The virus has direct and associated consequences.

You need to be strong in your head, be flexible and change the way you do things to be able to adapt to this new situation.

What can you do: Start to think about what it will be like once it is all over and what tools, staff, products/services you will need. Get ready to restart. Make the most of your unplanned “holiday”. Take your and your company’s future into your hands.

I believe this whole situation is like a big Confidence Building Training on all fronts. (parents/children, doctors/patients, managers/subordinates, suppliers/partners etc.).

Here are some ideas for how we see the situation based on what we hear from our partners
Business / corporate life
  • The great majority of economic operators expect a temporary crisis and hope to continue their activities once the epidemic is over. To be prepared to restart it is essential to have a workforce so they retain their employees for as long as possible.
  • There is growing evidence that globalisation will become localisation. This means that countries will produce all that they can themselves in-situ or at least in the neighbouring areas. This could be a huge opportunity for workers and companies of a country (e.g. the strengthening of Hungarian agriculture, textile, pharmaceutical industries, manufacturing, etc.). It also underlines the fact that workforce will be needed.
  • Recent years have all been about efficiency, but unfortunately, this approach usually rules out having spare capacity. If you already work with a minimum number of people, you should not reduce it as it will be a serious problem in the long run. If Hungary, that is its citizens are wise, then the epidemic will not escalate (i.e. it will flatten out) and we will be able to come out of it with the smallest loss and as the fastest (or at least one of the fastest) to recover in the region and in Europe. Our economy could then help others by providing products and services. It may be the case that manufacturing and services will temporarily be moved to Hungary until the day-to-day life in a given country is restored.
  • Many employers are reluctant to make their employees redundant and this is why they are in favour of their workers temporarily earning income elsewhere while retaining their original employment relationship.
  • Some companies, by reducing working hours, reduce wages but retain their employees. (It is important to point out that some companies make this reduction because they already see the need for redundancies, and that by reducing wages in advance they plan to reduce severance costs later. This move is not fair on employees and is dangerous for the employer).
Confidence-building training 2
  • Based on the findings of the 2008 crisis – companies who were in the position to hire, did so. Their aim was to have the right specialists on their side when the crisis ended. Even if you cannot hire, an immediate lay-off of the workforce is still not the best thing to do (costs can be reduced in other ways as well, for example using home offices).
  • Companies where it has never been standard practice are now trying out working from home offices – at SSC / BSC (service centres) home office is widely accepted, but it may not have been used by companies in other domains, but now it has become necessary…
  • See if it is possible to reduce rental costs by applying the above
  • Develop new practices, look into what techniques are available for videoconferencing, how teams can operate with their members working from home or how to create a setting for the employees that would make them feel as though they are working “at” the company.
  • Now is the right time to work on projects that have been put off for a long time. Rather than working from home being a drawback, due to the epidemic causing reduced workload/business the time has come for companies to do audits, work on efficiency, organisational process improvements and any quality changes that may be necessary.
  • Due to the anticipated decline in business it is now possible to make rotations so that employees can try themselves out in new fields, in this way increasing the company’s retention capacity
Confidence-building training 3
  • Also due to reduced workload administration, filing and documentation can catch up
  • External and internal training can be undertaken and planned courses brought forward
  • If there is shortage of raw materials – expected in the very near future – the maintenance and repair of machines can be brought forward
  • Make e-learning materials
  • Time to do any missed bi-annual or annual assessments and any other overdue tasks
  • What you need to avoid – do not copy the decisions of other companies – you do not know the details. Always consult with a specialist, i.e. an economist or a lawyer (other companies may have different agreements, particular employment contracts with specific terms etc.)
How can you turn the present situation to your benefit in your private life?

First of all, it is worth finding guidelines you can follow in the coming few weeks and months:

  • Setting up family and work priorities, defining goals including smaller ones as well to be able to achieve the feeling of success regularly
  • Online language lessons if you need to hone your skills in foreign languages
  • Online professional training
  • For someone who has lost their job, consider which industry currently has a labour shortage (couriers, logistics, agriculture, pharmaceutical companies, chain stores – food, drug stores, pharmacies) – there are companies specialised in matching demand with supply.
  • Online sports activities
  • Online reading (15,000 books available for free)
  • Online board games
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    • visiting online museums, the list is practically endless
    • Keep your routines – activities you enjoy – listening to your favourite radio show, listening to music, anything that recharges you and gives you positive energy.

    • Trust your colleagues, trust that they can do their job from home (there are thousands of surveys and studies showing that many people can work much more efficiently, better from home) this time with the only difference – that other family members are at home at the same time ☺. This situation gives a tremendous opportunity for employees who have always wanted to work from home office but had not been allowed before – to prove to their bosses that they can keep up the quality of their work and keep deadlines when working from home. If they can prove it, it will be easier for them in the future (after the virus crisis) to ask to work from home office 2 days a week.

    • Trust your family that you can help each other and you can count on each other

    • Trust yourself, tell yourself that this is just another task to complete as you had before

    • If you are stuck or feel that you cannot take it any more dare to ask for help from family members, neighbours, colleagues, managers.

Finally, what not to do

Do not blame yourself if you do not have time for everything, to do both your parental duties and job perfectly. Little by little everything will stabilise. You do not have to spend every minute of the quarantine productively, there may be things you need to let go now. Above all avoid being maximalist. Just now this may not be the most effective approach.