Bogdan Pelinescu, Managing Director for Central Europe, Luxoft
- What was the most challenging thing your company, people, and you, personally, had to face in 2020?
It goes without saying that the logistical and business efforts during pandemic times have been the highlights of last year. The constant vigilance even during commonplace activities like going shopping for foodstuff has worn all of us a bit – and that is an understatement. Working at home turned into more hours at the desk than usual. What supported us, as business leaders, was mainly the immense creative endeavours to be there for our employees, to turn around traditional ways of working to fit to the imposed social distancing.
- What pleasantly surprised you last year? / What are you grateful for?
Of course, working from home had its benefits – the short breaks turned into treasure hunts and role-play with kids. To their satisfaction, nevertheless! Lunches with them happened more often, that is definitely the biggest win! On the business side, I am grateful that our employees adapted so quickly to the new environment. I am also proud that our top management shifted swiftly to online tools for remote team management, supported employees with office chairs and desks where needed, and continued running the HR events calendar, although virtual.
- What are your plans and expectations for 2021?
Honestly, I expect this year to be not much different. There is still a lot to go until life restores to normality. The pandemic has affected all levels of living&making business, equipping us with a sense of cautiousness and resilience more evident than before. Therefore, we are actually building the “new normal” as we move along. What will not change, however, is communicating transparently with our clients and employees, and ensuring a healthy work environment.
- What do you foresee it will be different this year and what impact it will have on our industry/Romania/your company/your people?
First, in 2020, many small and medium enterprises revisited marketing strategies, transitioned to business online, researched new markets for potential expansion. 2021 is the time for no longer putting off a complete digital transformation, even for the big players.
Second, I anticipate uncertainty to continue in 2021. It is crucial for businesses to lay out the potential contingencies early on and come up with strategic responses.
Third, the tendency is that the workplace will remain largely virtual this year. Spending less time commuting and more time interacting with family resulted in more engaged and productive employees.
Last, but not least, companies should consider, like never before, that younger employees entering the job market are looking to connect with a purpose or work for a company that has real meaning. Leaders should focus on improving the employee experience, especially on fostering a sense of belonging and introduce flexibility into their workplace policies.
- What is your message for the ABSL community?
Over the years, we have consistently focused on the engagement of our employees, and this has increased innovation and productivity inside the teams. That has eventually helped us meet business goals. In my opinion, cultivating innovation and growing leaders internally will provide our community with hands-on, committed managers having the proper technology tools required to go forward during these challenging times.
- What could we do to grow stronger as a community?
I would like to thank the ABSL team for their swiftness in adapting to the new working environment and their ambitious efforts to continue with the calendar and organize virtual sessions of each planned event.
Well aware of the many challenges ABSL members have encountered, I am convinced that we have come out stronger and a lot more creative than we thought possible.