#WayForward with Patrick Mathers, CEO VSHN, Zurich, Switzerland

In the #WayForward series, CEOs tell us what’s on their mind in coronavirus times. Read how Patrick Mathers, CEO VSHN, sees things.

Patrick Mathers #WayForward visual

I’m still not sleeping too well – even though we didn’t experience a financial impact so far. Our business as a Managed IT Service Provider is solid and the worst-case scenario of our updated risk analysis shows a revenue drop of 25%.

Many of us are masters of the home office but, nevertheless, my biggest concern is with our team of 42. Not all of them address the new situation with the same ease. We appointed a “Remote Advocate”, Adrian, in order to help other team members get to a good start at their home offices. Michèle, our Head of HR, sent everyone a small plant for us to foster and bring back to the office once the situation calms down. In the meantime, our plants have become an emotional topic of many conversations.

My most important tips for CEOs:
a) Trust your employees. There is no alternative.
b) Look after your employees. Especially now, they need to feel safe and secure.

As we can only meet each other online, we look for tiny signals that someone might need assistance. We try to listen very carefully, read between the lines and offer help when needed.

Patrick on the Swiss government: “My biggest worries stopped when I saw how swiftly and unbureaucratically the Swiss government acted right at the beginning of the lockdown. In my opinion, this is very important for the Swiss economy and it affects us as well, of course. Biased as I may be due to the fact that my mother is a politician, the reaction of the Swiss government in this current crisis confirms my deeply rooted belief in them and I’m very glad that the system continues to run even under such extreme conditions.”

Patrick on onboarding employees: “New staff will start working with us as of May. Truthfully, I don’t know yet how we’re going to onboard them exactly. Some things we do have to take almost day by day.”

Patrick on reading the news: “It might improve my sleep if I wouldn’t read the daily news updates. On the other hand, I want to stay informed and I’m especially interested in learning how other businesses deal with the challenges posed by the home office. How do the staff members not fall into a bore-out at home and how do others handle the “home office hype cycle”? As said before, the well-being of our employees is key.”

#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.