Already at the beginning of the pandemic, RSM Società di Revisione e Organizzazione Contabile S.p.A has put in place various initiatives to be close to its employees, always trying to communicate in a human and warm way.
MEASURES TO ENSURE SAFETY AND CONTINUITY
To ensure the safety of all employees, we were among the first to decide the closing of our offices in all of Italy (even when the lockdown was mandatory only in certain areas of the country), activating right away smart working plans, trying to be near to our employees and clients that need to find in our company a professional, personal and social point of reference.
We have constantly informed all personnel about the health emergency and activated an insurance policy in case of infection contraction from COVID-19.
To maintain contacts between the staff and stimulate both on a professional and personal level, we have organized numerous talk shows – webinar mode – that have also seen the participation of external experts.
During the pandemic we continued working to open the new office in Rome that was inaugurated with a virtual event and a video production to present the office itself and the employees.
Regarding working activities in smart working and remote personnel management:
- We have divided personnel in groups with a partner and senior manager as tutors and sensitized all group coordinators to respect timing and schedules to protect everyone’s private life
- We have organized frequent meetings with HR managers to understand employees’ feelings and manage any critical issues
- We have organized virtual meetings to allow people to continue having contact with colleagues not only for strictly working reasons
- We have monitored constantly if all employees had been contacted through video call
We thought that a such upsetting and radical event as the pandemic needed a specific analysis to understand its impact, consequences and learnings for the future.
Therefore we decided to launch an internal Survey that has involved all RSM Italy personnel. Here are the most interesting results that give insights for the initiatives that the board could take to face the new normal and that could inspire for future choices.
The data was collected during the month of July 2020 and the analysed answers came in between the 21 and the 29 of July. The analysed data is based on a quite numerous statistical sample: of the 280 sent questionnaires 203 were filled in, with 72,5% of response.
The participants have a slightly superior female component and over 60% are under 40, with a predominance of economics degrees.
31% of the analysed sample has children whose age is distributed homogeneously between primary, secondary cycle and those over 20.
How did RSM Italy employees feel regarding smart working?
- Felt supported by the company;
- Never felt abandoned or inadequate;
- Managed to work with sufficient serenity;
- Were able to find the right concentration.
We can state that the smart working experience has been mostly positive, with the chance to balance private life and work.
How did RSM Italy employees live teamwork and the relationships with colleagues and clients?
- Managed to maintain usual relationships with colleagues and clients;
- Were able to maintain constant contact with the supervisor;
- Had a proper professional experience.
It is evidenced that that the experience with smart working has been positive overall.
Looking at the future: what are the preferences of RSM Italy employees regarding a possible work reorganization?
RSM Italy employees would prefer a hybrid form of work.
In particular 70% would like to participate in smart working for 2-3 days a week.
Partial smart working could bring benefits in terms of logistics and work organization but also:
- A better work life balance
- The chance to concentrate more
- A rise in efficiency
- An improvement in the quality of life.
Moreover, Survey data has been analyzed by a team of psychologists, that starting from the emotional situation in general in the company, have also analyzed feelings and emotions felt by RSM employees during the lockdown.
From the research it has emerged that the most common emotions felt during lockdown but also now and towards the future are:
Everybody tried to implement strategies to overcome them.
We have reacted emotionally towards this invisible enemy, difficult to isolate and identify because danger signals that are missing enable our brain to understand when to pay attention and when to relax with a risk of living under a constant state of emotional tension.
COPING is a series of mental and behavioural strategies that are put in place to face difficult situations.
Survey participants stated that they have dedicated their time mainly to exercising, reading and cooking. In the remaining category, “Altro”, between the various activities undertaken stand out carrying out work and vision of film and TV series.
Tips to face the new work mode that can be useful for employees to face difficulties and adopt proper behaviour and to the board to develop strategies suitable to face the new normal and protect the well-being of the company and employees:
Be careful to not underestimate all those signals of discomfort (even the smallest) that we didn’t have before (physical and emotional):
- Muscular tension, headache, unsteadiness, palpitations;
- Indecision, confusion, difficulty at organizing;
- Desire to flee, isolation, aggressiveness;
- Excessive consumption of alcohol, tobacco, sugar, chocolate, coffee;
- nervousness, sleeping disorders, difficulty in concentrating, bad memory, sense of frustration, anxiety, apprehension, fear.
Activating our positive coping strategies:
- Exchange ideas
- Self control
- Research for social support
- Accepting responsabilities
- Avoidance- Escape
- Problem solving planning
- Positive revaluation
Adhere to a personal “roadmap”, reflect on your own limits and recognize the goals accomplished.
Share our thoughts with colleagues to avoid feeling to be the only ones in discomfort in the adaptation to smart working.
Use videoconferences also for nonprofessional moments of exchange to share stories, thoughts,emotions by facilitating group strength and cohesion.