Here is the newest issue of our #DigitalThoughts interview series with colleagues from our offices around the world, where we discuss the effects of the pandemic and its regulations:
Who are you and since when do you work in Zucchetti?
My name is Lukas Adt. I have been working for Zucchetti since January 2019.
I started as a working student, writing my Master’s Thesis and getting to know my new business unit “Axess”.
Since I graduated, I have been working full-time as a Sales Manager.
How are you coping with this strange period personally?
In general, I would say that I can handle it pretty well. I have a great, strong support system consisting of family and friends around me – that surely helps a lot!
For sure, I would prefer to not be in the situation at all, but that is just how it is at the moment. I miss hanging out with friends and visiting people.
What I miss most is giving concerts – this has had a much bigger impact than I thought it would have. You play and practice regularly, with your bands but on the other hand you are not allowed to go out and entertain people – this is truly giving me a hard time.
In addition, I suffer from severe asthma which makes me part of the so-called “risk group”. It makes you rethink some decisions a little more.
What is the key moment that you remember or that has left an impression on you about this whole situation?
My grandmother calling me in tears because she had not seen any of us for such a long time – that was really hard. Normally, I am not an overly emotional guy, but this quite literally made me sob.
Another big thing was a specific concert being cancelled – we sold out a small location with around 250 tickets and had to cancel it in the very last moment, because that was when the restrictions were first put in place then. That was when it first hit me and I realised: “ok, this is real and it has only just begun”.
How would you describe the corporate atmosphere, which steps has the company taken, what has been done?
It might sound strange, but I personally think that there are positive effects for us as well.
Before COVID-19 and the lockdown period, there were many colleagues, who were very reserved towards some of our internal initiatives, for example, towards our Young Generation Board and its activities.
However, looking now specifically at our digital pills, challenges and digital thoughts – the participation and feedback is actually overwhelming! All of us want to stay healthy and to protect our beloved ones – I feel like the company acted appropriately in having us work from home early on.
On the other side, we are a company with an economic interest as well.
The company had and still has to take action and to act accordingly to save workplaces and the business. I think we should continue to try to appreciate the situation and handling this together, doing our best to get back on track again. The employer has some responsibilities, for sure – but the same holds for all employees in my opinion.
How has COVID-19 affected the way you work and corporate culture?
We are working from home and have been doing so for a couple of months now (I miss the air conditioning) and we cannot visit customers – that is the biggest change.
Due to the lockdown, many companies stopped operating and have been struggling to keep business open. This said, you could imagine that it is not getting easier building and pushing a young unit like Axess. I still am in regular contact with my colleagues and I feel like we are working more effectively: less discussion, more action. Corporate culture has changed in the way I also mentioned previously, we have grown so much closer together – even though we are miles apart.
How has your immediate team reacted?
In Germany, we did some virtual “coffee-break” meetings of a few minutes – this led to some funny insights and I got to know some of my colleagues way better than before.
Since I am the only person working on Axess in Germany, my immediate team is located in Italy. The communication with them has not really changed a lot, since we were dependent on calls and web sessions anyway. In my honest opinion, I really think that it has probably been a lot harder for the Italian colleagues than it has been for us, as the situation in Northern Italy was drastic. This had an impact on the collaboration as well.
How do you feel in the company right now? Do you feel comfortable and taken care of?
I feel like we all are struggling a little bit. All of us are very motivated and dedicated to overcome this time but you do feel the insecurity and the question marks inside of the heads.
I also think that the company is really trying to make it easier for everybody – but there is no perfect plan or step-by-step tutorial on how to solve and to get over this. So, we will have to work together on figuring things out. We all are human beings in a very strange period of our lives – it is completely normal being uncomfortable and showing our vulnerability sometimes.
Lastly, what do you miss the most? What is the first thing you are going to do when this is over?
Giving concerts, long summer nights having conversations outside and my personal freedom.
Even though I would probably not be using all of this freedom, I would like to have the choice (I am German, can you tell). Since the restrictions are getting looser gradually, I do not feel like there will be a “big bang” – I already planned my summer holidays with the caravan, I will be going to the sea.