Outsourcing&More #53 July-August 2020

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Created by Pro Progressio


No. 4 (53) | July–August 2020 ISSN 2083-8867 PRICE EUR 6 (INCL. 8% VAT)




Healthy management during the pandemic |page 14

Never waste a good crisis |page 56

Home office: a new professional standard? |page 86

It always seems impossible until it’s done. Want to get the right people on the bus? It’s high time to get in touch. Find out more at devire.pl

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Created by Pro Progressio

Editor-in-chief Dymitr Doktór dymitr.doktor@proprogressio.pl Managing editor Katarzyna Czylok-Dąbrowska katarzyna.czylok@proprogressio.pl DTP Iwona Nowakowska Advertising reklama@proprogressio.pl Published by PRO PROGRESSIO NOTE: new editorial office address ul. Dziekońskiego 1 00-728 Warszawa www.proprogressio.pl

P: +48 22 213 02 45 F: +48 22 213 02 49 editor@proprogressio.pl Print Drukarnia Jantar Legal support Chudzik i Wspólnicy An electronic version of the Magazine see the website www.proprogressio.pl Selected photos come from shutterstock.com website. Circulation 3,000 copies All rights reserved. No copying, reproduction or photocopying allowed without written consent of the publisher. The views expressed in this publication as well as the content of the adverts are not necessarily those of the editor.

Dear Readers, It was an unusual half-year dominated by remote work and completely new business realities experienced by the outsourcing industry, shared service centers and many other sectors of the economy. The leading theme for the last four months has been the COVID-19, but the world is back on track and is increasingly focusing on other themes, strate­ gies and policies. I invite you to read the July edition of Outsourcing&More, in which this time we focused on a number of interesting topics. Our main topic is the commentary of Adam Krasoń, Presi­dent of PwC, on the new normality, together with reference to the lessons given to us by the pandemic but also opportunities for the outsourcing sector. In this issue we have focused on the topic of digitization, which has already become a part of recruitment processes – Beata Pucyk from Devire writes about it. This is not the only digital staffing topic, as it is continued by Katarzyna Adamczewska from Digital Teammates, who talks about employing Robot Shepherds. The subject of digitization is complemented by an article by Łukasz Targoszyński from Baker McKenzie devoted to a qualified electronic signature. We have also started a new cycle of stories written by Elias van Herwaarden, a great BSS expert and tutor at business schools. In his first story Elias together with Sunny Hindwani comments on perspectives for BSS regions and cities.


We publish much more articles, interviews and industry news. I hope that they will be an interesting holiday reading for you. Authors: Mateusz Chudzik • Iga Marcinkowska • Łukasz Targoszyński • Izabela Puchalska • Karol Popa • Łukasz Włodyga • Grzegorz Dyląg • Konrad Krusiewicz • Adam Krasoń • Mirella Piwiszkis • Anna Jastrząb • Katarzyna Pihan • Marcin Łukasik • Tomasz Bereźnicki • Béla Kakuk • Laura Kavaliauskaite • Mariia Poliova • Elias van Herwaarden • Sunny Hindwani • Stephan Fricke • Łukasz Goś • Anna Mielczarek • Bartosz Wojtasiak • Paweł Wierzbicki • Magdalena Furs • Kasia Adamczewska

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Dymitr Doktór Editor in Chief




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On-line events

The rebus sic stantibus clause as a solution for tenants in times of epidemics? Pacta sunt servanda (Latin: contracts have to be kept).

Paperless governance – tradition against modernity World was already moving towards an ever deeper digitization of various aspects of life.

Healthy management during the pandemic Quoting the Times: “The coronavirus outbreak has become the world’s largest work-from-home experiment”.

The Safe Six: how to prepare for the return to the office in six easy steps How can real estate owners, employers and employees prepare for the return?

Office in the COVID-19 era In the opinion of arch. Konrad Krusiewicz, founder of The Design Group, nothing will replace the work platform being an office and the opportunity to meet “face to face”.

HOT STORY Accelerating transformation in the New Normal When estimating the economic fallout we still can’t assess the risk of damage from the second wave of infections.

New culture of sales What matters now?

Case study: 5 minutes a day to becoming a better leader Until very recently, the possibility to work from home was a rare perk.

Pandemic deal – contact centre industry response to COVID-19 Early March 2020 will be remembered for more than medical reasons only.

Why do we so often tend to forget about employee development? Nowadays, employees have the power to decide the value of an organization and hence constitute the most important component of its capital.

Flexible, although stationary Market changes and employees’ expectations more often create the need of modernizing our employment system.

Our DNA lies in business process improvements An interview with Béla Kakuk, CEO, Partner in BPiON.

INVESTMENTS NEWS Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

52 54 56 58 60 62 66 70 74 78 80 82 84 86 90 Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Lithuania’s Business Services Report: measuring the pulse of the industry This article is based on our annual report, which has been a great resource to combine all the knowledge we have on our increasingly complex sector.

IT Community Response to COVID-19: The Case of Lviv Not only global giants but also local enterprises are stepping in to resolve the economic crisis induced by COVID-19.

Never waste a good crisis Perspectives for BSS regions and cities by Elias van Herwaarden and Sunny Hindwani.

Adaption of Process Automation in Germany and the effects of economic changes caused by COVID-19 pandemic Let this be not another COVID-19 pandemic article, please…

Changes in the city center. A new dimension of Kielce Downtown City centers are special districts – they are the areas with the largest concentration of city-wide functions, enjoyed by residents of all other districts as well as external guests.

Remote work and recruitment during the pandemic – how we manage in Poznań Poznań’s modern service centres, as well as Poznań City Hall, have rapidly adapted to the new reality.

Office market in Lublin entering new phase For many years, the office market in Lublin has been mainly driven by the IT sector, which maintains a high growth rate.

Mobilization campaign – about the experiences of Bydgoszcz in the pandemic era How did the Bydgoszcz BPO/SSC market react to the pandemic?

It is being built! In Częstochowa developers and architects are still working, despite the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Łódź on the right track It is getting better every year.

AI would have written a better text – Artificial Intelligence in Pomerania Yes, this text could have already been generated automatically.

HR NEWS The role of the CFO in the digital era The role of the CFO has evolved dynamically recently, both in the competences sought in candidates and their scope of duties.

Home office: a new professional standard? Will home office remain with us for good?

HR department on the front line Interview with Kasia Adamczewska, HR Manager, Digital Teammates.


BUSINESS NEWS PRO PROGRESSIO HAS A NEW WEBSITE Pro Progressio, an organization supporting the development of the outsourcing and modern business services sector in Poland, has launched its new website. The new site contains all information about the activities carried out by Pro Progressio and the Pro Progressio Foundation. The organization has provided a full list of its reports and detailed information on a number of business initiatives it has been dealing with since its start on December 2012. Internet users visiting the website can learn about the activities of the Pro Progressio Club, the BSS Tour series of events, the Outsourcing Stars Gala as well as about the media published by Pro Progressio. New page is available at proprogressio.pl web address.

WEBINARS FROM LEANPASSION A series of free, comprehensive webinars organized by Leanpasssion launched in July. The last three meetings gathered an audience of 1,200 people, therefore, at our participants’ special request we have prepared the following interesting topics.

the study it will be possible to assess how deep the changes evoked by the crisis were and why some companies will survive, and others won’t.

We will also compare the situation in organizations in 2019 with the new reality. The first webinar took place on 1.07.2020. We will show how employees’ expectaThe second online meeting will take place tions towards the employer and leader on 27.08.2020. have changed. In our research we will examine the job market dynamics and try We will present the newest results of to determine whether and to what extent the 2020 nation-wide study on job satis- it’s not an employee market any more. faction in Poland which was conducted right after the pandemic restrictions had To get more information and register, visit: been lifted. With the current edition of www.leanpassion.com/webinary.


Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

CLARO – A NEW OFFICE CHAIR IN THE KINNARPS OFFER – BRILLIANT IN ITS SIMPLICITY Belonging to the Kinnarps group, the Drabert brand, known for excellent ergonomic solutions and thoughtful details, launches a new model of office chair. Brilliant in its simplicity, swivel chair Claro is a comprehensive solution for most workplaces. Claro is ingenious in its simplicity – a universal solution for modern workplaces, it works just as well as an office chair as a chair for project and meeting rooms. Thanks to ergonomics and modern design, it is perfect for projects that require the best value for money in addition to such functional features as flexibility and durability.

– I like the economic advantage of the Claro chair. It does not only offer the best price for a fully functional and ergonomic task chair, it’s the flexibility as well, that makes Claro really attractive for cost-savers – says Martin Henschel, International Product Manager at Kinnarps AB. The Claro task chair is available with three different backs. Mesh, cover for mesh back and fully upholstered. The removable back cover available in several colours is a unique feature of the Claro series, which creates many attractive and environmentally friendly applications. – The option to buy Claro mesh back together with the fabric cover gives more freedom and flexibility to the users. You can use the chair with breathable mesh back or easily change to the cover that offers colour and warm comfort. "Just right" has never been so inspiring! – stresses Martin Henschel. The ergonomic and intuitive design of the Claro office chair created for hours of work in concentration. Claro is equipped with Synchrone™ mechanism with SafeBack function for smooth tilting of the seat and back. Adjustable tilting resistance and back lock in four positions. When you select the fully upholstered option, the back height adjusted as well.

You can adjust the height and depth of the seat, as well as the height of the backrest in the fully upholstered version. In the model with mesh back the lumbar rest can be adjusted for extra support of the lower back. Both backrest options – mesh and upholstered – have an option with a black headrest with adjustable height and depth. The headrest can be equipped with a coat hanger for storing jackets at the chair’s back. Armrests are available as options. You can choose between two different designs: 1D, which is height adjustable or 3D, which is height adjustable and with an armrest pad, that moves forward, backward and turn. Environmental benefits were also key factors when designing Claro. The chair is made of reusable materials, and the ability to install additional accessories and replace them increases its durability. Read more at:

DEVELOP YOURSELF AND YOUR EMPLOYEES – BPP IS OFFERING A NEW RANGE OF ONLINE CONTENT BPP is international training company, that has been shaping educational landscape for over 40 years now (operating for over 20 years in Poland too). Broad knowledge, experience and reliability makes them an educational partner – not just a tuition provider. They will help you develop the necessary skills in a fastpaced business environment.

skills and/or people skills modules. All courses are delivered in English, which can also be treated as additional language training. Examples of course modules include: Budgeting for beginners, An introduction to IFRS, An introduction to investment banking, Formation of a contract of employment, Shared service provision, Process excellence, Commercial skills for finance professionals, Time manageBPP is offering a new range of pre-­ ment for professionals. With such a variety -recorded online content which can be of topics you can be sure you will find ordered separately or in a personalised something for yourself. course pack. With over 160 modules in the offer you can choose from technical The flexibility that a comprehensive and finance topics, business and leadership library of online content gives you (with

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 12 months) makes it a perfect solution for both yourself and your team, no matter where employees are located. Each member of the team can have access to the same course modules or can have a unique selection of topics tailored to their needs. This is entirely up to you to decide what suits your needs best. Having additional questions or wanting to know more? www.bpp.pl Familiarize yourself with the full offer or contact BPP’s client advisor.



ON-LINE EVENTS EVERYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT AUTOMATION BUT YOU’RE AFRAID TO ASK – Everything you’d like to know about automation but you’re afraid to ask – was the motto of the recent webinar series about Robotic Process Automation, hosted by experts at Digital Teammates and their guests.

At the end of June Digital Teammates was hosting a webinar about challenges and digital transformation within the BSS sector, with Wiktor Doktór as our guest. After each webinar attendees receive additional materials which they can later use, e.g. to identify the automation potenIn April we explained which business tial in their departments. processes are the best picks for automation and what criteria you can use to find – Webinars are an accessible form suitable processes in your team. In May of sharing our knowledge as well as an the webinar focused on the cooperation excellent opportunity for attendees to ask between IT and business teams. We also questions for which they haven’t found discussed how to implement automa- satisfying answers so far – says Mariusz tion so that it doesn’t burden IT teams. Pultyn, CTO at Digital Teammates. – Due


to the participation of such guest speakers as Dominika Kaczorowska-Spychalska, PhD (Centre Mixer of Smart Technologies, Faculty of Management, University of Lodz) or Joanna Jaranowska (Atlas), our webinars are a place where we can exchange insights regarding practical automation use and the digital future of business. All webinars can be accessed (in Polish) at our website: www.dtmates.com/blog/ Follow Digital Teammates on LinkedIn to stay tuned for our next events and content: www.linkedin.com/company/dtmates.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

HOW TO MANAGE EFFECTIVELY WHEN THE TIMES ARE HARD? – It can be acknowledged that in sport there is a permanent crisis. It’s always hard. The competition between teams or players creates a constant state of crisis for the sportsmen. Whoever’s the quickest and best at adapting to the current situation, wins – says Łukasz Kruczek, asked by Radek Drzewiecki about how to manage in times of crisis. On 11 May 2020 Leanpassion organized a webinar with a coach for the Poland women’s ski team. There were many inte­­ res­ting questions asked and even more valuable tips shared on how a sports coach can use changing circumstances to gain competitive advantage. Łukasz Kruczek listed three most important tasks of a coach which every leader should remember about. A trainer is always present where the process takes place. The more engaged he is, the more time he spends with the player, the better their cooperation will be. A trainer is a role model for the player, and he should be the one who inspires to take action.

A trainer should listen more and appreciate The participants could see that each the information the player shares with him. element of the process can be improved when you focus on elements such as: fact In the second part of the meeting, Radek analysis, continuous experimenting, or Drzewiecki presented how you can create problem solving. More inspiring meetings one leadership standard using Leadership coming soon! 734 methodology.

RETAIL SECTOR IN THE NEW REALITY Shopping centres were reopened on 4 May 2020. Without doubt, this is excellent news for both landlords and tenants, but the ongoing pandemic will have an enormous impact on the entire retail industry. Sylwia Wiszowata-Łazarz and Joanna Kłusek from global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield talked about the current market situation, changing consumer habits and what steps to take to ensure a safe return of shoppers to stores during the webinar “Disconnect to Reconnect. About retail in the new reality.”

restrictions. Shopping centres were reopened on 4 May, but on new conditions.

changes to shopping patterns. Looking ahead, bankruptcies and restructuring processes of some tenants are also likely.

