Since 2018, Sofia has been working as Head of HR at Desenio. She sums up the year 2020,
as the year of uncertainty, but also a year of new learnings. Take part in Sofia's conclusions
from 2020 and her outlook on the year ahead.
Sofia, how would you summarize the past year?
I would summarize the year 2020 as a year of uncertainty, a reminder to not take things for granted, and that new ways come with new challenges and new opportunities. It has been a learning opportunity for me and many others in different aspects.
What has been the biggest challenge with Covid-19 chasing us, according to you?
Most of us have been adjusting to the home-office situation and done this with excellence, but of course one of many challenges has been and still is to keep the motivational levels up, throughout this social distancing situation. We have adapted by having meetings digitally, and our Party committee has done an amazing job, arranging events and energizers on distance. I am very proud of how well we have managed to adjust to the new status quo at Desenio. Everyone has adjusted to new circumstances, taken care of each other and kept on driving our common success.
Many new employees, have started their journey with us on distance. What is extra important to think about?
Recruitment and onboarding is a challenge on distance. As we keep growing and with the Covid-19 situation going on in the world, we have switched to digital interviews, to mainly onboarding digitally, which of course is a new situation for us as a company. The challenge with onboarding on distance is to support the newly hired employee sufficiently, to be available for questions, and to ensure that he or she feels included in the company's social context and culture. It is important to talk about expectations when it comes to working from home in general but specifically during the onboarding phase, as the introduction to the company sets the prerequisites for the journey ahead.
What do you do to keep the spirits and energy levels up throughout this time?
We have an amazing Party committee, who have had great initiatives during the year for social events on distance, which is especially important when being a new employee. Much responsibility lies on each Team to make room for social activities and the otherwise lost ´water-cooler conversations´, which are important for social bonding, team spirit, and company culture. We have great examples of our Customer Service team adding some fun social games to their morning meetings, or our Creative team baking cookies together over video-link before Christmas. It’s all about being creative and trying new things.
What consequences of Covid-19 do you think we will see during 2021?
The pandemic has shown that we as a company are capable of adapting to new circumstances, we are fast-paced and flexible, and that we find new ways together. Of course, the effects of Covid-19 and the social distancing are individual and have different consequences depending on someone's situation in life overall. We know that it has been tough, for some more than others. I believe that a social context is an important factor for feeling meaningfulness at work and our company culture is a key aspect for our common success so far. I believe we have to practice being more empathetic, find digital ways to socialize and build culture through dialogue. Our people make our business and that is the outlook for 2021 as well.
What do you look forward to, on a professional and personal level?
I am looking forward to hopefully interacting with my colleagues face to face again and being able to put Covid-19 to history. We have learned a lot, which should not be forgotten, and we should try to use those learnings for developing further. Personally, I look forward to meeting friends again and for spring and summer in general. More time in the sun and spending time outside gives energy for new adventures.