The crisis forced companies to change and many times this is not an easy thing to do. That is why companies like PwC Romania offered advice and support for those in need. And it also offers for free local surveys and reports through an online platform, as Oana Munteanu, Senior Manager People & Organizations at PwC Romania said at Business Review’s Working Romania event.
”Being an integrated business consulting company, we wanted to offer resources, support and information to the business environment for free. We have a platform where you can find all the local surveys and reports, as well as the opinions of colleagues, relevant for this period. And you can ask questions through a contact form,” said Munteanu.
The latest global survey conducted by PwC among business managers shows that the cost of management is one of the most sensitive and even if we are optimistic when talking about the COVID-19 crisis, it is obvious that not all the employees can be kept.
The PwC survey shows that almost three quarters of responding companies believe that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a significant impact on their business, and 32 percent expect layoffs.
”We see now more than ever how important digital and cross-functional skills are. How important are those employees who can easily adapt and can be transferred from one department to another. A topic that is less talked about in our country is the problem of medical absenteeism, which we expect to grow. Here the technology also comes with solutions in legally sensitive areas,” said Munteanu.
”All forecasts tell us that we will have epidemic waves in the next period, it will not end in May or September. That is, we can expect waves of quarantine or absenteeism, and the way we calculate labor productivity will be influenced by this absenteeism. This is a problem that will affect us in the medium term, ie 12-18 months,” said Oana Munteanu.
Health at work is the next important element to be taken into account. Until the pandemic, for those working in offices health in the workplace was not a concern, but it will become one now. Many companies are now trying to see how to rearrange the space, what protective equipment to use and what employees need to know about office behavior.
”We are ready to help with advice to customers in small and medium companies that do not have the same resources as large companies,” said Munteanu.
”Last but not least, we must talk about digitalization and its impact on the economy. What is happening in the technological world leaves many people behind. Those who have not invested in their education will be much harder to integrate into the labor market. A 2019 study shows that Romania needs 300,000 people by 2028. I don’t think the figure of 300,000 has changed, but time has changed, we will most likely need them by 2022 or 2023,” said Oana Munteanu.
Moreover, only 29 percent of the active population (16-74 years old) have basic digital skills, compared to 57 percent in the European Union, and only 10 percent have advanced digital skills, compared to an EU average of 31 percent.
Big employers need to take on this role of digital employee education. ”For us, at PwC, this is a priority. We have an application available for free, through which you can measure your digital skills. With its help you can make a learning plan, a better understanding of technology and digital skills,” says Munteanu.
”All technology companies will have a lot of work to do. At the macro level it is an opportunity to redistribute production, for example. The creators are agile enough and creative they will get out of this crisis better,” concludes Oana Munteanu.