– It is critical that new restrictions are adhered to because buildings failing to meet them risk being closed. Giving customers a sense of safety should be a priority for both landlords and tenants – said Joanna Kłusek, Partner, Retail Asset Services, Cushman & Wakefield.

Sylwia Wiszowata-Łazarz, Associate Director, Poland Asset Services EMEA, talked about the evolution of customer behaviour. The pre-pandemic world was notable for its over-optimism spurred by the improving quality of life. Today, consumers put safety first and buy mainly Cushman & Wakefield’s experts also talked essentials. Adjustment of long-term about an outlook for the immediate future. communication strategies to the changing A notable retail market trend has been needs and expectations of customers is key Retail and many other sectors were hit a high growth in online orders. Regrettably, to success of property owners and shophard across Poland by the declaration the current situation has led to a signifi- ping centre tenants. The focus should now of the state of an epidemic and ensuing cant fall in shopping centre footfall and be primarily on building a sense of safety, clear and transparent communications, and activities that will bolster sales. The meeting was held as part of a series of webinars organised by Cushman & Wakefield. To access the webcast, please click:

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020




Pacta sunt servanda (Latin: contracts have to be kept) – one of the iron laws derived from the Roman law which aims to ensure stability and security of trade and to oblige those who have concluded a valid contract to comply with its provisions. A question arises, however, what if an un­­­expected change in the legal and economic environment makes the fulfilment of the obligations by the entrepreneur excessively difficult or even threatens to cause a gross loss to him or her? Does the law regulate situations where, due to a worldwide pandemic and restrictions imposed, an entrepreneur is obliged to close a restaurant or a store, and despite the fact that they cannot actually use the premises the landlord calls for payment of the rent? The answer to these questions, under certain conditions, may be the clause on an extraordinary change of relationship (art. 3571 of the Civil Code).

the parties must be of an extraordinary nature and must result in an excessive difficulty in performance of the obligation or threaten with a gross loss (which the parties could not have foreseen when concluding the contract).

not yet result in the possibility of interfering with the content of the obligation. It is essential that this extraordinary change of relationship occurs after the obligation has arisen, but before it expires. The consequences of an epidemic and the legal and economic changes that it entails can therefore be invoked before the claim is due, but the consequences of the changes in question must lead to excessive difficulties in fulfilling the obligation or to the risk of serious loss for one of the parties.

FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE IS AVAILABLE ONLY IN PAPER EDITION OF OUTSOURCING&MORE The concept of an extraordinary change MAGAZINE OR ON THE WEBSITE. of relationship has no legal definition, and the doctrine and case law have not developed a uniform view of its meaning. However, the "change of relationship" undoubtedly highlights the need to compare the conditions under which the contract was concluded to those under which it is performed. The change should be an unlikely event of exceptional nature, quite unprecedented. Such events may include various natural disasters, martial law, general strike and even epidemics. The changes linked to the COVID-19 epidemic are also of an exceptional nature and their legal and economic consequences may justify the application of Article 3571 of the Civil Code.

An excessive difficulty can be said to exist when an obligation can be fulfilled but, due to the occurring extraordinary changes, it shall require special, The institution of an extraordinary change burdensome, financially hazardous or of relationship provides for the possieven completely unreasonable efforts. The threat of a gross loss, on the other bility to alter the way an obligation is hand, is an above-average imbalance performed, to change its amount, and between the parties' obligations, incomeven to terminate the contract. However, patible with the notions of equity or certain conditions must be met. It should be noted that the institution in quesjustice. Yet is should be remembered tion applies only to contractual oblithat temporary financial problems neither constitute excessive difficulties gations, e.g. ones arising from a sale, lease or rental contract. Additionally, The COVID-19 epidemic itself, even in in fulfilling an obligation nor pose a threat the change in the relationship between the event of a deep economic crisis, does of a gross loss.


Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

The threat of a gross loss is an above-average imbalance between the parties' obligations, incompatible with the notions of equity or justice. Yet is should be remembered that temporary financial problems neither constitute excessive difficulties in fulfilling an obligation nor pose a threat of a gross loss.

The implementation of the rebus sic stantibus clause may be effected by bringing an action for the reshaping of the obligation (obligation change or termination). It should be borne in mind, however, that the court shall not be bound by the demands of the parties to the proceedings, and decisions to interfere in the shape of the relationship shall be taken independently of their will, after the interests of the parties have been thoroughly considered, and in accordance with the principles of social coexistence. The court ruling may reshape the relationship of obligation between the parties by altering the method of performance, changing its amount or even cancelling the relationship of obligation (termination of the contract).

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Translating the above into the opening question on the situation of entrepreneurs who, due to the restrictions related to the introduced state of the epidemic, have closed their restaurants, stores or workplaces and do not have an actual possibility to use the leased premises, it should be concluded that they may apply to the court to reshape the relationship of obligation.

by solutions introduced by the anticrisis shield. The application of regulations concerning the expiry of mutual obligations under lease, tenancy and similar contracts concluded for facilities whose area exceeds 2,000 m2 may prove to be a simpler solution, although it should be noted that the introduced regulations raise controversy and interpretation problems.

However, it is important for the claimant This, however, is a topic for a separate to argue that the lease agreement was article.  concluded at a time when the parties could not have foreseen the risk associa­ted with the introduction of the state Authors: of epidemic. The impact of this situation on the business and the extremely onerous, above-average difficulties in fulfilling the obligation to pay the rent Mateusz Chudzik, must be demonstrated. For example, attorney-at-law the claim may include a request to in the Law Firm “Chudzik i Wspólnicy change the amount of rent (and other Radcowie Prawni” contractually agreed fees), suspend its sp.p. www.chudzik.pl payment, spread the maturities, or even terminate the contract. On the other hand, regardless of the discussed institution of an extraordinary change in relations, before a decision is made to institute the discussed pro­­ ceedings, we should verify whether we are not among the entities protected

Iga Marcinkowska, trainee lawyer in the Law Firm “Chudzik i Wspólnicy Radcowie Prawni” sp.p. www.chudzik.pl




Although the world was already moving towards an ever deeper digitization of various aspects of life, there is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has unexpectedly moved us to a new reality in which most of us work remotely, with no opportunity to meet with colleagues or business partners. At the same time, companies are also trying to operate as normally as possible in these times and conduct their businesses in accordance with the applicable law. So how do we cope if we have to sign a new agreement or take any corporate action that cannot wait until we return to the office, or if the persons authorized


to represent a company are permanently abroad? Is it necessary to sign all documents with a wet signature in the current era of technological development and state of legislation?

the Polish legislator aimed at building public trust in the online environment and legal acts performed remotely, which is crucial for further economic development. The next step was to gradually introduce solutions digiRecently, we could observe some talizing legal acts into the Polish activity of both the European Union and legal order.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

The qualified electronic signature was already recognized as a form equivalent to a wet signature in September 2016. Thus, if written form is required under the law or provisions of a contract to perform a given act, then we are not committed to signing such documents in the traditional form with a wet signature, but we can do it by using a qualified electronic signature.

It is worth noting that some of the digital solutions were already available before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, but in practice, a strong attachment to traditional forms of legal acts could be observed. One of such examples is the qualified electronic signa­ ture, which was already recognized as a form equivalent to a wet signature in September 2016. Thus, if written form is required under the law or provisions of a contract to perform a given act (e.g. signing a new contract or concluding an annex to an existing contract), then we are not committed to signing such documents in the traditional form with a wet signature, but we can do it by using a qualified electronic signature, regardless of whether we are in Poland or anywhere else in the world, in the office or outside the office, using only a computer with an appropriate software. This solution is especially practical considering that, with the introduction of the obligation to electronically prepare and sign company financial statements, most management board members already have such a qualified electronic signatures that can be used to perform other legal transactions in a digital way. What is important, electronic signatures that are not qualified electronic signatures (namely, electronic signatures without a qualified certificate) can also be used to sign documents, but it should be noted that they are not equivalent to a wet signature and therefore can only be used to sign documents for which the document form is sufficient. However, it is sometimes the case that, despite the fact that the provisions of law allow for carrying out transactions digitally using a qualified electronic signature, one faces difficulties in practice in using it. For example, a power of attorney to perform acts in the National Court Register (NCR), which is granted and

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

signed using a qualified electronic signature, is valid and effective, but the lack of possibility to submit applications to the NCR in electronic form (other than for financial statements) makes it necessary to grant such a power of attorney in a form with a wet signature. Such situations undoubtedly result in reducing public confidence in the use of digital solutions, however, it is worth pointing out that the provisions introducing the so-called "NCR online" are to enter into force at the beginning of 2021. It is only a pity that such a solution does not function today, because it would certainly be a great facilitation in the era of social distancing for entities operating in the form of companies.

Digitalization of legal acts, especially in the field of corporate maintenance services, is not only a great facilitation in conducting day-to-day business activities, but in a situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it is a necessity without which many companies would not be able to operate normally.

Will the use of digital solutions be possible for us also when the situation returns to normal? It seems so, because the pandemic has forced a break with traditional thinking about signing documents and has made many companies to open to the possibilities of technologies that allow them to sign documents and perform corporate activities regardless of where we live (which would otherwise The coronavirus pandemic, on the other take a long time). Companies that attach hand, was an impulse for the legislator importance to environmental protection, to introduce quickly new digital solu- as they will contribute to the reduction tions in the area of corporate services of paper consumption and transport for companies. Currently, with the reser- (which is often international) of physically vation that the articles of association signed documents, will also welcome of a company do not provide for stricter such opportunities. requirements, meetings of the management board or the supervisory boardand shareholders' meetings may be held using means of direct remote communication (e.g. teleconference), which Authors: should be reflected in the minutes of such a meeting. Additionally, company's governing bodies may also use the possibility to adopt resolutions in writing. Resolutions adopted under one of the above procedures, may be signed Łukasz using a qualified electronic signature, Targoszyński, if they do not have to be subsequently Attorney-at-law, Baker McKenzie submitted to the NCR. This is undoubtedly a very big facilitation in managing companies, especially for global corporations, as it gives them an opportunity to make decisions, in a short time and no matter where the members of a given company body are at the moment, Izabela by means of electronic communication or Puchalska, by means of a written resolution, without Lawyer, Baker McKenzie the need to hold a physical meeting.



HEALTHY MANAGEMENT DURING THE PANDEMIC Quoting the Times: “The coronavirus outbreak has become the world’s largest work-from-home experiment”. Will these changes do more harm than good? Will work return to the office? Will the way of communication change permanently? We do not yet know the answers to these and many other questions, but today we canvas the condition of management methods used in our organizations with great precision. An epidemic, like litmus paper, has shown how healthy our attitude to lead people and teams. If it wasn't for the pandemic, we would have not seen probably all the diseases of our "management organ" in such a short time. The truth is, it doesn't matter if the work is done in the office or from home. If the organizations use good management methods, they will also work during a pandemic. The role of the manager does not depend on the circumstances in which it occurs. Quoting Peter Drucker: To be sure, management is about human beings and the fundamental task of management remains the same: to make people capable of joint performance, to make their strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.


Therefore, three fundamental manage­ ment principles such as: 1. Making people capable of joint performance. 2. Forming their strengths effectively. 3. Rendering their weaknesses irrelevant.

should translate the organization’s goals into tasks for team members.

Managers must set the right performance expectations, hold employees accountable to those expectations and help each team member use their talents to It remains unchanged regardless of learn, grow and improve performance. the cir­­­­­­­cumstances in which they occur. Managers should also measure the right Let's consider them in turn and, see if we outcomes and provide feedback and use them properly also during a pandemic. direction that helps their employees In order to make a team capable of joint and teams make the right decisions and performance, you must first set a goal. be responsive. Specifically, importance and inspiration to act: Does your organi­zation set such The OKR method (short for Objectives goals and communicate them properly? and Key Results) is helpful in this regard. The OKR method supports the setting Gallup research shows that more than of proper goals in the organization and half of employees don't know what is supports their achievement. The method expected of them at work! If they do not was created by Andy Grove at Intel and know this while working in the office, boils down to two key areas: where they have direct and frequent 1. OBJECTIVES: Objectives are memocontact with their superiors, then the siturable qualitative descriptions of what ation will only worsen when they move you want to achieve. Objectives should to remote work. be short, inspirational and engaging. An Objective should motivate and chalSetting the right goals is the role of lenge the team. the managers. They should correctly 2. KEY RESULTS: What must happen in define the tasks and create conditions order for the goal to be considered a success? for their implementation. Then they

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

While the pandemic won't be an issue forever, remote work will be. What you learn about managing now will likely become best practice for you later on.

Key Results are a set of metrics that mea­­ sure your progress towards the Objective. Generally reaching your targets has to describe both what you will achieve and how you are going to attain your goals. The key point here is measurment, since measurement is what makes a goal to be described as an accomplishment. Without it, you do not have a goal and all you have is a desire or an intent. The fundamentals of the system are transparency, alignment of the goals of all people in the organization, and measurability of task implementation. These features are especially useful in times of a pandemic when most people work remotely.

Measuring progress in achieving goals helps everyone stay on track. Key Results are the measures of success. They are goal achievement indicators. They show the extent to which the goal has been achieved. 100% achievement of all Key Results should be synonymous with achieving the goal. What must happen in order to objectively recognize that the goal has been achieved? Measures of success answer this question. Key Result should be: 1. Measurable, 2. Verifiable, 3. Specific, 4. Time bound, 5. Aggresive yet realistic.

Transparency means that everyone can see what tasks other team members perform and see their progress. There is no problem with vague expectations, because everyone knows what to do.

Key Results have to be quantitative and measurable. For each Objective, you should have a set of 2 to 5 Key Results. More than that and no one will remember them. You need to choose those which implement guarantees in achieving The primary purpose of OKR is to create your goals. alignment in the organization. To do so, OKRs are public to all company levels – When do we know that we have set good everyone has access to everyone else’s Key Results, good measures of success? OKRs. The CEO’s OKRs usually are available We know this when the measures on the Intranet. reflect the achievement of the goal. If all

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



"indicators" are 100% completed, then the goal has been achieved. The indicators should show if your actions are heading towards the final goal. In practice, checking the extent to which tasks are carried out boils down to a weekly meeting at which the "owners" of Key Results present to the rest of the team what progress has been made, say whether everything is going as planned and whether new circumstances have emerged that require a change of approach. Harnessing team members' strengths. Do your managers know their employees strengths? Are tasks assigned according to this knowledge? Managers must identify what excites, engages and motivates each team member and then individualize their approach accordingly. They should know how to praise and teach each employee individually. As Drucker said, a good manager should know the strengths and talents of everyone in the team. Such a manager can predict how each employee will behave in a new situation. Companies that use Gallup talent methodologies are fully aware of this. The Gallup Institute, for the last 40 years, has conducted systematic research on successful people. Over 2 million interviews were conducted with the best lawyers, doctors, athletes and journa­ lists. Gallup wondered what made all these people achieve perfection in their field. The results of these studies show that the best of them were able to make the most of their talents.

