Working from home came with the pandemic, but it will remain long after it finishes

Photo: Matija Habljak/PIXSELL

The business world in the time of corona is dynamic. The demand for skilled labor remains strong. The crisis has also been shorter and less impactful than expected, except for small business and those related to the hospitality industry. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, business concepts are changing. Some believe that working from home is an extremely high-quality solution, while others claim that it impairs the quality of interpersonal relationships and employee synergy. Different organizations—both domestic and international—as well as the entire business industry are changing day by day—if not overnight. The professionals pointed out that no one is safe, yet everyone is special in their own way.

On the panel entitled “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, Hrvoje Josip Balen, member of the management board of Algebra; Ante Grbeša, director of FlixBus CEE South Region; Boris Vujčić, governor of the Croatian National Bank; and Tomislav Rosandić, director of Dalekovod; pointed out that the so-called “home office” business pattern, which had been present before, now marked a revolution in professional development.

There are conflicting opinions about the effectiveness and quality of such a model, said the panelists, but one thing is for sure: we can achieve a lot working from home, but we must not eliminate live interaction.

“The reality is that the trend of increasing work from home existed before, the coronavirus crisis has only accelerated it. People are getting used to not being in the office. Before we had about 15 percent of employees who wanted to work online, now that number is around 50 percent,” Grbeša emphasized.

“In a short period of time, we enabled a large number of people to work from home. After a while, we realized that there are a lot of problems, such as the lack of socialization in the workplace,” said Rosandić.

Focusing on productivity and retaining talent has been the main task of business leaders in these turbulent times. However, turning to a new business model is both a challenge and a problem. That is why it is difficult to tell if the shift towards work from home puts you a step ahead or a step behind the competition, the panel participants concluded.

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