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Coffee Break interview: The operation of Clarity during the COVID crisis

Clarity: In today’s interview, we talk about the evolved epidemiological situation and its effects.

Unfortunately, for now we do not see the end of the pandemic or its impact on the economy. One thing is for sure: in this complicated situation, companies have to switch to a new functioning, just as much as our coworkers do. In the next part we talk about this new kind of functioning with Kelecsényi-Szűcs Szilvia, the Manager of Human Resources and with the representatives of the Back Office team, Tunczinger Attila and Vilimek-Tiborfi Eszter.

Clarity: Covid19 has appeared in our country, in March. What were the first actions that Clarity took and what is the situation now during curfew?

Szilvia: In the first period, our most important actions were taken in order to protect our coworkers. We obtained antibacterial sanitizers to improve our office hyginie and we send out weekly imformative e-mails to our colleagues about how they can reduce the risk of being infected (e.g. avoiding handshakes). As the pandemic was getting more serious, we asked our colleagues to avoid foreign trips, if it was not possible, after their return, they were required to work from home for two weeks.

In the everyday life of Clarity, regular contact with the clients and partners is critical. Because of that we had to start working on new methods that can assure the smooth continuance of our projects. Firstly, in order to proceed with remote working, the preliminary revision of the necessary infrastructural requirements was needed as well as resolving the infrastructural and operational questions on client-side.

Unfortunately, ordering home-office was not avoidable in order to keep our coworkers and clients safe. Luckily we were able to prepare the approrioate conditions everywhere to continue with our service for our clients

The operational staff of Clarity was formed, which has online meetings two or three times per week. We felt that the continuous tracking of the events was essential so that we are able to make decisions on the necessary measures as soon as possible, thus maximizing our ability of adaptation. We constantly keep in touch with our coworkers to always have up-to-date informations about them so that we are able to help them tackle any issue. We pay special attention to our colleagues, who have young children, since they are working under extra pressure during these times, and to those, who are at higher risk from the virus.

The operation of the office has changed as well due to the new circumstances. My coworkers in the office are working in shifts so that we can maintain the business continuity. This way, we can minimize the number of personal meetings but at the same time we can still provide the appropriate background for the operation.

Clarity: How much time did it take to switch to home office? Were there any kind of difficulties?

Attila: Actually, all infrastructural conditions were already given for the remote working before the curfew, so it did not cause any problems. In case we did have difficulties, those derived from user experience in certain devices (e.g. the use of Microsoft Teams), or creating the proper conditions for home-working (e.g. those who have young children). However in just a few days we caught up with the new system.

Clarity: Szilvia mentioned that, the office works in shifts during these days. What does it mean exactly?

Eszter: Currently the office is working with shorter opening hours, which means that it is open on workdays from 9 am. to 5 pm. The office duty is assured by one person every workday. Almost every tasks are the same, as we take the calls, take over the mails and packages and carry all the background duties.

However, our events totally transformed. We had organised several trainings and workshops for the first half-year. Normally we hold the longer trainings on external locations, while the shorter trainings and workshops are held in-house. Unfortunately we had to change our habits and we had to organise all of these events online.

It is really hard to get used to the silence which is in our office. Our car park is almost empty every day. Our parking system, which was introduced two years ago, is resting now, but we hope, that sooner or later it will have to work again with full capacity.😊

parkoló

One of the big changes around the office of Clarity is the garden. Thanks to our Financial Department coworkes (Hajni and Béla), Clarity is blooming. Last november they planted 200 flower bulbs as a surprise, and now these flowers are flourishing our garden. Hopefully next spring, everyone can take delight in the beauty of the flowers every day.

tulipános kollázs

Clarity: We heard the news, that there is another big change in the life of the Clarity office. Can you tell something about it?

Attila: Yes, a big change is happening right now in the office of Clarity. One of our old dreams is coming true as the whole office building is being painted at the moment and we are also restoring the parquet at the ground floor. The truth is, that we had planned this restoration for this period of the year, though it is easier than we thought it would be, as everyone is working from home and the office is empty recently, because of the virus.

felújítás

Clarity: How did the department of Human Resources change lately? How do the applicaton interviews take place recently?

Szilvia: Normally, the two most important parts of my job is the recruiting-selection process and the organisation of trainings, so tasks related to these processes take most of my day. Now, in this unique situation, other areas are getting more important in my job, there are a lot of questions in labour law matters that we need to address – and we also need to be up to date about the new laws. Although we are fortunate compared to the commercial and tourism industries, our focus is on other things than before.

Despite the hard times, we did not stop our recruiting processes, we are regularly conducting interviews, moreover two new colleagues are going to join us soon. It is necessary because on the one hand we want to be prepared for the economic restart after the virus and on the other hand there are many opportunities for new projects in the current situation, and these require resources as well.

Obviously, the selection process has changed. We conduct the interviews in the cyberspace with the help of technical devices. For me personally, it was not entirely new, since I used to work in multinational environment, where due to the distance I had to go through the selection processes remotely from end to end. This current situation is different though: to younger applicants – to my experience – the use of technical devices and the lack of personal contact cause no problems – this is natural for them. However I did meet applicants who were seemingly discomforted by the situation – of course an interview like this can cause stress even under the ordinary circumstances, especially if the environment is unfamiliar. With a little understanding and attention, though, these situations can be handled properly and they can also end up being quite funny sometimes, when the devices or my kids are playing tricks on me in the middle of an interview. 😊

Clarity: Thank You so much for this conversation! #takecarofeachother #ClarityOffice

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