Talent is often referred to as a natural predisposition. As an innate ability. Itcan be said that talent is any recurring pattern of thinking, feeling or behavior that can be used positively. How to discover one’s individual talents? This can be done with the help of tools created by Gallup. Just go to the institute's website, buy an online test and after less than an hour gain access to the full range of 34 talents. While we realize that every person has unique characteristics and preferences that differentiate them from others, in reality, very few managers pay much attention to this important insight. It’s not until we intentionally consider people’s talents and the amazing intricacies on how individuals naturally think, feel and behave that we understand how truly unique everyone is. Everybody has specific sets of natural talent and ability. When managers can call on each individual talent, they can become their greatest source of fulfillment – employees become more confident, happy, energetic and likely to achieve their goals. The strongest talents of each employee show the person's needs. It is a huge advantage in healthy management. Especially if we think about the fact that during a pandemic personal contact with each employee is limited or even non-existent!

The "one size fit all" approach always fails. Individualisation is the key to healthy management. The best managers always show an individual approach to Analyzing the research results, the Gallup their team. The manager must know Institute distilled 34 talents describing under what conditions individual team the innate abilities of successful people. members work best and how it translates In this view, talent is a natural, repetitive into remote work. They need to know pattern of thinking, feeling or behavior. what emotions the situation creates,


and how these emotions affect the performance of tasks by employees. Each manager can ask a few simple questions, thanks to which he will begin to identify the strengths of employees and what motivates them. 1. What was the best day at work you’ve had in the last three months? • what were you doing? • why did you enjoy it so much? 2. What was your worst day in the last three months? • what were you doing? • why did it grate on you so much? 3. What was the best relationship with a manager you’ve ever had? • what made it work so well? 4. What was the best positive recognition you’ve ever received? • what made it so good? 5. When in your career do you think you were learning the most? • why did you learn so much? • what’s the best way for you to learn? The third element of healthy manage­ ment is the creation of conditions in which the weaknesses of team members are irrelevant from the point of view of the organization's operation. Do your team members' weaknesses block finishing tasks? Is your organization focused on correcting weaknesses? It’s in our nature to critique ourselves. Often when people consider their own growth and development, their first instinct is to look for mistakes and opportunities for improvement. They focus on the steps they miss, the skills they lack or the information they get wrong. The conventional approach to develop­ ment appears logical and simple: 1. Identify areas that need improvement, and 2. Develop an improvement plan.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Gallup research shows that more than half of employees don't know what is expected of them at work! If they do not know this while working in the office, where they have direct and frequent contact with their superiors, then the situation will only worsen when they move to remote work.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



It’s in our nature to critique ourselves. Often when people consider their own growth and development, their first instinct is to look for mistakes and opportunities for improvement. They focus on the steps they miss, the skills they lack or the information they get wrong.


Focusing organisations energy on getting better at the things people struggle with seems like a common-sense approach. It seems logical that improving proble­ matic areas will result in increased success and performance excellence. But that is not the case.

method to gain traction. Managers can make a point of closing meetings by asking someone for feedback to show people how it's done. Employees could do the same on a rotating basis.


Where does your organization fit into this Real growth is about incrementally layout? Do your employees know their improving great performance, expanding goals and do they use their strengths to people knowledge or to understand your achieve them? workforce at a deeper level. The most effective way to learn, grow and achieve It is worth considering these aspects exceptional performance is to invest of management, especially that a large in employees great talents’: In ways, part of the changes that are happening in which they feel comfortable and now may turn out to be permanent. behave professionally. Gallup found that the number of remote Implement (OKR) strategies, so that your workers grew by four percentage points workforce weaknesses do not affect between 2012 and 2016, that workers are spending more time with home office your results. than ever before, and that more and more Employees who are used to working in industries are putting remote work polithe office may feel cut off from resources, cies in place. information, or relationships they need to do their job well during a pandemic. That That percentage is about to explode, is why it is very important to ensure good whether companies are prepared for it communication in teams and to provide or not. So, if you have to send people employees with continuous feedback home to keep them safe, individualise, communicate and set expectations so on the effects of their work. your managers can manage effectively A feedback-rich environment drives busi- during a crisis. ness outcomes. Gallup research shows that having conversations about devel- However bear this in mind: While the pan­­ opment can improve employee engage- demic won't be an issue forever, remote ment, which in turn improves productivity work will be. What you learn about managing now will likely become best and profitability. practice for you later on. Despite these findings, most organizations still encourage their people to "give more feedback." This is one of the reasons that Author: only 26% of the feedback people receive are effective. This is also a sure way to create anxiety and fear in teams. Avoid that. Encourage people to ask for feedback rather than offer it. It can change the whole dynamic and boost engageKarol Popa, ment. But asking for a critique doesn't Cludo Marketing come naturally to everyone. Some workers & HR Director, might need their manager’s nudge. Certified Gallup Strengths Coach Leading by example is a time-tested

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE RETURN TO THE OFFICE IN SIX EASY STEPS A staggered reopening of the economy is already taking place and companies are beginning to plan for the return of their workforce to the workplace. How can real estate owners, employers and employees prepare for the return? How to ensure safety and productivity in the office? Łukasz Włodyga, Grzegorz Dyląg and Aleksander Szybilski from global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield answer these questions and more. Cushman & Wakefield has assisted in the return of more than a million workers to the workplace in Asia. The firm has leveraged its experience and insight to create the Recovery Readiness guide, which outlines six essentials: prepare the building, prepare the workforce, access control, a social distancing plan, reduce touch points, and communication.


– When planning this type of activities, we must not forget to ensure safety of everyone engaged in the process. This will require equipping employees with personal protective equipment and sanitizers appropriate to the tasks they will be performing – says Łukasz Włodyga, Associate Director, HSSEQ Manager, Cushman & Wakefield.

dealing with the technical aspects of reopening a building and for building users themselves.

– As regards personal protective equipment, it is worth making sure that we have sufficient supplies and our vendors are ready to replenish them. Cleaning and disinfection protocols should also be Appropriate safety measures should reviewed before reopening buildings – says be introduced both for employees Łukasz Włodyga.

Cooperation and communication with all stakeholders are key here. Safety of building users is a priority and requires close cooperation of property owners, managers and tenants. To achieve this, roles and responsibilities must be clearly defined in a jointly agreed protocol that can be safely implemented and communicated to building users. A number of various inspections, checks and appropriate procedures should be completed in all buildings before their reopening to ensure a safe work environment. This will include checking the technical condition of the buildings and all building systems, including mechanical, water, ventilation, air-conditioning and fire safety systems.


Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

personal situations should also be consi­ new habits more quickly, adapt to dered with reference to employees from the change and mitigate anxiety. a high-risk group whilst ensuring protection of their privacy. HOW TO CONTROL ACCESS? Access control is another important – Essentials in organising the return to element that largely depends on the type the office include: clear communications of occupied space. As a protocol including on safety improving measures, instructing temperature screening or other checks employees and managers on new rules and personal protective equipment, it and protocols (for instance via e-learning is strictly defined by guidelines of releplatforms), and development of a plan vant national governing authorities and of return to work that takes account of indi- will vary from country to country. What vidual circumstances of each person such is certain and common to all is that as family and health, distance to the office the focus should be on intense use areas and the need to commute by public trans- such as entry points, reception desks, port – says Aleksander Szybilski, Asso- shipping/receiving places and lifts. ciate, Workplace Strategy, Cushman & Wakefield. To control building access, it is advisable to consider how: Consider using e-learning solutions to • To limit the number of entry points to prepare the workforce for the new rules comply with the law and provide access HOW TO PREPARE before they return to the office. This will only to monitored entry points, THE WORKFORCE? help answer all – seemingly obvious – • To protect employees and visitors, Although buildings are an important part questions such as the following: • To provide floor markings for waiting of preparations, we must not forget about • What do I do upon arrival? visitors – similar solutions can be seen the workforce that will have to navigate • Where do I hang my coat? for example in retail stores, and the new reality. It is important to decide • Where is the hand sanitizer? • To position hand sanitizer stations. who returns to the office and who can • Who and where will give me a face mask? work from home. • What spaces are banned from use? Furniture used to be arranged in such • How can I use common areas such as places as lobbies in a way to encourage A range of aspects should be consi­ conference rooms? shorter distances – now it should be dered. Many people excel in home office arranged the other way round. New on account of their job positions, perso­ Such prudent communication of new methods of touchless entry/exit regisnality or living conditions. Health and protocols will help the workforce develop tration should also be considered.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



HOW TO MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING? Social distancing is part of the new reality that will stay with us for an indefinite period of time. It is already daily practice in retail stores and at petrol stations.


Although the need to reduce touch points is quite obvious, the task won’t be easy to complete. Ensuring uninterrupted supplies of cleaning and disinfection products is and will be a challenge Similar restrictions will be introduced in in this case. workplaces and may include quite simple solutions such as: – Now is a very good time to consider new technologies such as no-touch devices • Alternate desk/chair use, including printers and access control points. • Signpost the direction of foot traffic, • Keep conference room doors open It could be advisable to disable touchand arrange separate entry/exit points, screens for shared use that are frequently wherever possible, mounted near printers or by the entrance • Mark seating assignments clearly, making to a conference room. Or, alternatively, to sure people adhere to the approved provide disposable wipes nearby to disindistance rule. fect them. Another good practice is to institute a clean desk policy whereby each user Some organisations have gone further leaves a desk as it was before, or – to put and redesigned their spaces to lay it simply – empty and disinfected – says coloured fitted floor coverings marking Grzegorz Dyląg, Head of Asset Services the minimum required distance or to Business Space, Cushman & Wakefield. install plexiglass shields that separate shop assistants from customers in shops. Kitchen and food plans and protocols are another area to be certainly consi­ Other solutions worth considering dered. Other proposed solutions include include: removing unnecessary doors or mounting • Decrease office density through motion sensors that will turn lights on. schedule management, for example, through staggered work shifts where COMMUNICATION for instance 30% of the workforce is Once again, cooperation and appropresent at the same time. priate communication play an enormous • Prohibit use of small rooms or mark role. Dialogue involving all stakeholders them as small conference rooms is key to success. An appropriately for single-occupant use only. prepared return is impossible without


consultations and relevant arrangements between the building’s owner, manager, tenants and users. Workers returning to offices need to know specifi­cally how they are expected to behave, and the effectiveness of measures should be monitored to make regular adjustments as need be.

WHAT’S NEXT? The above guidance is not just theory. The new design concept SixFeet­Office is currently being tested in a real life setting at Cushman & Wakefield’s Amsterdam office, which is a testing ground for solutions. – Experience from other countries shows that the progress towards a return to normalcy will not be linear. We should very carefully assess all risks of planned decisions and activities with regard for multiple factors until we have some clarity from a medical perspective, that is, for example, until a vaccine is developed and becomes widely available – says Łukasz Włodyga.


Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020




The COVID-19 epidemic continues and in fact no one can say when it will finish. Questions whether our daily life will return to normal or change forever seem more and more justified. It applies also to our jobs, offices, where we used to spent a great part of the day before. We have switched to the home office mode, in many cases very effectively dealing with our duties. In the opinion of arch. Konrad Krusiewicz, founder of The Design Group, nothing will replace the work platform being an office and the opportunity to meet "face to face". Thus, what kind of offices will we return to? Outsourcing&More: The situation rela­ ted to COVID-19 may change the working style in offices, their operation as well as the way they are designed forever. Will this actually happen? Konrad Krusiewicz, founder of The Design Group: It is a very interesting and difficult problem. I think that after the pandemic office areas will change and perhaps this will be good for employees. The point is mainly to design offices even better than before, improving the quality of jobs. If anything changes, then in my opinion only in order to ensure that offi­ ces are always prepared for possible outbreaks of similar epidemics in the future. Here, it is necessary to guarantee better


conditions of work related to access to already become a permanent element space in the office, efficiency and hygiene of design. Certainly responses will also of systems, e.g. ventilation. appear to the need to create more "flexible" office spaces, which will allow easier Do your customers already speak loud adaptation to current needs. about such needs? Yes, the problems are already being Therefore, how can offices look like in raised, directly associated with the pan- the nearest future? demic and the necessary safety measProvided that the working style ures. Most frequently, they are related does not change, we are actually noti­ to: proper marking of movement areas cing in interviews with clients that disor the introduction of one-way commu- cussions emerge about solutions related nication, places with disinfection mate- to change of the work environment. This rials, antibacterial partitions between involves the need to possess larger ofdesks or a reduced number of employ- fice spaces, with large safety zones and ees on the given surface. I think that in more ordered communication. We also the future some of these solutions will more and more often discuss the utility

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

possibilities namely automatically opening doors, contactless devices and bathroom routes controlled with proximity sensors. Liquids for disinfection can also start to appear at entrances to offices, rooms and devices for disinfection, additional containers for fluids in bathrooms. It is very possible that many companies will introduce real-time body temperature registration to identify any persons who could be a threat to others even before they enter the building.

