Interview with Natalia Seco, LOYIC Office Manager
At LOYIC we addressed the confinement resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic in a calm, orderly manner: “We had anticipated it and were prepared”
The team began a gradual return to the offices on June 8, with small groups being incorporated each week. Work spaces have been reorganised to maintain safe distances, and hygiene measures have been stepped up, among others
Just two days after the government decreed a state of alarm and confinement due to Covid-19, the entire LOYIC team (more than 80 people) was working from home without incident. “We had anticipated it and were prepared,” says Natalia Seco, our Office Manager. A global pandemic is likely to be the biggest test for measuring a company's efficiency, flexibility and adaptability, and LOYIC passed that test with flying colours. But the goal now, Natalia points out, “is to continue implementing tools and processes that further enhance our ability to efficiently turn around complicated situations such as the one experienced.”
QUESTION. How did you deal with the Covid-19 confinement? Was it a traumatic experience?ANSWER. Despite the uncertain and complex scenario that unfolded as the days went by, the truth is that once the government decreed the state of alarm and mandated confinement, the way we experienced it at LOYIC was calm and orderly. I would not rate it as a bad experience at all. The truth is that we had anticipated it and were prepared.
Q. How did you do it? What was the key to a quick, calm transition to the new situation?
A. Efficiency and flexibility are two factors integrated into each of the decisions we make at LOYIC, and in this scenario they were essential. One of those decisions was to equip the entire workforce with laptops, including people in administrative departments, who, a priori, do not need mobility. And another key action was to organise a stress test of our systems on Wednesday, March 11 [the state of alarm was decreed on March 14], with all the teams already working remotely. It turned out to be an extremely timely dress rehearsal for what was to come. On the other hand, working paperless means that our processes are not dependent on physical documents, which makes things easier.
Q. With the entire team of more than 80 people working from home, could 100% of the services be guaranteed?
A. As Office Manager, my ‘customers’ are my colleagues in the operations teams, and yes, we were able to ensure service that met the new needs.
Q. How are you preparing to return to the ‘new normal’? What will this ‘new normal’ look like in LOYIC’s offices?
A. From the very beginning of the state of alarm we began to prepare for the return to our offices, adapting our de-confinement plan to successive laws and health regulations. Once we obtained approval from our prevention service, we reorganised the work spaces, increasing cleaning; we brought in a supply of PPEs and defined new uses and routines. The return to the offices began gradually on June 8, in small groups that are being incorporated each week. This makes it easier to acquire the new health safety habits.
Q. What is the big lesson you would draw from this experience?
A. We have successfully passed the first surprise exam of digitalisation. Now we need to continue implementing tools and processes that further enhance our ability to efficiently turn around complicated situations such as the one experienced.