We are back with a new issue of our #DigitalThoughts - the interview series we designed wo get across what our teams have been experiencing and thinking about the past couple of months. This time, we spoke to Marco Deplano, read the interview below:
Who are you and since when do you work in Zucchetti?
My name is Marco, I am currently the Global Manager Marketing of Zucchetti Switzerland. I have been working for the POS unit formerly knowns as TCPOS for almost 12 years and I supervise different activities related to advertising, event organization, content management, as well as interacting with different departments. I manage a team of three persons, all very independent, skilled and proactive, and work in 24/7 brainstorming with our management, as well as in close contact with Zucchetti’s marketing department in Italy.
How are you coping with this strange period personally?
I live alone, so I set myself schedules, building a routine and programming a series of distractions for my free time. Prior to Zucchetti, I have been a sci-fi writer and a translator, so I am used to working remotely. My level of productivity did not decrease but in fact improve. On the downside, there are less breaks and I have to do more calls, which makes things a bit more tiring, especially when I would rather focus on writing content. Normally, my free time involves countless musical and visual activities; sadly, being unable to interact with my collaborators has put these activities on hold. The first weekends were a bit frustrating since, apart from loneliness, I had difficulties in focusing on creative work. Then, luckily, the situation went back to normal and I was able to go back to composing and writing.
What is the key moment that you remember about this whole situation?
I have three key moments. The weekend before official lock-down, when I have been following the development and I was in touch with management and my team. Most of us were already in preventive smart working, and then we enforced it for the whole organization. It was the smartest move we could do. The next moment is when I had the first virtual meeting with other managers and some colleagues, and we were somewhat confused but very happy to see each other and talk about actual tasks and not just the strangeness of the situation. It became a very nice daily appointment for all of us. Finally, the recent Smart Country Management Meeting, where were shared presentations with the same enthusiasm, and we got a bit emotional because we miss staying together. These are not simply words – I know we all meant it.
How would you describe the corporate atmosphere/behavior, i.e. which steps has the company taken, what has been done?
Very collaborative and focused. There has been extreme attention to our wellbeing as well as transparency on communication as soon data and information were confirmed. Management kept asking to not panic yet stressing the importance of staying safe. The fact many of us volunteered for experimental smart working before the actual lock-down is a stellar example of all our engagement and dedication.
How has COVID-19 affected the way you work and the corporate culture?
Surely, it contributed to making us even more collaborative and more aware of the value of our time. Our teams built friendships organizing get together and online “parties”. I found myself chatting with people I never spoke with before and going into personal matters as a natural thing. Calling your managers at the weekend to talk about funny stuff did not happen in many of the companies I worked before.
How has your immediate team reacted?
We were all somehow concerned about the situation, also because some of us use very crowded public transportation on a daily basis. This surely caused anxiety. There was obvious concern for all our families and friends, either because they live in difficult areas or simply because we are separated from them, like myself, since I could not see my parents for two and my girlfriend for four months! I must say, I am proud of my team because workwise, we immediately adapted and were proactive about activities and suggestions on how to deal with the situation.
How do you feel in the company right now? Do you feel comfortable and taken care of?
Yes I do. As a company, we moved forward immediately, in order to minimize the impact of the pandemic on our employees by adopting smart working, social distancing, etc.
Both Italian and International managers were great in dealing with the situation, always putting people’s health first and sticking to it also now that the situation got better. There has been continuous transparency in the corporate communication, even when we had to enforce some measures.
What is the first thing you're going to do when this is over?
Surely, the first thing I will do is meet my parents and girlfriend, who I have not seen for two months, and then I’ll raid any bookshop available in a 200 km range!