change, then mainly in terms of the size of the rooms allowing for a greater space and distance between persons. Additional furniture may also appear, e.g. plexiglass screens or cubes that will allow for sepa­ rating the space between employees. For example, in coworking spaces it may become necessary to separate zones for stations for more employees. I can ima­ gine that such spaces will be marked out by system walls that can be easily disassembled and allow for fast modifications, depending on how many employees are In connection with the above, will staying in such areas at the given time. the office layout change? How will shared work spaces look like? I admit that since the time of announcing I can hear from some clients that the epidemic, some customers have they would prefer to depart from open been telling us about readiness of their space and create more closed rooms office to work in a shift system, where instead. Thus, if the office layout would its users would turn up, e.g. every week

or on various days of the week, e.g. 50% headcount. Then, the following solutions are taken into account: limited number of persons permanently staying in the office, rental of places in coworking spaces or partial home office. Therefore, customers attempt to secure themselves and office spaces in case of a repeated epidemic. However, I also think that, unfortunately, in some professions there may be a reduction of full-time positions because the whole situation related to COVID-19 has demonstrated that in many cases it is more comfortable and beneficial to work online or only automatically – with the use of artificial intelligence. In this way, many companies may gain more space for employees who will stay on their positions and finally it may not be so much urgent or necessary to change the office organization. Do you believe that home office is an effective solution to the problem for many companies? Only on the basis of our team's work experience during the pandemic, I can say that in the first weeks the effectiveness could even be slightly higher. The question is what would happen in the longer term. I believe that where it makes sense to work from home, it was also so long

The Design Group realisations.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



analysts. What will be changed for sure are the provisions of agreements that will envisage possible termination or suspension of the agreement for the time associated with such events as a pandemic or other unforeseen crises. In my opinion, I see no greater reasons for the present trend to change. If so, it would rather be due to the dynamics of markets and the economy, but in the global perspective. The Design Group realisations.

before the pandemic. Perhaps new cases will appear where remote work will be more beneficial in the future but I believe that the majority of employees, accustomed to the working procedure and style before the pandemic, could start to miss too many aspects related to working in the office. CBRE has mentioned five such "top things", which we will appreciate after returning from remote work and I agree with them completely. These are: physical comfort, boundary between work and home, direct relations, standar­ dized working time and dedicated work spaces. I am afraid that it is the lack of adaptation of the environment to official tasks performed at home and all the 'destroyers' that will not allow professional duties to be effectively and precisely


performed in the privacy of home office. Nothing will replace the work platform being an office and the opportunity to meet face to face, exchange thoughts, creations, brainstorming, shared decision-making at the same place and time. I also think that too broad an introduction of home office can result in atomization of the society, which ultimately may be harmful for business. Office is an ideal space to support cooperation – this will not be replaced by a video confe­rence or chat. At present companies change an office every 5 years on average. Will this trend be changed? This question should rather be answered by real estate agencies and market

How may the current situation affect architects' work? How may, in your opinion, the future of the design sector in terms of office spaces look like? I think that our sector will defend itself and even stands a chance for growth. Proper design of the work space should be even more desirable, given the increased functional and ergonomic expectations. We are going to perform more tasks online. It may happen that we will be working with the client on a common interactive platform and execute all ideas and needs on the current basis. Certainly, this would allow for a faster response and, when necessary, easier introduction of changes in the course of functioning of an office. Thank you for the interview.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020


Interior Design Project Management Design&Build Proptech Solutions

14B Przasnyska Street Flat 176 01-793 Warsaw kontakt@thedesigngroup.pl www.en.thedesigngroup.pl


ACCELERATING TRANSFORMATION IN THE NEW NORMAL While the latest steps in the reopening of Poland’s economy are giving us hope that the damage won’t be as great as we expected at the start of the pandemic, most economists agree that we’re still facing an uphill battle, and the final effect on Poland and in the region will be seen with a certain delay, most likely only in autumn. What’s more, when estimating the economic fallout we still can’t assess the risk of damage from the second wave of infections. In order to respond, companies and leaders need to recognise and react to the trends from before the pandemic that have been accelerated in the New Normal. Before the pandemic, many execu­ tives were all too well aware that changes were under way in their company’s opera­ ting environment and the economy as a whole. Adjusting to the new conditions, in particular the need for digital transformation, was and remains absolutely essential in order to increasecompetitiveness.


Before COVID-19 it was clear that the pressures arising from the ADAPT trends would create a completely different world by 2025, and organisations would have to change if they wanted to justify their continued existence and remain profitable. These changes, which in many ways were accelerated by the pandemic, or more precisely by the economic crisis it caused, may actually take place sooner than we expected. What’s more, what we’re facing right now won’t be the last such shock to the world’s economic system. If we don’t address the risks identified by ADAPT, In 2017 we identified a set of urgent, quickly and globally, and if we don’t find inter­­­d ependent challenges facing a way to handle today’s crisis, the next one the world. We called it the ADAPT plat- may be much more harmful. form, describing a world in which millions of lives and jobs were being affected Yet, I take an optimistic approach, looking by wage differences and the erosion for more opportunities than threats. I see of the middle class (Asymmetry), them in the building of a more balanced the effects of extremely fast technolog- and resilient future, in which everyone can ical development (Disruption), ageing develop. That’s why it’s necessary to analyse societies (Age), political polarisation and in detail the challenges facing the world, the growing significance of populism to share the lessons of the pandemic at (Polarisation) and a shortage of trust, the international level and as a result to particularly in governments, organisa- implement the tools and technologies to tions and leaders (Trust). chart a new, more adaptive course. At this stage, we’re all asking ourselves how to restart the economy, to fix what’s been broken and to prepare ourselves to deal with numerous urgent social, environmental, demographic and economic problems. The pandemic taught us many lessons in this regard, but perhaps it’s worth going back a few years to look at certain factors from the global perspective – trends that were already clearly in motion and affecting the economy and society before the pandemic.

FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE IS AVAILABLE ONLY IN PAPER EDITION OF OUTSOURCING&MORE MAGAZINE OR ON THE WEBSITE. The period of social isolation has only made these trends more dynamic: some observers even speak of them speeding up by 10 years. Of course, the need for social distancing and the rest of the restrictions surprised all of us. Some leaders, particularly those who were already convinced of the value of digital transformation and engaged in reshaping their organizations, have even been able to use the lockdown to their advantage. For most of the market it was a real-life test of organisations’ resistance to shock, business-continuity plans and ability to modify business models and adopt remote working.


Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Today the majority of companies have already completed the mission of ensuring their workers’ safety, and we’re entering the stage of figuring out how to organise our lives in the new reality, recognising that consumer behaviours have almost certainly changed as a result of several months of social isolation.

This is a difficult period for many companies and industries, so wherever possible it’s worth betting on a sustainable, just approach to business, while understanding that strong, long-term business relationships are based on trust. In the current phase of the New Normal it is crucial for business leaders both to assess the prospects for their organi­ sations “here and now” and to think comprehensively about a potential transformation of their businesses. Key directions of change include learning how to engage with clients in the new reality, strengthening digital channels and operational effectiveness. In each of these areas, data and new technologies play a huge role.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



In the current phase of the New Normal it is crucial for business leaders both to assess the prospects for their organisations “here and now” and to think comprehensively about a potential transformation of their businesses.

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR OUTSOURCING For the entire shared services sector, the current situation is also a moment for implementing significant changes. Even greater digitalisation and automa­ tization seem to be essential. Betting on innovation and paperless processes can strengthen the perception of the SSC sector as one of the most flexible and crisis-resistant, which ultimately will result in businesses entrusting even more processes to this industry.

Additionally, from the point of view not only of this sector but the economy as a whole, protection of jobs is exceptionally important. Business leaders should do everything they can to limit the scale of layoffs and maintain employment if at all possible. Ensuring people have work, at decent wages, will allow our economy to emerge from the crisis faster.


Let’s remember that while shared services centres in Asia can offer lower costs, Central and Eastern Europe has geographical closeness to Western Europe (and the same or similar time zones), with a large group of highly educated, multilingual workers. Over the past 25 years the business services sector in this part of Europe has been built up from scratch, creating an industry that employs almost 750,000 people. Additionally, the crisis caused by the pandemic has simply shown that more things can be done remotely, which is why I’m convinced that the role of out­­ sourcing will grow, benefitting our entire region.

When it comes to automation, it must be stressed that this isn’t a question of replacing people with machines or algorithms, but rather supporting them with new technologies. In the digitalising economy, some jobs are becoming less necessary, but new ones are appearing in their place. It’s exceptionally important to create opportunities for people to acquire the new skills they need to meet employers’ new expectations. The PwC report Upskilling Hopes & Fears found that as many as 89% of Poles say they’re ready to learn new things and requalify in order to remain on the job market. This openness to change is reflected in the number of training courses people participate in. Here employers have a tremendous responsibility: both to maximise protection of jobs and to invest in training employees and equipping them with the skills that are increasingly needed in the company. That will shape the job market of the future.

ACT, DON’T WAIT Today the majority of companies have already completed the mission of ensuring their workers’ safety, and we’re entering the stage of figuring out how to organise our lives in the new reality, recognising that consumer behaviours have almost certainly changed as a result of several months of social isolation. This time of relative calm – though actually I’d call it more a period of simply getting used to constant market pressures – is now a moment not only for simple thinking about cost cutting, but also for strategic planning and investment. First and foremost, we must build resilience and support the processes of acquiring new clients and increasing the satisfaction of the ones we already have.


Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

I’d like to propose five practical ways each of us can help generate sustained growth even in the dark shadow of the negative economic forecasts. Use your clients’ current needs as your new barometer. Try to understand how your clients’ and stakeholders’ priorities have changed and what’s most important for them. Use this opportunity to recalibrate your relationships. Look at the innovations in products and services that appeared during the crisis and decide which ones you need to maintain. And ask yourself what new partnerships you created, or what opportunities you can identify to introduce new partners to your ecosystem. Be ready for unexpected and innovative solutions, and learn how to take them on board. Concentrate on your clients’ hidden and unmet needs and create a map of experiences that precisely tracks the customer journey. Find the mature relationships and identify the experiences that define your brand. Look for innovative solutions, including new ecosystems with potential partners in related sectors who can deliver long-term benefits to everyone.

context. If you still need to be convinced that values, goals and genuine concern are truly important, sometimes it takes a genuine crisis – and the one we encountered in COVID-19 is an unpre-­ cedented one. The traditional imperative The PwC report “Upskilling to grow a business was strengthened Hopes & Fears” found that by a greater truth: a company’s financial as many as 89% of Poles say Don’t neglect your own ecosystem. success cannot be separated from its they’re ready to learn new Most companies, particularly in the B2B social success. There will never be a better things and requalify in order space, are deeply connected in commer- time to demonstrate the force for positive to remain on the job market. cial networks of dependencies among change that lies in broader strategic goals This openness to change suppliers, partners and supply chains. and corporate credibility. is reflected in the number The crisis should give you a fresh perspecof training courses people tive on all of your business relationships And finally, one more practical piece participate in. and experiences. In other words, if you of advice. I’m convinced that the scale see space to renegotiate agreements, use of transformation is so great that it’s it – not only in the direction of reducing difficult to speak of a single factor that’s costs, but also broadening the scale responsible for this kind of change. In of the relationship. recent weeks and months, many decisions have simply been taken by crisis-manageReward good service, not just higher ment teams that included board members sales. Use programmes that strengthen and people from across the company: Author: the quality of relationships. Reward your from finance through HR, sales and IT. employees and contractors for good Now that we’re in the next phase, it’s customer service practices; this can time for all of these people to shift from help drive cultural change from sales to crisis management to managing transservice, and reward client-centredness. formation. Without this breadth and Adam Krasoń, depth of engagement we’ll be left with CEO of PwC Remember that no company’s success a collection of individual changes, rather in Poland, Warsaw, PwC Poland can be separated from the social than a true transformation at all levels.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



NEW CULTURE OF SALES What matters now? Businesses are currently accustoming to the post-coronavirus reality, they need to find balance between what worked before and what needs to happen now. They are stepping into the next normal. MISSIONS, RULES AND VALUES take on an even greater significance. In a world filled with more uncertainty, change and competition than ever, relationships with customers rooted in integrity have never been more powerful and valuable. You have to connect more deeply with your mission, as well as each other and your buyers, then sales performance improves exponentially.


can connect with buyers better than anyone else. Sales teams learn how to dig deeper to understand what motivates them and drives their prospects. They can then use that knowledge to build rapport with a client and deliver what they need and have to deliver with passion above all else. Placing integrity as the center of sales is what transforms a striving sales team into a thriving one. Sales experts not only sell products, they start helping customers, which is especially important. To be exceptional at building a trusted customer relationship that has value and brings opportunity, you need to equip your sales personnel with a specific mindset and skillset that they need. You also need to ignite a passion in your sales teams, so that they strive to uncover and meet customer needs. This will exponentially increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and success.

If you are a sales leader who want to suc­­­­ceed you have to adapt to changes. Darwin once summarized his theory of evolution with one of the following: "Survival is not those who are the strongest, but those who adapt best to change." Today, this What do you or your sales team have principle is particularly relevant. to do to perform at the highest levels of sales and customer service? The transition from striving to thriving as a sales professional or an organization Before the sales rep sits down with a client, depends on your ability to understand it is important to empower them with who the people you are working for are information on reporting, sales, data, and connect with them on a deeper level. ana­­lysis, lead scoring and marketing content. It is crucial to teach the salesIn the end, the sales teams that crush their people to have better quality sales quotas are not as successful because they conversations. They have to be provided work with all the latest technologies or use with content, the tools and data needed a particular script to hook a buyer. They so that they can have more effective rise to the top of their abilities and get conversations with both current and ahead of their competition only if they prospective clients.


If your sales reps do not develop the necessary conversation skills and the know-how of proper engagement with the customer, all the sales enablement initiatives out there, all the data, analysis, marketing content, artificial intelligence and everything else that you’ve invested time and money in, will not save you It becomes the central challenge to ensure that your investments lead to better sales conversations and more importantly better outcomes from those conversations. Integrity Solutions and the Sales Management Association surveyed sales leaders in over 200 organizations and asked them, among other questions, to rate the impact of a salesperson’s achievement drive on their performance. That is, seeing what their motivation, attitudes, beliefs, and passions are worth compared to their product knowledge and selling skills. More than 80 percent of subjects sur­­ veyed valued achievement drive at equal or greater value over product know­ ledge and selling skills. Moreover, only a quarter of the respondents claimed they were effective in training around achievement drive. There was a huge gap between importance and effectiveness. But most importantly, those who said that they were effective at focusing training on achievement drive, report 20 percent stronger results than everyone else. If 75 to 85 percent of success comes from the attitude, passion, and achievement drive, then why don’t more companies focus on these elements during training?

