After running its course, the original Call for Leaders – 3Q was completed successfully, achieving its intended purpose of bringing a positive, insightful, or otherwise constructive view of the Romanian business scene in the context of the current crisis. Now, Business Review followed up with some of Romania’s top professionals and entrepreneurs for #Call4Leaders part II – Back in Business, to see how they mapped out the long-awaited return to normality.
Current conversation: Horatiu Didea, managing director Workspace Studio
How do you define the new normal that everyone should submit to?
The “new normal” is accelerated digitalisation mixed with a lot of uncertainty and contradictory feelings.
Embracing digital turned out to be a solution for a lot of businesses, in order to keep functioning at least partially. And I don’t think there’s a way back from this perspective. Online and omnichannel services will continue to be interesting, while innovation remains, as always, critical. Remote work has shown its power, as well and its limits, and cannot be ignored, while the need for collaborative work is still high.
But any “new” will be looked at in a more critical and cautious way, as the last few months reset priorities, changed behaviours and altered trust.
Has this crisis altered your optimism or hopes for your business plans in this calendar year?
Yes, there is an ongoing recession and the behaviour of many market players has been affected. We are still working on medium and long term plans and projects, but a certain cautiousness has to be exercised.
What’s next for the industry you are currently representing?
There will be a recession. There will be a paradigm shift, but is not known yet how big and deep the changes will be.
In our niche market – the high quality office furniture and design services – I think we’ll see more adoption of two trends that were already in place in the corporate world.
One is a growing interest in the ergonomics at the office, since all the measures we have to take to function safely and productively in the office are all part of a human centered and ergonomic approach to the working spaces.
The other is the need for better work from home offices. On long term, people cannot work productively in a space that is not designed for work, that is not ergonomic. So more and more, employees will invest, or pressure their companies to invest, in home office amenities such as ergonomic chairs or desks, tech equipment or separated havens for work. Besides remaining the place where decisions are taken and important communication takes place, there will be changes in office design, the office will be more and more a place for building identity, trust and team cohesion. High quality solutions will always support better the future of the office environment.
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