Will remote work stay or go after Covid-19? An Optinova’s perspective

Operspective 23.09.2021

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Indisputably, the Covid-19 pandemic has made a significant impact on the way we see our workforce as well as their relationship and interaction with the workspace.


Proactive Covid-19 response strategy

Throughout the pandemic, Optinova has strived to maintain an agile approach towards the challenges caused by the outbreak. From the beginning, we have understood that these challenges will concern not only the health and safety of our employees, but also the fluidity of our supply chain and the very arrangement of our workplaces.

As a result, we have built a proactive response strategy that allows us to foresee an issue early on and thus mobilize our workforce quickly to adapt to new working conditions. The fast and effective employment of Covid-19 precautionary measures allowed us to maintain the flow of our business and safeguard the wellbeing of our employees. We are also regularly updating our Covid-19 directives and policies to reflect the current development of the economic fallout to ensure no internal disruption to our production globally.

“It felt as if almost overnight, all interactions traditionally done offline between our office staff became digital and everyone switched to working from home,” says Kiet Trieu, Marketing Specialist, Optinova Group. “Although the transition was rather quick and abrupt, the organization was fast to adapt to this new normal and little to no disruptions to everyday business handling were felt”.


Covid-19 and the digital acceleration

The Covid-19 pandemic has, in a way, accelerated our digitalization efforts. Covid-19 played an important role in propelling faster adoption of automation across our Group of companies, especially in work arenas with high physical proximity. During the pandemic, we have relaxed our requirement to relocate for many positions and allowed talents to opt for flexible locations. As a result, a number of our new recruits are now working remotely from their home office and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

As we prepare for a post-Covid era, we have conducted internal surveys to grasp a better understanding of remote work and its challenges as well as opportunities from the perspective of our employees. Although flexible work arrangements have always been possible at Optinova, Covid-19 has given our employees an opportunity to really test out the remote work concept as they are asked to do so in compliance with the precautionary measures. Consequently, our employees have become more confident in the new arrangement and expressed their desire for a certain form of telecommuting to continue as we enter the new normal. This dialogue with our employees has motivated us to plan and build a sustainable future for remote work at Optinova.


Future of hybrid work

The pandemic has made us realize the advantages of virtual meetings, but it has also made us more aware of how much we appreciate in-person interactions. As we take into account what our employees have to say, we will move forward into the future with a diverse set of working arrangements: in-office, remote and hybrid. However, for the time being, we entrust each individual team and company with the decision to adopt a new method of working that is best for them.

“Overall, we will enter a post-Covid era being even more flexible about how we work,” says Anders Wiklund, CEO, Optinova Group. “We will leave it to the teams to decide what is best for them and focus our efforts on improving work results, employee health and happiness, rather than when and where you work.”

Although we realize that adopting new forms of working arrangements means we will have to rethink the way we build and equip our offices. We are currently offering training opportunities in ergonomics to every employee who wants one on a Group-wide level. We also provide support and consultation to improve their mental health. The concept of work-life balance is greatly incorporated into the structure of our annual personnel survey and regular appraisal talks to ensure that the mental and physical wellbeing of employees are constantly kept in check. Last but not least, we also understand that we will need a policy on dual-office equipment investment, and we are working hard to establish a group-wide understanding on the matter. However, we are glad to know that this has not been an issue to date, and we continue to trust local managers to have the final say.

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