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

The “soft skills” are hard. Usually, it is much easier to tell workers what to do than show them how to build valuable relations with clients. Training for product knowledge and selling skills is obviously important, however, it is just one ingredient in the secret recipe for success. It is tougher to work with attitudes and achievement drive, in fact, some people call such skills the intangibles. However, they still are critical, and can definitely be the turbocharger for success.

and implementing this knowledge can one or two people who are performing become your competitive edge. at a higher level and ask for their advice.

So, how does one make a fire from INSERT YOUR IMAGE HERE smoldering heat? Here are the ways your – BE A LEADER THEIR WISH TO training can ignite achievement drive in WORK WITH When people clearly understand sales and service teams. the purpose of their job, the passion for it START WITH... increases, which usually leads to them GOALS AND CLARITY being more productive. You will ignite Facts: Results from more than 25,000 new levels of achievement drive when individual self-assessment surveys people clearly understand the purpose admi­­­­­nistered by Integrity Solutions, that of their job and have clear goals that they What do you think about yours soft measured how people perform on a list believe can be achieved. Doing so will skills? Is your sales and service training of 18 key success factors, consistently dramatically increase productivity and adequately emphasizing the so-called have goal clarity at the bottom. yield better business results. soft skills that ignite motivation and Authors: achievement drive? It is well known that when people are aware of what their goals are, and you Even if you have an excellent product make them believe that they can, in fact, or service, you remain under pressure achieve these goals, you trigger a new all the time. The one variable that is level of energy. Teach your sales force constantly subject to change is how well principles of goal achievement that have people perform. But this means, the per­­ been proven to work, such as: formance of your team can be your best • Define objectives. competitive differentia­tor. Your training • Plan a strategy. Mirella Piwiszkis, CEO, Coach, Inspire needs to go beyond product knowl- • Build belief. edge and sales techniques. It needs to • Develop strengths. get in the heads and hearts of the sales- • Manage progress. people in order to change their attitudes and ignite their achievement Create a supportive environment. It is rare drive. This is where sales training and challenging for most to shift beha-­ becomes the critical, and unfortuna­­­­tely viors or improve performance on their Anna Jastrząb, often overlooked, part of sales enable- own. Encourage workers to share their Vice-President, ment, where the two working in tandem goals with people who they know will Integrity Solutions Poland can yield the strongest result. Using support them. Afterwards, get them to find

Even if you have an excellent product or service, you remain under pressure all the time. The one variable that is constantly subject to change is how well people perform. But this means, the performance of your team can be your best competitive differentiator.


5 MINUTES A DAY TO BECOMING A BETTER LEADER Until very recently, the possibility to work from home was a rare perk. Currently, as we are dealing with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, home office has become more of a necessity and, at the same time, the best possible solution for companies which want to operate on the market efficiently. For many companies, having to adapt to different working conditions poses a real challenge, as it requires not only reorgani­ zation (in order to keep work productivity at the desired level) but, also developing new managerial competencies and new leadership standards. How to train and plan the development path for leaders in times of the lockdown crisis? How to choose the appropriate content from the deluge of low quality information? And most importantly, are online trainings as effective as the on-site ones?

Competences which have always been in demand have now become even more crucial. According to Kloc-Pawlik, these are: readiness for continuous learning, cognitive flexibility, emotional and social intelligence. Creativity, adaptive thinking, change and crisis management and out-of-the-box problem solving ought to be highly developed competencies too. We should also not forget about muchneeded skills such as: time management, delegating, controlling, and giving feedback including the balance between the two Es: Empathy towards NEW REALITY VERIFIES Employees and Execution of the reali­ EXECUTIVES’ EFFECTIVENESS zation of particular tasks. The ability The current economic conditions force to cooperate virtually anytime and leaders (i.e. employees’ direct superiors) anywhere in an efficient and engaged to not only develop new and effective way has become another extremely management methods, but also respond important competence. dynamically to a rapidly changing market Having analysed this set, one can be situation. left with an impression that a person – Competitive advantage, chance to adapt promoted to a leadership position is quickly and survive in the business environ- required to have such competencies. ment have never before been so correlated Unfortunately, Leanpassion’s research with managers’ competences – Katarzyna shows that over 90% of the leaders improKloc-Pawlik, Recruitment Expert in Manu- vise at work. Even before the coronavirus facturing & Engineering for Grafton Recruit- outbreak, organizations didn’t have ment, says about the current situation. time, and maybe sufficient awareness,


to properly select, train, and develop leaders. Such people often don’t rely on trained skills, but rather, the natural talent they have. So, where should you look for tools and methods that will help you to quickly and effectively develop the competencies in question?

EFFECTIVE TRAININGS ONLY IN A CLASSROOM Until now, traditional trainings had no value unless they took place in training rooms and and lasted most of the day. It was costly and distracted the team from their daily tasks. The value added was in fact establishing relationships and interaction between the participants. However, if the training doesn’t require participants’ physical presence at Gemba, i.e. the place where the work is done, most activities can successfully be carried out online. Bartłomiej Rycharski, an online education expert and the owner of CourseMakers sums up the ongoing changes: Online education market is experiencing a boom. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of companies and hundreds of schools have moved their key trainings online almost overnight. According to the newest research by Fosway

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Group, 82% of the companies noted an increased demand for online education, 67% have made significant changes in their employee strategy development and are not planning to return to their old methods. Only 5% of the firms declare to come back to the way they trained people before the pandemic. Based on this data, we can assume that online education has a bright future. How should you choose re­­­­ liable sources of knowledge then?

3C – CURATE, CUSTOMIZE, CREATE Edyta Paul, trainer, Design Thinking expert, and one of the authors of the courses on Leanovatica.com, thinks the people nowadays most needed are knowledge curators. One of the three Cs important when designing education for adults is Curate. – Choosing what is worth our time in the age of information overload is one of the biggest challenges for an adult learner. We are flooded with content, free webinars, materials delivered by coaches and trainers. This has made the decision how to allocate our attention, the most valuable currency of the times we live in, a great challenge. Failure can cost you a lot of emotions – Edyta Paul underlines that a knowledge curator shows value. – We need knowledge curators, so they can provide us with chunks of educational content, with their value being predetermined. Without it, the paradox of choice

will cause us to waste a lot of time on unsuccessful, educational mishaps with poor quality content.’ Leanovatica.com platform, which has existed on the market since mid-April 2020, aspires to be such a curator. The person responsible for the idea and its realisation is Radek Drzewiecki, the founder of Leanpassion and the co-founder of a startup called Sherlock Waste.

knowledge as well as business and interpersonal skills – says Radek Drzewiecki. The platform is dedicated to people who would like, in an approachable and time-efficient way, to improve their managerial competencies in the following areas: leadership and management, lean, agile, design thinking, problem solving, remote teams, change management, sales

Until now, traditional trainings were the one perceived to be valuable, taking place in training rooms. However, if the training doesn’t require participants’ physical presence at Gemba, i.e. the place where the work is done, most activities can successfully be carried out online.

THE BEST TRAINERS AT A PRICE OF A CINEMA TICKET? IT’S POSSIBLE! Remote work and online trainings have many advantages, such as flexibility or availability. It’s worth to use them for self-development and, consequently, gain advantage on the job market. – When others are waiting to come back to the training room, it’s good to look for a solution such as Leanovatica.com – a streaming educational platform created by Leanpassion as a product of extensive research and years of experience working with leaders. The main goal was to support leaders in Polish companies in the development of their

and marketing, emotional intelligence, presentation, team communication, and feedback. Leanpassion experts such as: Radek Drzewiecki, Maciej Molczyk, Grażyna Potwora, Tymoteusz Myśliwiec cooperated together with trainers like: Łukasz Kruczek, Michał Sadowski, Basia Piasek, Klaus Lyck Petersen, Maciej Roba­ kiewicz, Jowita Michalska, Edyta Paul, Greg Albrecht, Mateusz Kozłowski, Małgo­ rzata Kusyk in order to create the highest quality content. Thanks to such diversity the user can acquire knowledge which seemingly is out of their area of interest and use the best tools to improve their and their team’s work quality.

Photo from the Basics of Design Thinking course, Edyta Paul.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020





• short episodes – only 15 minutes per day for learning? No problem! The speakers present each issue in a series of 10–20 episodes, each just 5–10 minutes long; • online access from every device;

– I like the content, because the way the trainers talk about new methods and techniques concerning broadly defined leadership is unique. They focus on current trends in modern management. I think

The year 2020, before the COVID-19, was considered a year of video communication. Today, everyday consumption of video materials in Poland is constantly increasing and amounts to 70 minutes or so per user daily.

• homework – consolidate the acquired knowledge and test the methods learnt; • new content – every 2 weeks we publish new series and seasons, subject to popular demand; • attractive price for everyone – monthly subscription that costs less than 50 PLN; • intuitive and user-friendly platform, just like the popular streaming platforms. Video courses created in such way are practical, packed with case studies and tools thanks to which the users can immediately implement the newly-acquired skills at work.


that those courses could be beneficial for expe­rienced managers who would like to upgrade their leadership skill-set, as well as beginners who are just starting the journey with their own teams. The platform’s strength lies undoubtedly in its trainers – management practitioners with fantastic coaching skills – says Paweł Buczkowski Black Belt LSS/Factory Director from SBC Windows & Doors. Leanovatica platform was modelled on the user experience from Netflix. Thanks to that, it’s intuitive and easy to use. The content is guaranteed to be

presented in a light, comprehensible form. Katarzyna Kloc-Pawlik from Grafton Recruitment underlines that – it is a great source of inspiration and practical know­ ledge, dedicated to managers who are focused on developing and improving the most desired competencies. Leanovatica equals amazingly encapsulated content, stimulating homework tasks, and creative, inspiring forms of communication. It’s a space for gatherings, created by inspiring experts, accompanying leaders taking next steps to becoming better. The year 2020, before the COVID-19, was considered a year of video communication. Today, everyday consumption of video materials in Poland is constantly increasing and amounts to 70 minutes or so per user daily. It’s worth to use this time well.


Katarzyna Pihan, PR manager, Leanpassion

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020




Early March 2020 will be remembered for more than medical reasons only. It is also a consumer and economic shock for a wide range of enterprises that almost overnight, have lost their source of incomes. The outbreak has shown that running a business can be like a game of poker. Some got winning deals, but others unfortunately had to fold. Remote work offered the only chance for survival but was not available for everyone. In the contact centre industry, we have had discussions about the implementation distributed teams for several years. Along with the closure of a significant part of the economy, it was the time for the coronavirus to say: “I'm checking”. Theoretically, contact centre work is ide­ally suited to the concept of home office. A con­­­­­­sultant or a sales rep, unlike a stationary employee, does not have direct contact with the customer. Nonetheless, leaders of the industry have always invested in office spaces to accommodate several hundreds and globally even thousands of positions. I remember that already around 2003 – 2004 the industry reviewed the possibility of moving part of the staff to remote work. A few companies were running tests, however such a solution did not gain popularity in both inhouse centres and in outsourcing. It happened due to three primary reasons. Firstly, due to the use of VoIP (Voice over


Internet Protocol) technology, there was a prevailing concern about the bandwidth and thus the quality of the voice connection. Additionally, professional contact centres usually use at least two independent Internet providers, so they can ensure service continuity in the event of a failure. Currently, the first argument has lost some strength, as according to the We Are Social – Digital 2019 report, the average bandwidth in Poland is 54.5 Mbps, which more than need for VoIP requirements. However, the reliability requirement was still a valid counterargument.

The last and perhaps the most important obstacle to the popularization of remote work was quality monitoring. The argument has always been: "we can work remotely, but it will result in a deterioration of results, quality will drop, it can't be done in the long run." Or can it?

Information about rapid development of the epidemic in Asia did not trigger an immediate response. Europe was con­­­ vinced that the development of coronavirus, as in the case of SARS or avian influenza (bird flu), would be limited to remote regions of East Asia. In contrary to this initial belief, the virus started spreading The second concern was the security rapidly once first outbreaks were identiof personal data. Systems used in contact fied in Italy. Following the first cases in centres operate in separate subnets, all Poland decisions had to be made quickly operations on workstations are moni- to mitigate any repercussions caused tored and USB ports blocked for instance. by the imminent lockdown. Even one case Therefore, remote working environment of coronavirus detection would require requires a VPN connection and prefer- closure of entire offices, and this, espeably dedicated hardware, i.e. a computer cially in the outsourcing industry, would and a headset, which is an additionally affect several hotlines or sales campaigns encumbers company's resources. Particu- in a wide array of industries. larly that such this would have to be carried out in an environment charac- The usual contact centre supervision terized by a relatively high staff turnover routine spins around call monitoring, rate, thus increasing the workload each listening to recordings and meetings that time a new employee is hired. are devoted to exchanging comments and

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Remote work met with positive reception by the employees, due to greater flexibility of their daily routines and more spare time, which would otherwise be wasted on commuting. Although it is difficult to draw far-reaching conclusions after just two months, we expect that this form of work will also have a positive impact on the attrition parameters.

providing feedback to the team. Training and retraining sessions are usually held in meeting rooms or directly at the workstations. The expeditious change to the home office working model meant that meeting rooms and morning briefings had to move to messaging applications. All comments and remarks moved to chat rooms or video calls. New projects are also implemented in a similar way, although in this case the team is asked to show up in the office for the first few days of the campaign.

wasted on commuting. Although it is difficult to draw far-reaching conclusions after just two months, we expect that this form of work will also have a positive impact on the attrition parameters. From the point of view of the contact centre manager, the pandemic "check" opens up new opportunities for campaign implementation. The main advantage of several BPO centres is the scalability of their solutions. This in turn depends on human resources and available positions. Owing to remote work, this second restriction is virtually non-existent and What was the biggest fear became allows for greater flexibility. Another the biggest surprise. After an initial extremely important aspect is the lack period of adaptation to and deve­ of geographi­cal limitation. It happened lopment of new habits, the dreary effi- several times in the past that we had to ciency and quality parameters remained look for people with specific experience or unchanged. In some cases they were even language skills, and these were often not improved. In addition to hard statistics, available near the location of the office. remote work met with positive reception by the employees, due to greater flexi- I expect that even after lifting the res-­­­­ bility of their daily routines and more trictions, coronavirus will transform spare time, which would otherwise be the working environment. The eight-hour

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workday has been questioned for some time as a relic of the industrial age. Cur­­­ rently and quite unexpectedly, we are witnessing a revolution in the labor market, which, despite the development of technology, continued to function as it did several decades ago, when folders were searched in closed document cabinets, and taking several people from different locations required the involvement of the purchasing department and travel agency. For contact center industry, this forced change may be a welcome one.


