SKIDATA has taken comprehensive measures to protect colleagues and customers throughout the pandemic. Some of the changes will continue into the future says Michael, Managing Director and our COVID Officer.
Corona has changed our lives and our work. We have all learned a lot, and in the future, we’ll likely do things differently than we did before the pandemic. How SKIDATA manages pandemic is Michael’s responsibility. He is the COVID Officer on the SKIDATA Global Leadership Team. Here, he not only leads the SKIDATA GmbH COVID Team, which deliberates on and sets in place the necessary measures on-site in Austria—he also coordinates with regional and subsidiary managers in their respective countries around the world.
Michael, what are the most important measures that SKIDATA has taken to address the Corona pandemic?
We have introduced a variety of measures, and adapted them to address the respective phases of the pandemic as well as local regulations, of course:
• We offer our employees a high degree of flexibility with their hours and location through the Work@Home offer and trust-based working hours so that they can also deal with private challenges, like home schooling or childcare, for example.
• From the start, we have set in place effective protective measures for our employees in service, projects and sales who were on-site with our customers throughout the pandemic. When business trips were necessary and possible, we introduced individual protective measures as well.
• In our offices, we act according to the principle of “Protect yourself and protect others, which includes social distancing, hygiene rules, compulsory mask-wearing and ventilation.
• In Austria, we set up an internal SKIDATA COVID hotline to supplement the federal services. Our goal here is to operate a contact management protocol within SKIDATA, and to provide points of contact for questions and problems.
Our occupational physician continually supports and advises us on all measures, including providing consultations for our employees.
What has SKIDATA learned from dealing with the pandemic, and what will continue into the future?
The pandemic has massively changed our work culture from one day to another. By temporarily moving to working entirely virtually, we quickly learned to practice mobile working. However, as innovation and collaboration are highly valued within the company, we still miss meeting and speaking in person, and we look forward to transition to a model that has both the optimal mix of face-to-face meetings and interactions in the office as well as the freedom and flexibility of mobile working in the future. Here, we’ll incorporate the lessons learned during the pandemic.
Another aspect is that we are working in an increasingly connected and international way due to the pandemic. We benefit from highly flexible arrangements when it comes to working hours, particularly when it comes to time differences—and mobile working has made this even easier. Apart from that, the pandemic has also influenced our portfolio of solutions: The focus on digitization and cloud services has both intensified and accelerated.
Where do we go from here? Some countries have the pandemic more under control than other regions...
While Europe is still very much impacted, other countries such as India–where we have a market organization in Mumbai and a development site in Bangalore–have almost returned to normal already. In general, we adhere to the government regulations and recommendations that apply in each respective country, which varies from one to another, of course. However, a FFP2 mask requirement at construction sites, for example, and compliance with hygiene regulations are applicable worldwide. At SKIDATA, we recommend that all our colleagues get vaccinated for their own protection, and also so we can return to a state of normality. In the USA, some of our colleagues have already been vaccinated; in Austria, we plan to offer vaccinations within the company as soon as vaccines are available for this.
Michael is a member of the Global Leadership Teams, which is what the management level is called at SKIDATA, and one of the three managing directors of SKIDATA GmbH. Within the SKIDATA Group, he is responsible for operations, which includes service, project management, training, hosting, customized solutions and supply chain. Currently, he has been with SKIDATA since July 2010. Michael previously worked for the company between 1994 and 1997.