Sorina Donisa, CEO – APT Group HR Services
Tell us about what happened with you & your company in the first weeks of this crisis.
Our focus was on a well-defined work procedure so we can create a safe and easily accessible work (from home) environment. It was very important for our employees and for our clients to know that we are fully operational even if we are all working from home. We had communicated more than ever to find the most suitable solutions, especially for our business partners. We were lucky to have access to all the necessary technology and to have a great team to use it.
What are your company’ top 5 priorities in this period?
The priorities were related to ensuring the health and protection of our colleagues as well as moving all processes online. Due to the fact that we already had implemented the work from home in the organization and had the entire infrastructure necessary for telework, this shift was made right at the beginning of the pandemic as a preventive measure. Being an HR company, it was important for us to offer our partners, especially to our colleagues in the HR departments, fast, simple and reliable solutions in order to ensure the legal framework regarding the labour relations.
In the first weeks, the volume of activity and the variety of cases to which we had to offer solutions were extremely demanding, but with the appearance of additional legislative regulations, things started to have more clarity.
What were your challenges and how did you overcome them?
We had to keep thinking positive and also to insufflate this to the team. Financial simulations helped us to anticipate step by step what this pandemic will bring us. We have a very strong communication and in this way, we were able to brainstorming multiple possibilities and also to make time past faster while we were working from our home office.
How did you adapt to the new working conditions?
It was not easy, especially I am a full of energy and an action person. For sure I worked a lot more than before. I had to accept the fact that, for the next weeks, I will meet the team only in virtual rooms. I missed every single one, but it was somehow compensated by the fact that I spent more time with my family.
How did you organize your workspace at home? How does your office look like?
Even though I had the possibility to move near Bucharest in a country area, supposing that I could enjoy the green grass from my courtyard, unfortunately I had only few moments when I was outside of my “office area” at home.
How do you stay motivated and productive? – tips & tricks of WFH
My family and my team helped me keep motivated. Knowing they are safe it was the best incentive for me and let me analyse the situation in a logical way. I think in this kind of situations we must choose between keeping calm and think forward or being overwhelmed by the responsibilities. The 2008’s crisis was a “good exercise” for the actual one. When we are working from home, we obtain some more time for activities that were pleasant in the past, but we forgot about them, for example cooking.
What do you miss from the “old days” when you were at the office?
Like everybody, I miss the mornings when we all were drinking the coffee together and were having small chat about the most recent happenings in our lives. I miss the meetings, I miss my colleagues from all over the country and the funny jokes between us.
How do you personally manage work-life balance during this period?
I cannot say that I managed it so well because the first 3 weeks I rarely saw my family but after that, I tried to establish some boundaries for myself and allocate time for my daughter and son and even for my dogs.
I started by setting up the early morning exercise with my dogs accompanying me and two neighbours who were looking at me worriedly, wondering why I circled the house for so many times in the morning.
Looking back at the last month, do you have a favourite moment?
I was thrilled when after a long period of time I went at the office and meet a few colleagues and drank coffee together, even with masks. We were only 4 people in the office and that short time we spent together, of course respecting all the appropriate measures, was like “finally, back to normal!”
What habit, mechanism or idea will you preserver for your professional and personal life when quarantine will end?
I think this period proved more than ever that people are very adaptable, especially the young generation who embraced very fast this teleworking and the way we work will be changed forever.
What will be your company’ first 3 priorities when the lock down is over?
Number 1 priority is keeping safe all our employees while we are preparing to come back to the office. We implemented extra measures against the risk to get in touch with the coronavirus. Next priorities refer to deliver at high standards our services, to obtain new projects, to prove that we deserve the trust that our clients and our employees gave to us.