Marcin Łukasik, Commercial Director CEE, Unicall




Nowadays, employees have the power to decide the value of an organization and hence constitute the most important component of its capital. That is why companies which bet on continuous employee development gain the upper hand over their competitors. Therefore, in order to be successful in business, one must take on a strategic approach to employee development. The prerequisite here is to provide people with the opportunity to acquire new competencies and professional experiences. Long-term staff hiring and team stability, as measured by low rates of employee turnover, are equally important. It is DPC Poland’s experience that this approach has a significant impact on the level of employee satisfaction and the efficiency of the whole organization. Indicators such as levels of employee engagement and satisfaction in different market sectors have been regularly studied and analyzed for years. It can therefore be accurately specified what affects employee satisfaction, along with what tools and solutions are necessary in order to raise and maintain it.

THE ETERNAL PROBLEM OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT According to “State of the Global Work-­­­ place”, a report cyclically issued by the Gallup Institute, more than 60 per­­ cent of people do not feel fully engaged in the professional tasks assigned to them, which directly translates into the development of their company. These companies have reported between 25 and 65 percent more losses than others (depending on the rate of employee turnover).


On the other hand, merely 13 percent fully engage in their work and at the same time gain satisfaction from it (the average value being similar for various markets). All in all, mature organizations take on the issue of employee development in a strategic way, acknowledging the value and potential of human resources at their disposal. It comes as no surprise, then, that they approach them with great care and strive for the permanent development of their employees. According to Sean Graber, head of Virtuali, as cited in “Harvard Business Review”, it is crucial to know how people view their workplace in 6 different categories or contexts: organizational culture, their function within the organization, promotion opportunities, the quality of leadership in the company, its management, and reward system. From this perspective, the most important thing is to tackle this challenge holistically, and therefore it must be inscribed directly into the deve­ lopment strategy of the business as such. Let us approach it practically. What exactly should be diagnosed in the structures of the organization, how to handle the tasks of improving the situation, implementing standards, and – finally – leading to a state where employees are assured of permanent development?

ADDED VALUE AND EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT The long-standing practice of DPC Poland indicates that even if some companies have well-planned and well-described opera­ tional processes, they typically neglect processes that promote employee development. They focus on delivering the added value expected by their customers, which of course is understandable from a purely business perspective. However, the strategic approach to development should assume both of these elements, and in equal measure: the added value for the client and the development of employees. Where does the problem of margina­ lizing employee development come from? The problem, naturally, begins at the strategical level, and at the designing of an effective management system. Management maturity and high quality leadership require the leaders to consider employee development important from the perspective of their organization – as an element of establishing awareness and a path of action. DPC Poland's experiences in cooperation with companies from different industries confirm that many of them are unfortunately missing this element. However, it is impossible to take for granted that this deficit exists in every organization – there are, after all, companies that do fundamentally bet on employee development. Does it pay off for them?

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

THE TWO CATEGORIES OF SKILLS Mature organizations take on the issue of employee development in a strategic way, acknowledging the value and potential of human resources at their disposal. It comes as no surprise, then, that they approach them with great care and strive for the permanent development of their employees.

It is important to realize there are many sides to employee development. On the one hand, an organization needs managerial competencies (the so-called “soft” skills), on the other, ones which are purely professional and specialized (“hard” skills). The latter, in particular, refer to operational staff, because these employees are the main ones that translate into the efficiency of the processes in which they participate. Both types of competence, although relating to different groups of employees, are equally relevant to the development of the whole business. With regard to “hard” skills (professionalism), their management usually rests with the leader, and at the same time it is not typi­­­­cally inscribed into the foundation of the organization, or into the standards of conduct. So how should one tackle such a challenge? How to build and perpetuate standards conducive to the constant competence development of specialized people placed in the opera­ tional sector?

professionals in “hard” skills, but not “soft” ones; therefore, they may lack the competence to stimulate or supervise employee development. Hence, the support of the HR team seems essential. Attention to human development should be turned into a systematic process. A superb, highly recommended starting point for this solution can be to create a competency matrix standard. The responsibility for its construction should lie with the HR department, and the execution and supervision of employee development should lie with the leaders. Besides, this solution allows for a holistic approach to the challenge — by setting standards of conduct in all departments and levels of organization.


The effective development of standards in the organization requires them to include the following information: • the categories of competence within the organization; • assessment methods of the quality of the competencies acquired; • how the competence acquisition is STEP 1. HR SUPPORT. planned out (cyclicality); COMPETENCY MATRIX • who is responsible for a given com­ Leaders or especially managers (direct petency matrix (and for its updates supervisors of operational staff) are usually at the level of a given department).

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



According to “State of the Global Work-­­place”, a report cyclically issued by the Gallup Institute, more than 60 per­­cent of people do not feel fully engaged in the professional tasks assigned to them, which directly translates into the development of their company.


After defining these basic data, you can proceed to identify the current status of employee competence in the department and plan which competencies individual employees will acquire and develop. This process should be carried out on a cyclical basis, e.g. once a quarter or half year, depending on the decisions made at the design stage of the entire competence development process.


The development of management skills (“soft” skills) is generally addressed to those who are to manage a given area, process or team. It involves “arming” such individuals with a set of tools that teach them to manage effectively. Although these features have already been called “soft”, it should be borne in mind that the effectiveness of development in EMPLOYEE INVOLVEMENT this area depends on the transition from IN PLANNING intuitive (often based on improvisation It is crucial that the employee con­­­ in specific situations, and not guided cerned be included in the planning by standards) to pragmatic management of their competence development. (based on best practices). Their being able to hear from the leader or manager how, why and in which This requires the provision of the right areas the employee wishes to develop tools, i.e. the need to acquire and incoris very important. Why is the employ- porate conflict resolution or motivational ee's personal participation so relevant? skills into a range of competencies and, Because any change in the organization on the other hand, solve problems, is bound to encounter some resistance conduct briefings with teams or increase from workers. The closer the plan to process efficiency. The element which the employee's expectations, the greater needs to be emphasized by building the acceptance of the direction of deve­ a managerial set of competence needs lopment. The employee’s attitude to is linking the held position to the compethe competency matrix and development tencies it should acquire. In other words, design naturally translates into commit- such an analysis is meant to confront ment and job satisfaction and how well the expectations with reality (needs they acquire the desired (jointly estab- understood as a set of skills necessary lished) competencies. for the development of processes and

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

people). In our experience, this is a criti­cal element of devising the right path for development, one which is adequate for the job position and its role within the organization.

begin at the time of their employment. At the recruitment stage, the employer may, for instance, indicate development as an essential element of the organizational culture. Firstly, because it promotes the hiring of desired indivi­ The development of management staff duals, and secondly, because it provides should take into account the full perspec- the employee with a proper undertive of managers, covering the whole standing the organization’s expectaprocesses and structures of the organi- tions. At this stage, therefore, it is worth zation. Bearing in mind that companies pointing out which competencies are are only as efficient in achieving their relevant from the company's perspective objectives as their processes are – one so that the recruit can effectively carry out cannot forget that the lowest manage- the tasks assigned. ment team bears the greatest responsibility for the process quality: team leaders, THE “FLAWED” PROMOTION executives, foremen and managers. Organizations, where clear and established rules for employee and process DO NOT FORGET development do not yet operate propTHE LOWER RANKS erly, make mistakes that are in fact easily There is a certain trend to be noticed avoided, since they have been widely while cooperating with many companies. discussed in management science, and Some of them tend to focus on devel- had their causes diagnosed. In most oping their top management, in turn cases, there are also proven remedies. neglecting the middle and lower levels It is always worth countering undesirin the structure of the organization. In able phenomena instead of focusing our assessment, this is an inexcusable on putting out fires. Let us learn from error that could have consequences in the mistakes of others and apply good the form of poor process efficiency or management practices. An outside high employee turnover. Let us remember perspective might prove to be particuthat the so-called “first line” has a huge larly valuable, such as analyses conducted impact on the team spirit, process effi- by consultancy firms. ciency, and, in turn, relationships and customer satisfaction levels. Therefore, One example of such undesirable phen­­o-­­­­­­ appropriately “arming” the lowest levels mena, and one which is reported parti­ of management, all the while main- cularly often, is the promotion of a person taining a structured process of deve­ who was not previously prepared to loping operational staff, is key to creating perform the new role. an environment conducive to high busiLet us imagine the following situation. ness efficiency. A good specialist, a professional in their DEVELOPMENT field, receives a promotion to a manaFROM THE FIRST DAY OF WORK gerial position – for example, they are One should bear in mind that the process appointed to the position of team leader. of employee development should really It is assumed in advance that since they

Bearing in mind that companies are only as efficient in achieving their objectives as their processes are – one cannot forget that the lowest management team bears the greatest responsibility for the process quality: team leaders, executives, foremen and managers.

have proven themselves as a specialist, they will do perfectly well managing the team; especially since they will continue to operate in the same area and environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both roles require separate, completely different competencies and skills. Without proper preparation, this person may simply not cope with the challenges that have so far been alien to them. Therefore, “arming” a newly-promoted worker is essential in such circumstances. Otherwise, they are bound to promptly lose their fervor and commitment. They will, after all, encounter previously unknown problems and challenges. In addressing the emphasis on employee development, it is important to remember the structural approach to this challenge. It is necessary to look at this issue from different perspectives and plan the deve­ lopment accordingly, taking into account a number of the above-mentioned dependencies. One must remember the wide variety of employee roles, as well as the lower level leaders, since most things, as we have already noticed, are entirely up to them. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in the structured designing of employee development processes. We will be happy to share our experience in this matter. Author:

Tomasz Bereźnicki, Managing Partner, DPC Polska

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



FLEXIBLE, ALTHOUGH STATIONARY Market changes and employees’ expectations more often create the need of modernizing our employment system. It forces us to create more comfortable conditions for remote work. The situation stems from the postulate of flexibility, especially in the case of young and talented specialists. The confirmation of the phenomenon can be easily found in reports dealing with employer branding. However, this model is not necessarily optimal from the innovation point of view. FLEXIBLE, MEANING WHAT?

support and promote the more tradiIt is not without reason that remote work tional and stationary model of employbecame a sort of a synonym to flexibility. ment, which result from the fact that The possibility of deciding on the place a successful team is built in an office. and time of performing work tasks is Creating a place that supports interaction, the most frequently mentioned advan- communication and helps employees tage of freelancing. Employers still root into the organisational culture

of the firm is an undisputed advantage. Analyses of headhunting firms indicate that many of the respondents put the atmosphere in the office over work flexibility and professional development. Creating an attractive workplace is a result of a mixture of the two: indivi­ duals matched to the company’s needs and the office in sync with the team’s requirements. Such an optimal solution enables us to build loyalty, while in long term perspective maintain high levels of engagement and productivity. This is particularly valuable when over time external motivators such as salary and sense of stability decrease.


The modular Hako booth.


Effective cooperation happen when employees form a well-integrated team. Well-integrated, however, does not mean homogenous. People working side by side are different, just as different the scope of their duties is. Common area, where they spend several dozen hours a week, should match the preferences and expectations of each type of a person. The result can be achieved by providing employees with privacy and a sense of comfort, also

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

the acoustic one. Research carried out in workplaces clearly indicates that noise and uncoordinated sounds are the biggest headache of respondents dissatisfied with work conditions. This is a problem of open space offices in particular, and needs our attention. – What is important is to organise them with the end user in mind – explains Dymitr Malcew who designed inter alia acoustic pods for MDD. – When implementing my earlier projects I noticed that although there was a need for acoustic pods, employees did not want to use them. They were left in the middle of the room and never visited. I carried out a survey and I found out that the reason for it was the so called ‘aquarium effect’. The booths were just glass boxes taken out of context that did not fulfil their role. When I created the pods I decided to present the users with two variants, one of them modular that allows the users to expand it according to their needs. The single Hana pod ensures more visual and acoustic privacy than other products on the market. It is designed to create a retreat in a busy office environment. The modular Hako booth leaves it up to the user to decide on the final look of the product. Even one of the smaller pods encourages work in silence, while the extended version promotes private group meetings. The simple construction of the acoustic booths highlight their flexi­bility, which is the basis of the design.

The single Hana pods.

used method of brainstorming. The key to success is creating optimum conditions to all employees. – When asking employees to work in an open space office you have to provide them with an alternative to a really private space – explains Dymitr Malcew.

VARIETY AND COOPERATION We need to remember not to get too overworked and completely forget about interactions at work. The focus should be on improving conditions in which coope­ ration is taking place. We have to find balance between extraversion and introversion, silence and loud debate, leisure and intense action.

One of the main barriers to increased productivity is unintentional interfering INDIVIDUAL CREATIVITY and forced breaks. Nowadays we know It is believed that the sine qua non that the ability of multitasking, which was of creative activity is brainstorming and praised for so many years, is nothing but dynamics. Scientists from the Institute a myth. Human brain does not work that of Personality Assessment and research at way: what we call multitasking is really University of California in Berkley decided the ability to quickly move from one to challenge the conviction. They chose task to another, which in reality reduces a group of specialists from various fields productivity and increases the risk of study who were distinguished by their of error. We must remember however, initiative and creative approach, and then that being around people can also be an conducted a series of experiments. invaluable inspiration. It was concluded that silence and loneliness are vital elements of dedication to work and projects improvement. Introduction of corrections during such times are more accurate. It also turned out that teams of nine employees generate less effective ideas than smaller groups. Adrian Furnham, an occupational psychologist claimed that there is enough evidence to refute the widely

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

In both instances acoustic products, especially acoustic pods become helpful. Individual pods are dedicated to one person work, while the Meeting variant – to group work; both options ensuring privacy.


the companies they work for. What more, current economic situation significantly worsens the situation. In the 70s in the United States there was more that 45 sq m of space per employee. After the first decade of the XXI century that num­­­­ber decreased to no more than 18 sq m of space per person. Today, it seems a truism to say that open space office reduces the overall efficiency and the ability to remember. Shifting senior employees to open space additionally increase the tension and impression of constant control. It not only reduces the level of team work but also disturbs employee productivity. The most effective groups are those comprised of various personalities. The fact is confirmed by both: research and data on the subject of leader structures in companies. Work environment is also vital, with employee interactions possible and private spaces available when particular needs arise. It’s not only standard conference rooms but also canteens, recreational centres and green areas that are important. They allow for a more relaxed atmosphere, which is often a source of inspiration. More and more enterprises understand the value of such a balance, hence, the gro­­­­wing popularity of acoustic products and office zoning. Even if those products can be mainly found in open spaces.

