that the Bentleys Network and the broader leadership team are in regular communication to ensure we are all looking after our staff as best we can. It is from this strong foundation that we can best assist. Communication ensures we can all learn what is best practice in various locations as we cater, across the network, for the various nuanced circumstances being presented in each office. As we work together to combat the challenges we face, we will eventually find a solution to both tempering the virus and in moving forward as a business and as a community. Our economies will recover. The human spirit is incredibly strong and resilient. And in that, we will persevere.

On behalf of everyone at Bentleys, I would like to thank all the medical practitioners, researchers, cleaners, teachers, and other front line staff who are still making their way to work to make us safe and maintain the quality of life within our communities. You are amazing.

Stay safe, look after yourselves, your family and friends, and your community.

Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and should not be relied on as advice. It does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. You need to consider your financial situation and needs and seek professional advice before making any decisions based on this information.

COVID-19: A summary of Australia's tax measures

The governments of Australian states and territories have also released independent stimulus packages. For an overview of all Australian measures, click here.

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