#futureofwork: Companies seeking new ways to improve employee experience

Mihai Cristea 16/04/2021 | 16:07

The #futureofwork was discussed during the Spring 2021 edition of Business Review’s Working Romania conference, which welcomed top HR professionals and business leaders. One year into the pandemic, half of all the employees in the country are still working from home, and we are heading towards a hybrid working model in the future. What’s most important to employers today is keeping employees healthy – both mentally and physically – and engaged with their work.

By Aurel Constantin

 

Carmen Dumitrache, Telekom

“One of the first things we did as an employer when the pandemic started was to create a programme called Healthy Me, which was made available to all team members and addressed all areas that we knew were important for the management of emotions and knowledge. It included a fitness part, with physical therapy, yoga, and others, but also a Healthy Lead part for managers and leaders, to help them handle the changes caused by the current situation.”

 

Andreea Voinea, BCR

“The COVID-19 crisis has helped us improve our services and become more accessible for users. During this period, as forced by circumstances, we’ve also explored new business models such as the remote contact centre and remote advisory, which have been well received and that we will expand in the future. Now, in George digital application, we are working to extend all the retail facilities we have to the corporate area.”

 

Veronica Cristea Nanu, Huawei Romania

“We are hearing more and more talk about digitalization and I think it is important to understand what it means to us. We must start from the premise that digitalization translates into better quality of life. And right now, all big market players and employers have the opportunity to use digital tools to benefit the entire community. This is not a road you can take alone, especially with these pandemic challenges we are all facing.”

 

Radu Milos, Elysian Software

“The pandemic brought a flexible way of working, a hybrid between home and office work, which we support through the Tassis application, a collaboration platform which allows you to manage both the team that works from the office as well as the people who work from home. It provides better options for collaboration between all employees. Furthermore, it also helps set boundaries between work and home, in order to avoid this overlap between free time and working hours.”

 

Cristina Mancas, Schneider Electric

“Open Talent Market is a platform that all employees can join to connect with mentors from all over the Schneider network in order to develop skills they may not have. They can get involved in local or global projects and apply for full-time roles. At the South East Europe level, the area I manage, Romania is in the lead, as in less than a year our adoption of this platform has reached 78 percent, according to the latest report.”

 

Doina Filip, Orange Romania

“Wellbeing programmes can no longer be developed successfully and with added value by the compensation and benefits team alone. I believe that mixed teams are better to co-create such programmes successfully. The development strategy for wellbeing programmes is based on three blocks. The first is data, the second is in-depth research carried out by HR people, and the third is employee feedback. It is important to have direct discussions with all team members, because they are colleagues, not just employees.”

 

Antoniu Panait, Vastint

“In order to safeguard employee health, fresh air is important, and so is the height of rooms, which should ensure a large volume of air. Buildings in our portfolio have a standard of 3 metres of free space between the floor and the false ceiling. We’ve also identified the points where there are high levels of human contact in our buildings in order to reduce virus transmission risk. In addition to nebulisation, we have also applied materials that minimise transmission.”

 

Georgiana Andrei, Regina Maria

“Over the past year, we have been less concerned with prevention and have only seen a doctor when we really needed to. I saw a study that found that there were 40,000 fewer cancer diagnoses in Romania in 2020. This means that there are at least 40,000 people out there who don’t know that they are sick. As a result, we have seen companies putting more emphasis on prevention and trying to raise awareness about it, as well as introducing health screening programmes for their employees.”

 

Irena Moozova, Director for Equality and Union Citizenship at the European Commission

“The workforce of tomorrow is expecting more from employers in terms of inclusion and fairness, and pay transparency is good for business. Companies that will adopt these measures will be in a good position to attract top talents and be leaders of the future. I’ll also stress that progress in terms of gender equality is a joint responsibility. To generate change and speed up progress, we must work together.”

 

Adrian Dinca, Vertiv

“Emails are problematic when working from home. Today, many employees are developing a phobia of emails. We often find ourselves unable to finish a task because we need to respond to countless emails. It is therefore important to decide what is relevant and what can wait. At the organisational level, we should focus on better ways to plan emails, notifications. A very good solution is to have training sessions of 1-2 hours every 6 months for employees to learn how to manage these aspects.”

 

Cristina Patroescu, Adecco

“Organisations should start looking into the post-pandemic era of work, and keep a few aspects in mind in the process. One is the business strategy, finding out what they can do to mobilise the entire organisation to achieve certain goals. Then come leadership teams, which must give employees autonomy, but make sure they don’t lose control. Third is the culture of wellbeing, which can make people who are working from home feel cared for and appreciated.”

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