Author: MDD press office

Large office spaces without partition walls aren’t beneficial to either employees or




An interview with Béla Kakuk, CEO, Partner in BPiON. Outsourcing&More: We are here to bring an innovative approach to business process management driven by technology. This is the mission of the BPiON com­­­­ pany. What does the Business Pro­­cess InnovatiON (BPiON) company deal with on a regional scale? Béla Kakuk, CEO, Partner in BPiON: Our mission is to make business processes work better. Although we are classified as accounting and payroll/HR outsourcing company, our DNA lies in process improvements. I am sure it is no surprise that many CEE based financial projects – especially outsourcing – were born following cost saving initiatives. We were always curious if we can decide on processes and technology solutions without corporate orders, what would we do, how would we start. This is how BPiON was established. We started to invest in people first, got everybody on board in order to create a healthy community of different competences, whom can create many new solutions for our clients. It is important to highlight our colleagues’ competences, since during uncertain times – like nowadays – this is the only way to create something new. We can see that companies are more open to outsourcing projects and factors other than cost become more significant, such as business continuity, data privacy, decreasing technology dependence, etc. during the selection processes. Since BPiON was designed to meet these complex needs on a regional scale, we always enjoyed creating customized solutions for these clients. The main question remains whether you can deliver complex


solutions on an even smaller price level? Reaching a certain economy of scale effect is essential and BPiON has just reached the size where doing bigger regional projects makes a solid return. The team works both in Hungary and Poland? You have been present in Poland for two years. Where does this choice come from? We have been in Poland from 2018 but started full speed only in September 2019. BPiON was established as a regional company and all our procedures are developed to meet this objective. Being in Poland was a strategic objective due to the size and maturity of the market, but moreover due to the fact that Warsaw is the regional centre of the majority of CEE outsourcing deals. We wanted to be as close to decision makers as possible to earn their trust.

consulting, accounting, and law firms. What does this mean in practice for you and your customers? BPiON was born regional. We had amazing local partners from our private network in the CEE region, but playing outside the borders of our home country barely has geographical limits, you have to be ready to deliver everywhere if you classify yourself as a true regional company. In order to extend our regio­nal potential, we wanted to join a perfect alliance. There is rarely luck in our profession but finding GGI as the world’ largest financial alliance (6th largest network & association globally, www.ggi.com) was a bit of that.

What are the odds that the world’s largest financial alliance just misses its Hungarian accounting/payroll member and can provide Polish potential, all the while with the perfect cultural fit? Many people believe that joining a global alliance is On the other hand, we also know that trust about paying a membership fee and is earned by people and not by brands, sharing referrals, but the GGI communitherefore we prolonged the “grand open- ty is very different. ing” until we were sure that we have the right person on board, which we found First, the president, Mr. Claudio Cocca – having Rafal Nadolny joining us. Rafal has himself did the due diligence of our not only experience in global corporate company since he wanted to know our organizations but has the entrepreneuri- “why”, not just the code of conducts al spirit, which is very much needed to be and data protection policies. His trust a good fit to our culture. His open mind- and support were the main factor of our set was very much needed to understand belief that that GGI is a good alliance the characteristics of the Polish market and for BPiON. It is all about people as well. to deliver quick and value-added solutions What does it mean for customers? They to the challenges the COVID-19 era has can get the same approach both in BPiON brought upon us. Hungary and Poland, and on the top of it, BPiON provides regional accountYou are a member of GGI, the world's ing management functions as well, elimi­ largest association of independent nating organizational differences.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

In what colors do you see the future of BPO? I am always optimistic and still see lots of opportunities in the future. Outsourcing was always more popular in West Europe countries than in the CEE region. One of the reasons behind this is that many companies in CEE believed that outsourcing internal procedures were supposed to be a “cost exercise” and avoided other essential benefits of outsourcing. If our prices are compared to internal costs, the only way to succeed is to be significantly more efficient than the client itself using internal procedures. In order to reach this efficiency, we had to be more advanced in technology le­vels, but many clients were just not ready for this evolution. The very first visible impact of COVID-19 is that companies are forced to apply technology changes and they must reach them relatively quickly. On the other hand, this increased the need for a technology revolution coupled with significantly

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

decreased budgets, so the exercise is definitely not easy. Access to an already existing and bullet-proof system through outsourcing can deliver short-term result to the clients. No system is perfect, especially under constantly changing technology environment, but most of the companies can convert their future of fast failings trial-and-errors for rock-solid solutions on the technology field. We have been living and working in the COVID-19 pandemic for several months. What is the impact of a pandemic on the BPO sector in Poland? I believe that Poland was and is ready for acceleration the technology change to meet the challenges COVID-19 has created. We have considered the effects and opportunities on the market with our trusted partner, Violetta Malek from Gekko advisoryNOW(GAN). GAN recently has surveyed the topic, so she has a wide range of insights regarding the market trends.

Playing outside the borders of our home country barely has geographical limits, you have to be ready to deliver everywhere if you classify yourself as a true regional company.



– Although the COVID–19 crisis itself is not a good thing, it has given great opportunities for the BPO organisations in Poland to prove outsourcing is here to stay and become much more attractive when compared to some off-shore destinations. Polish-based BPO firms ensured business continuity and uninterrupted support to

to be somewhere between 5%-10%. No one predicts decline – said Violetta Malek, Managing Partner of Gekko advisoryNOW(GAN). What about the situation in Hungary? The area of the country is an important issue... Let us face the fact that

in the tax regime remains to be seen. Hungary is well known for its super low 9% corporate income tax and enormous governmental work to simplify tax administration procedures. If companies go digital more, these characteristics of the tax regime can be even more attractive to investors.

In the survey among BSS managers, there is almost 60% who believe outsourcing will become the scheme of choice for the coming years. 56% is happy to see much faster implementation of RPA solutions and 44% is ready to redesign current operating models to become resilient, agile and flexible. their clients, both locally and globally. High level of technology advancement, operational maturity, managerial competences, and fully remote work formula are the main characteristics and success factors of the Business Services Sector organisations in Poland. In the survey conducted by Gekko advisoryNOW(GAN), among BSS managers, there is almost 60% who believe outsourcing will become the scheme of choice for the coming years. 56% is happy to see much faster implementation of RPA solutions and 44% is ready to redesign current operating models to become resilient, agile and flexible. The readiness of 44% surveyed managers to include much more complex processesin the BPO product portfolio is also very interesting. Finally, there is also an expectation that Poland will become an even more attractive location, when compared to higher risk offshore destinations (almost 60% answered this as very highly probable). All surveyed agreed that Poland and some countries in the CEE region will have great momentum to attract new investors, both to set-up new BPO centres or move operations from less reliable when it comes to business continuity, global locations. Now is the time for the business to consider a “cost-effectiveness-continuity” balanced approach rather than just cost when deciding on outsourcing. The crises is likely to have a significant impact on accelerating the growth of Business Services Sector in Poland, 25% expects the sector to grow more than 10% on average for the next 5 years, while 63% expects the growth


COVID-19 is certainly not the first black swan, although the first one that is so noticeable on a global scale. Unfortunately, probably not the last. How should we prepare for future possible crises to emerge unscathed from them? We all know that soon we will meet again in our physical offices, but the world will be significantly different than it used to be. The world has learnt how to use tools support remote work, but this is different than being digital. Let me show one example: in Hungary, Companies had to invest to strengthall small cash registers are directly linked en their organizations in digitally adto the tax office and from 01 July 2020 all vanced solutions. Many super advanced sales invoices must be electronically for- tools are available, however this is rather warded to the tax office as well upon their a question of commitment on the deciissuance. The system was tested on a small- sion maker level and a huge cultural shift er scale and while only its positive effect for the whole organization. The question of tax paying transparency was highlight- whether people and organizations will ed, it is easy to realize that this can be succeed during this cultural shift and the future tax administration. The system how can they incorporate the benefits might be purchased by other countries’ of the change in their personal life. tax offices in the future, I would not be surprised if there is an increased interest in it. Digital education is just one straightforward example, but there are plenty If we analyse the SSC landscape, Hungary of others such as the way how we do with a Budapest wide SSC portfolio can banking, what are the functions of physi­ also be a winner of certain realignment, cal offices and how we meet tax duties. if cost initiatives become secondary The shift to this digitally deve­loped criteria over risk management and quality world received a huge trigger from factors, where hubs, like the Hungarian the COVID-19, but its our responsibility capital classified themselves. We can see now to create the sustainability behind or fireworks of short-term governmental whether we rush back to our old routines. subsidies, but whether some of these experiences might remain constant Thank you for the interview. Hungary is 4 times smaller than Poland and the budgets for technology changes suffer the size difference. Decisions about Hungarian projects – especially technology ones – were in many cases done on a higher regional level, therefore the local needs could not be stressed out properly. On the other hand, time is a critical factor for success and when commitment is created on a regional level to make certain changes, Hungary – and small size countries – can be great pilot projects.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020




Tomasz Bereźnicki A practitioner and enthusiast of continuous improvement. President of the Management Board of DPC Polska. He has over 18 years of experience in process design, analysis and optimization of working methods as well as conducting improvement projects for international service and production companies. He graduated from Wrocław University of Science and Technology.

Renata Danielewicz Executive coach, trainer and practitioner specializing in the development of emotional intelligence among managers. Founder of BestSelf. Renata has many years of experience in managing an international team on 17 markets. She led international educational projects and was responsible for creating training for managers and development programs for Leaders in a global organization.

After completing the program, participants will receive a certificate.

Ask for more details:





its state-of-the-art “High Power Charging” technology for charging electric vehicles. The components made in the plant will be exported to more than 10 countries in Western Europe. The facility will be commissioned in late 2020/early 2021, and will provide workplaces for 330 people.

Custom-tailored for advanced technologies. Panattoni is launching the construction of a high-tech BTS facility for Phoenix Contact E-Mobility. The developer will deliver 14,966 sqm, including 986 sqm of office space and 13,980 sqm in the industrial and warehouse section. The tenant will be provided with a 111-square-metre compressor room, 627 sqm of testing space and a 67-square-metre pumping plant. Production space will be adapted to the customer’s cutting-edge solutions – it will feature advanced busways and ESD industrial flooring. In the building, Phoenix Contact E-Mobility will be manufacturing


The location of the new facility for Phoenix Contact E-Mobility GmbH also offers numerous other advantages. The planned station of the Fast Municipal Railway will be just a few minutes’ walk from the building, making for an easy commute from Rzeszów city centre. The proximity of an international airport – 15 minutes’ drive away – and well-developed road infrastructure are crucial in the context of freight transport. The facility is situated along the S-19 route, part of “Via Carpathia” which, once completed, will connect Klaipeda in Lithuania with Thessaloniki in Greece. Moreover, the A4

motorway is nearby, spanning the southeastern and south-western borders of Poland, with extensions running west into Germany and east into Ukraine. Technology hand in hand with sustainability. The new Rzeszów facility will be used by Phoenix Contact E-Mobility GmbH to start manufacturing solutions for electric vehicles. Panattoni has also provided for a range of sustainable deve­ lopment solutions in the facility itself. They will include mineral wool roof insulation, heat recovery system, charging points for electric vehicles, rainwater and snowmelt retention system, as well as a buffer zone in the warehouse, to limit dust infiltration and heat loss into the manufacturing section. The range of functionalities and the tenant’s ecologi­cal technological process will make for an environment-friendly facility, which will be BREEAM-certified with no less than a GOOD rating.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

SKANSKA HAS ANOTHER HEALTHY BUILDING. WARSAW’S SPARK B WITH WELL CORE&SHELL PRE-CERTIFICATION amount of fresh air and maintaining an adequate level of humidity in the rooms impede the spread of viruses and bacteria. The WELL concept also promotes good hygiene practices and ensuring good quality drinking water is available in the office.

The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), the global organisation responsible for the certification of office space, has awarded Building B of the Spark complex a WELL Core&Shell pre-certification. At this time of the coronavirus pandemic and suspension of travel, this is the only possible way of certification. The building received this distinction confirming the highest quality of office space based on the submitted declaration.

buildings of this Warsaw complex implemented by Skanska are a healthy and sustainable workplace and meet the most demanding guidelines for office space. The needs of building users and guests, their physical and mental health were taken into account. The WELL concept puts focus on people.

Buildings constructed in accordance with WELL principles are especially beneficial now when we need to take care of our The WELL Core&Shell pre-certification health and safety even more. Adequate for Spark B means that both existing ventilation, filtration, injection of a large

Modern technologies, such as the Con­­­­ nected by Skanska operating system, also play a major role in increasing user safety. Thanks to it, many typical activities related to moving through the facility are done without contact. Employees and guests can enter the underground car park thanks to cameras recognising car registrations, and can get to a specific floor of the building using a smartphone or QR code, which is sent along with the invitation to their email address. Last year, Skanska was the first developer in Central and Eastern Europe to obtain the WELL Core&Shell certificate for two office buildings – Visionary in Prague and Spark C in Warsaw. This year Praga Studios investment also received WELL C&S certifi­ cate. To date, Skanska has built around 770,000 sqm of office space in this part of Europe complete with LEED Core&Shell certification, of which over 45,000 sqm is also WELL Core&Shell certified.

A NEW FLEXIBLE OFFICE PROVIDER DEBUTS IN ŁÓDŹ Rise.pl, a provider of coworking spaces and serviced offices on flexible lease terms, is entering the Łódź market. It will take occupancy of 2,100 sqm in Stara Drukarnia office building, a freshly refurbished post-industrial property. Savills advised on the transaction.

500 sqm of retail and service space. Built nearly 100 years ago, it was initially a stocking factory and later served as a Military Printing House from 1946 to 2016. In 2019, the six-floor building

and its annex were fully refurbished. As a result of the refurbishment completed by Drukarnia Center, the property retained its industrial red brick interior and original cast-iron pillars.

