#WayForward with Vladimira Scheidegger, CEO URBANescape, Zurich, Switzerland

In the #WayForward series, CEOs tell us what’s on their mind in coronavirus times. Read how Vladimira Scheidegger, CEO of URBANescape, sees things.

photograph of Vladimira Scheidegger, CEO URBANescape

We had to shut down for 3 months and also cancel all our upcoming events. Out of 17 team members, most are freelance and 5 are full-time employees, so quite flexible. We are now back up and running but the situation has changed radically since pre-covid times. Companies still need our services but delivered differently.

During the lockdown, we developed an app that allows us to deliver our services in a manner adapted to life during a pandemic. For example, all activities are outside and designed also for smaller groups, and are mindful of future restrictions.

Going ahead, I think it is important for CEOs to rethink their product and business model and to do so quickly. COVID has changed the game, inside and out of the company. The lockdown has shown employees enjoy the independence of working from home which can be detrimental to team spirit. That’s why CEOs need to search for the right balance and ways to keep that team spirit alive.

Vladimira had some extra insight that she shared on LinkedIn:

on making the most of the lockdown: “I not only took this time to develop a new product but also to optimize our processes. I looked back at every aspect of the company and for areas I could streamline. I reduced and optimized team members’ work down to 70/80%. I also looked at our marketing, what worked and what didn’t, and now we only stick to what we know actually works.”

on why people like to work from home: “People have discovered that they really enjoy the sense of independence they get from working at home, without feeling controlled. This sense of being responsible for their own work is very empowering. CEOs should embrace this but also be mindful about the impact of team members not seeing each other for longer periods of time. Teams will have to be brought together, out of their homes, to refresh the sense of togetherness.”

#WayForward Table Of Contents: Click here to get to the #WayForward series’ Table of Contents with all the posts we did with CEOs plus recordings of media events where the WayForward insights are discussed.