Guillaume Macczak, Associate Partner CFO & GBS Advisory Services, at EY
Tell us about what happened with you & your company in the first weeks of this crisis.
Very quickly, EY took care of its employees and clients, by allowing working remotely end of February and reviewing with clients a minimum set of measures when our consultants and auditors had to be there. When the lockdown happened, everyone was ready to work remotely. Thanks to our IT team, tools and connections were ok and adjusted.
The other priority was to review our ongoing missions and ensure they could be delivered remotely as much as possible with the quality our clients are entitled to expect. This led to increase communication with the teams involved from EY or clients.
How did you adapt to the new working conditions?
From a personal standpoint, there was an adaptation period as I had to share the space with my family who also has obligations (especially remote schooling). After drawing military-like planning, we ended up all having our autonomy. The only thing we kept planning was access to devices to connect to digital classroom. It was of course simpler for me as I have my professional laptop. Still bandwidth can be an issue when 4 of us are video conferencing. In such cases we prioritized kids. Nevertheless, in Romania, and Bucharest in particular, network is very good overall and we did not have so much restrictions.
How did you organize your workspace at home? How does your office look like?
As you can see on the picture, I dedicated a space for working, I tried to keep it simple and distraction free, so that I can work in 30-60 mn sprints without being disturbed.
How do you stay motivated and productive? – tips & tricks of WFH
To ensure productivity, I adapted my routines to this new environment. It was important for me to keep moving, meditating, reading and spend quality time with my family. Overall, it did not change so much from before.
As described in a Linkedin article I wrote mid-March, I also try to keep minimal exposition to screens and blue light, especially in the evening to preserve my quality of sleep; hence the warm light on my desk.
What do you miss from the “old days” when you were at the office?
On the professional side, what I miss the most today are the informal moments speaking with colleagues, for which you need to plan a call today.
How do you personally manage work-life balance during this period?
On the personal side, I spend time with my family and we have a bit of perspective to engage in mid-term things together.
Overall, this crisis did not affect much my work-life balance or routines, out of the fact that I need to stay home to work. What changes most is the way we see our life in the future, considering that such crisis is likely to happen again. Lots of family discussions in this area.
Looking back at the last month, do you have a favourite moment?
Maybe not a moment but a shift in mindsets. We all observed a huge number of initiatives for communities in Romania, support to hospitals, associations, recognition of some essential jobs that are usually hidden in the shadow. I really hope we will not forget the pleasure we took in this and will make it last after this pandemic. Physical distance brought us closer as a team, with our clients, and with communities we support. This is a momentum we need to keep in the future.
What will be your company’ first 3 priorities when the lock down is over?
People and Clients are and will remain our priority.
As a company, I think this is very important that we acknowledge the necessary changes as well. There will be less travels, more flexibility required from employees, new constraints in our office life, new opportunities in the way we deliver services. It would be a pity to “waste this crisis”. It should act as an accelerator for transformations, in the society as well as in companies.