These days, „When will we get back to normal?” is the first question that makes its way through every conversation and it’s totally understandable. The truth is, that we will get back to normal someday, but we will not be the same people we were before the pandemic started. We will be more understanding, kind, considerate and eager to lend a helping hand.
We were curious about our colleagues’ thoughts on this period and we asked Andrei Ilovan, Financial Services & Advisory Consultant, some questions regarding the current context.
Q. What were your first thoughts on the COVID-19?
I heard about this new virus and the impact it would have on China and potentially on humanity during the winter holidays, when I was enjoying my free time and maybe I didn't pay much attention to this information. The first thought that came to my mind was „surely it can't happen to us”. Time passed, the situation worsened and I began to reconsider my thoughts and fears about this virus. In the end, I am grateful that I, my colleagues, friends and family members have stayed safe and healthy during this time.
Q: How did you manage to work from home? Did you find it difficult or did you enjoy it more?
Working from home has been a challenge from the beginning. It all happened very quickly and we were probably not very well prepared for this change. In my experience of almost two years within Mazars, I never thought that months of work from home would follow. But over time, things started to get better and better. We managed, together with the rest of the team members, to complete another audit season (perhaps much more complicated than the last one) and to have clients for whom we did the audit mission entirely in isolation. From my point of view, technology is the most important asset of this period and work regime, which has facilitated our mission and favored us to maintain a close relationship with our colleagues and clients. Personally, I tried to keep the rhythm and daily routine I was used to (even if I skipped the time spent in the infernal traffic of the capital and the crowded subway) and one of the rooms of the house turned into my personal office, an office from which I work in for 4 months now. I have always considered that high quality work can be done from anywhere, as long as you love what you do, so it was not difficult for me to go through this period.
Q: How did you spend your free time?
I recently completed my master's degree studies, so my free time during this period was mostly occupied with the elaboration of the dissertation project and the preparation of the final exams. In the short moments when I really had free time, I spent it binge watching movies and tv shows or enjoying some fresh air in the backyard, where the ping-pong table became an important "member" of the family, when the weather allowed us to play.
Q: What would you have done differently in the current context and what do you think is the best way to go through the next period?
As I said, the period in which I worked from home and which seems to continue in the second part of the summer, was a great challenge for all of us but I do not know if I would do something different, being satisfied with the approach I have had. We cannot be sure of everything that awaits us in the next period, but the things we have learned in recent months can help us: the protection and prevention through personal hygiene and social distancing can save our lives, maintaining a high level of optimism helps us to overcome any difficult period and the awareness of the need to save little by little in periods without difficulties can make us easily get over moments of economic instability and the worry of tomorrow.