18th March 2020

COVID-19: Mac supply, funders and our number one tip for working from home successfully

With the ever-changing situation surrounding coronavirus, we’ve found the impact on our clients to be varied. Some are experiencing more demand for their services and continue to place orders as normal, whilst at the other end of the scale there are enterprises facing redundancies with no option but to put their businesses in hibernation for the next few months.

Even before the Prime Minister’s announcement about businesses needing to work from home (where possible), many of our clients had already executed this as a strategy.

No doubt there will be more twists and turns in the weeks and months ahead, but increasingly our role has become one of providing information and support to our clients. Here, we discuss some of the major points regarding present and future supply, along with the funder’s perspective. We’ll also give you an essential piece of advice if you want to work from home – successfully.

Supply: the situation as it currently stands

With most of Apple’s products being manufactured in China, it’s no surprise that stock started to become severely constrained several weeks ago. So much so that entry-level MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs hit zero within their distribution.

At the time of writing, there are some 2.4GHz 13” MacBook Pros and 16” MacBook Pros available. Built in Ireland, iMacs have been experiencing a one-week lead in time. However, we envision this being extended as further restrictions are applied across Europe. Configured to order Macs usually have a 10-14 working day lead in time, but this has now almost doubled.

‘Flexibility’ – it’s all about this when it comes to supply. Even before the restrictions were implemented, customers were having to select their Mac on availability – rather than their usual desired specification. Having such extensive choice has become less of an option. Standard off-the-shelf configurations which are normally guaranteed next-day delivery are now taking longer too, meaning greater planning is required.

By making customers aware of these increased timescales, we hope that this will allow them to plan more effectively – should they need new business devices.

The funders: the importance of communication

Lease Loop are fortunate to work with some fantastic funding partners. We have spent considerable time speaking to them in order to understand their position, plus the implications for our customers.

At the time of writing, none of our partners have anticipated a change in their underwriting criteria. With the shift to remote working, the usual timescales for approvals will be extended as it will naturally take companies longer to process things..

The biggest point about our funders is that every single one recognises the uniqueness of the situation that we all face. If ‘flexibility’ is the keyword with supply, then with our funders it’s ‘communication’.

Even in affluent times, funders appreciate proactive businesses who talk to them if they are facing difficulty. We echo these sentiments. If you and your business are struggling, then we ask that you do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We’ll be able to advise you on who to speak to for guidance and help with the situation.

Likewise, if you need up-to-date information on your leases, please just email james@leaseloop.co or call 01952 876 928.

Hardware warranty repairs: what to expect

Earlier this week (16th March), Apple announced that it was temporarily shutting all of its Apple Stores across the world – with the exception of Mainland China.

This has led to the official Apple repair centres – those we use to undertake the AppleCare warranty repairs – to be inundated with work. Repair times are now being extended from the standard 5 days to around 14 days. So, if you require repairs to your Mac, it’s worth noting to expect longer timings.

Working from home: our number one tip

The internet is currently overspilling with a wealth of information regarding remote working. Whilst this is certainly valuable, we found it’s missing what has to be the best piece of advice we have ever received. The tip? Simply be 100% present in the task you’re doing – whatever it is.

Having worked from home for five years, we know what works and what doesn’t. For starters, it’s easy for family life and work to become blurred. Family may want to chat and kids may want to play, but with something more urgent needing our attention in work, how do you cope?

This tip gave us an idea. We realised that we didn’t like the message that we were sending to our children and loved ones. We adopted an alternative approach: when our children are at home and we’re working, we schedule in time with them – just like you would for a business meeting. This may sound cold and unloving at first, but we promise you it works wonders and is the best way to balance work and family.

Agree on a time throughout the day when you can spend time with your family or whatever task you want to do. The most crucial part is to switch off your phone, walk away from your Mac and dedicate yourself 100% to it. When the time is up, you can go back to work and then focus 100% on the task in front of you. Neither task has to have split attention.

This doesn’t just have to apply to your work or spending time with your family. Think about the other things that are essential to balance work and life too. If you’re exercising or reading a book, or just on lunch at home whilst you’re remotely working – be 100% present. Not only does this tip ensure you can effectively manage relationships at home, but we find it allows you to avoid distractions, and instead feel fully balanced and in control.

We don’t know yet what the outcome of the COVID-19 outbreak will be. We also can’t say how long so much of the population will be working from home, but please feel free to speak to us about the situation – whether that be help with working from home, or regarding your Mac.