Rise.pl is a Polish flexible office provider. It offers modern, fully furnished and equipped office space including single desks on a short-term basis. Founded in 2003, Rise.pl is also active in Krakow and Rzeszów, where it has more than 14,000 sqm of office space in seven locations. In 2020, at least two more cities will be added to its portfolio in addition to Łódź. Stara Drukarnia is located at 130 Gdańska Street in Łódź. It offers more than 4,500 sqm of office space and approximately

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



LITHUANIA’S BUSINESS SERVICES REPORT: MEASURING THE PULSE OF THE INDUSTRY Following the journey of the Lithuanian GBS industry, my colleagues at Invest Lithuania and I have been gauging its growth for six years in a row. This article is based on our annual report, which has been a great resource to combine all the knowledge we have on our increasingly complex sector. Today, I am pleased to share our findings with the readers of Outsourcing&More, some of whom have been following this journey for the past several years. Without further ado, let’s see what the facts show us! LAST YEAR IN FIGURES For the sixth year in a row Lithuania’s GBS sector has demonstrated consistent, sustainable growth. Last year, the sector saw a 14% rise in employment figures. That’s 2,300 new jobs for ICT professionals, Developers, Automation specialists, Finance experts, Client Service agents and other talents. In total at the end of 2019 the GBS sector consisted of 81 dedicated centers employing around 19,300 people.

workforce, which explains why multilingualism (52% of Lithuanians being fluent in at least two foreign languages) is such an important feature. No less prominent are US-headquartered companies that account for 35% of the workforce, largely thanks to Western Union, which operates its largest division worldwide (2,000 specialists and counting!) in Vilnius.


In the past few years, we have seen the same success story repeat itself with multiple centers. A company comes in to establish an office dedicated to one or two functions, and then expands after their first year here. Looking at the numbers, we see that 56% of Lithuania-based centers are currently performing at least SWEET SPOT – MATURE YET STILL 8 functions. Some of the most common UNSATURATED functions are Software Development With all the recent growth, it is reassuring (45% of centers), Accounting (45%) and to see that the saturation rate in Vilnius Analytics (29%). In addition, over a fourth remains healthy. With 29.8 in 1,000 in­­­­ of the centers work with Big Data and habitants employed in Vilnius-based GBS almost a third carry out Product Develop­ centers, the capital is still several times ment as one of their functions. less saturated than places like Dublin, Krakow and Wroclaw. Kaunas has even According to the report survey, funcmore space to grow, with just 10 in tions that experienced the largest growth 1,000 inhabitants working in the sector. from last year were: Artificial Intelligence, Comparatively low saturation levels Master Data Management, AML / KYC, offer companies of all sizes the opportu- Compliance & Risk Management, Robotic nity to stand out as attractive employers. Process Automation (RPA) development, At the same time, the industry is mature and Engineering. enough to offer experienced talent. A number of GBS centers surveyed In addition, lower saturation also indicates mentioned further plans to extend their lower attrition rates and slower wage presence in Lithuania by expanding their growth. The average voluntary attrition current functions or introducing new rate in GBS centers stood at 14% last year, ones, such as AML/KYC, AI, Robotics, Inteland wage growth stabilized at 5.5%. ligent Process Automation (IPA), Cyber

FULL VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE IS AVAILABLE ONLYLooking IN atPAPER the results of our EDITION survey, we OF OUTSOURCING&MORE see that GBS centers’ managers highlight MAGAZINE five advantagesOR ON that Lithuania offers THE WEBSITE. them. Namely, the availability of well-educated specialists, competitive labor costs, a well-developed IT & TelCo infrastructure, multilingualism, and last but not least, social climate and quality of life. These advantages were certainly on the checklists of the four Fortune 500 companies (Oracle, McKesson, Dana, AmerisourceBergen) that joined the Lithuanian GBS family last year.

Last year’s results solidified the notion that Lithuania is a prime GBS destination for Nordic companies. In fact, currently every other center is operated by companies headquartered in the Nordics. These centers employ over a third of the sector’s


Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Security and R&D. This is a clear indication of a healthy and sustainable business ecosystem which sends a positive message to potential investors.

IPA SOLUTIONS – NOT A NOVELTY BUT A NORM The area of Intelligent Process Automation continues to flourish in terms of both volume and complexity. Almost 40% of all GBS centers have implemented or are continuously developing IPA solutions. And nearly a third of these have already stepped up to more advanced, and even fully autonomous process automation solutions. One of the surveyed centers even reported saving more than 400,000 hours (!) thanks to its automation efforts. It is worth mentioning that 96% of the centers using IPA are developing their solutions in-house, which means that more and more Automation specialists are added to the local talent pool. Major universities in Lithuania have been pro­­­ active in introducing IPA modules into their IT and Business Management study programs, thus ensuring the necessary supply of process automation specialists is in place to meet the increasing demand dictated by the global trends. The efforts of Lithuania-based GBS cen­­­ ters have also been recognized internationally. In 2019, Cognizant was named the best Digital Services Firm of the Year in the region at the Shared Services and Outsourcing Awards. It was also recognized for being the TOP IPA Implementation of the Year.

GENDER DIVERSITY IN LITHUANIA’S GBS – CLOSING THE GAP Lithuania remains 1st in the EU for the share of women in the labor force. And this general trend is reflected in Lithuania’s GBS sector, where women comprise 54% of the workforce. More importantly, Lithuania’s GBS industry is leading the way in gender equality not just in terms of the total number. The representation of women in leader­ ship roles keeps growing. Currently, 51% of senior mana­­gement positions in the sector are held by women.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Lithuanian female busi­ness leaders have also received worldwide recognition for their work. Take for example Ona Juodkiene, who was named as one of the 50 most influential women in tech glo­bally by IBM.

THE SECTOR IS READY TO WEATHER THE STORM Although the data presented in this article pertains to 2019, looking at the state of the sector right now, we can make some predictions for the nearest future. The COVID-19 crisis showed that Lithuania-based centers are flexible and resilient, with the likes of Danske Bank having no problem to reorganize the work of thousands of workers in several days’ time. At the same time, instead of massive furloughs across the sector, we saw companies like Intrum and Telia announcing plans to grow their functions and hire more specialists. Although we never know what the future may bring, we are confident that next year we will be returning to you with more good news about the Lithuanian GBS landscape.

ABOUT THE REPORT Lithuania’s Business Services Report is based on the data gathered during a yearly survey conducted by Invest Lithu­­ ania. The survey took place at the beginning of 2020 and encompas­­­­sed 66 com­­­ panies employing 17,750 specialists, which accounts for 81% of all GBS centers in Lithuania and 92% of its total labor force. The report features extensive data on real estate, workforce, attrition rates, education quality and more. 

Want to get your hands on a copy? Download it here for free:


Laura Kavaliauskaite, Head of Business Services & ICT Team, Invest Lithuania



IT COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO COVID-19: THE CASE OF LVIV The coronavirus pandemic has been marked by the growing trend of social responsibility among businesses around the world. IT industry has always been proactive in its social consciousness, with numerous initiatives aimed at fostering the well-being of areas where they are located. Now, not only global giants but also local enterprises are stepping in to resolve the economic crisis induced by COVID-19. As of April 30, Ukrainian IT sector donated around UAH 44.9 million in the fight against coronavirus, with IT companies providing support though regional IT clusters and independently through charitable foundations and a number of social impact projects. In particular, regional IT clusters (Lviv IT Cluster, Kharkiv IT Cluster, IT Dnipro Community, and Ivano-Frankivsk IT Cluster) raised UAH 13.8 million and member companies of the IT Ukraine Association UAH 29.7 million to fight the pandemic’s effects in Ukraine.

region in the fight against the pandemic. The city and region received emergency aid through the joint coordinated activity of Lviv IT community, municipal and regional authorities, as well as the Coronavirus emergency operation center.

working during the quarantine were tested for COVID-19. According to the latest data, 19,037 people in Lviv region and 10,808 residents of Lviv were tested within the frames of the campaign initiated by Lviv IT Cluster. – While the majority of countries were actively During the first week, the organization conducting mass testing of citizens, Ukraine managed to raise UAH 3 million among was in the last place in terms of the number its member companies and purchased of people tested per day. We analyzed the first batch of 20,000 express tests the situation and launched the United for COVID-19. Considering the experience for Health project to help the healthcare of the west, Lviv IT Cluster initiated mass system – notes Stepan Veselovskyi. testing of the population for COVID-19 in the city and region. In the next stages, As of now, UAH 6 million was raised, with The funds were used to purchase express not only local IT business but also citi- a part of the funds directed to the Insurtests, medical protective clothing, and zens started donating funds showing ance Stabilization Fund for medical staff equipment to help the hospitals on the commitment to the community. founded by Lviv Regional State Admini­ the COVID-19 frontline and the govern- As part of the mass testing campaign, stration. The Fund provides all healthment that has been struggling to finance journalists from Lviv who have been care practitioners who were infected the medical sector. – Across Ukraine, IT communities have acted promptly in a joint effort against the pandemic, which proves that our strength lies in cooperation. Our colleagues in Kharkiv, Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivsk did a tremendous job: prompt response and assistance to medical staff and the communities of Ukrainian cities are what we are proud of – said Stepan Veselovskyi, CEO at Lviv IT Cluster.


Of particular significance have been the initiatives of local IT Clusters as a response to the coronavirus spread. In March, Lviv IT Cluster launched the United for Health, which aims to support the community of Lviv and Lviv


Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

while working with coronavirus patients with financial support. Also, protective medical clothing was purchased for all doctors who have been working in PCR labs in Lviv.

In March, Lviv IT Cluster launched the United for Health, which aims to support the community of Lviv and Lviv region in the fight against the pandemic. The city and region received emergency aid through the joint coordinated activity of Lviv IT community, municipal and regional authorities, as well as the Coronavirus emergency operation center.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Thanks to Lviv IT Cluster companies, the United for Health project received substantial financial support. Still, other initiatives of IT companies that have offices in Lviv also did not go unnoticed. SoftServe, in cooperation with Lviv Regional Council, launched an online platform, ‘STOP COVID-19’, that contains a list of medical contacts and facilities in the region including local family doctors and an up-to-date map highlighting the locations of current cases of COVID-19 in Ukraine. The company donated UAH 10 million to the corporate charity fund “Open Eyes” to address urgent medical needs in the Ukrainian cities where SoftServe has offices.

In addition to financial support in the fight against coronavirus, Lviv IT companies utilized their expertise and created a number of technological solutions. N-iX developed an interactive map of coronavirus spread in Lviv and the region, which shows the criti­cal areas and informs residents about the location of the infected individuals to prevent the formation of epidemiological clusters. Chatbots.Studio created a Viber chatbot for medical staff to track the results of mass testing while Bots Crew is developing a chatbot to monitor Lviv residents’ health conditions, which is one more means of detecting the virus outbreaks by revealing the areas where a large number of residents have coronavirus symptoms and a way to inform the administration about the need to scale up the testing in a particular area of the city. EPAM released the GENTL Mask, an open-source solution for manufacturers to address the supply short­­ ­age of protective masks and provide healthcare workers with equipment amid the coronavirus outbreak. One of the largest tech conferences in Eastern Europe IT Arena joined the ini­­­­tia­­­tive on March 31, donating 50% of the proceeds of each ticket to the United for Health initiative to support the com­­ munity of the event’s host city.

On May 15–17, IT Arena organized an on­­­­line hackathon Hack the New World, in partnership with Lviv Tech Angels, ELEKS, and Lviv City Council, to find solutions for the city to adapt to the post-quarantine period. In particular, the hackathon participants worked on the software and hardware solutions in the following areas: tourism and hospitality, crisis response, transportation, retail industry, work, The EPAM Systems office in Ukraine event industry, community development, donated 5.5 million UAH to the UNICEF’s healthcare, and online education. health care programs protecting the population of Ukraine in emergencies. Specifically, the funds will be directed to Author: provide equipment for intensive care and diagnostic facilities to prevent and treat COVID-19. This initiative is part of the company’s global campaign to help countries where EPAM is represented. Besides, as part of the EPAM’s #Together­AsOne initiative, employees Mariia Poliova, donate for the needs of hospitals in Content Writer, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Vinnytsia, and Dnipro. Lviv IT Cluster



NEVER WASTE A GOOD CRISIS Perspectives for BSS regions and cities by Elias van Herwaarden and Sunny Hindwani. AS THE DUST SETTLES… Through May and June countries will emerge from lockdowns wake-up to a gloomy new dawn. Think of GDP con­­­ traction and high unemployment levels. Add Covid-triggered aid packages which will strain countries’ ability to invest in their economy for years to come. And more challenges might follow. Some experts expect the pandemic to accelerate de-globalization. Others, like the World Economic Forum, hold that the virus will not spell the end for globalization – but that change is unavoidable.


Meanwhile, Covid’s impacts are visible. International trade drastically decreased with foreign direct investment projects having been cancelled or stalled. Encou­ ragingly, a few cities still report BSCs growing and new projects coming in.

Previo­usly “unthinkables” quickly became “good practice”. Elements such as deli­ vering recruitment and customer expe­ rience from kitchen tables.

Certainly, there have been challenges and not all has been “business as usual”. What does this all spell for the BSS, and To mention a few: BCP proved inapt at for Central European regions and cities mitigating a hazard of this reach and catering to it? speed, process transitions were put on hold, not all SLAs were met, few TAKING THE BULL BY THE HORNS BSC managers were fully geared-up to BSCs across Central Europe did not stall handle remote teams, and product­i­ in front of the pandemic. They have vity decreased. Cost increase posing as been quick to transition to remote work. a challenge also.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

But the Covid pandemic also has an unexpected positive outcome. For years BSC leaders had to argue that their centers are above all about value creation, not merely about cost-cutting. The debate now is all about value and resilience, with CFOs and COOs discovering their “back-offices” often better prepared than the frontline business. This is bound to create the impetus the sector has longing for. More room for change and bottom-up driven process improvement, end-to-end. As stated previously (see Outsourcing&More May-June 2020), we do not expect radical changes. It is more about accelerating existing initiatives and shifting priorities. These will take time to fully materialize, but as typical for our sector, BSC leaders waste no time.

• “External resilience”: not all locations • Should we still aim for the same target markets? offer similarly robust infrastructures and public governance. • How should we change our “product”? • Is our value proposition still up-to-date?

A DEAFNING SILENCE? As the pandemic spread BSC’s rushed for damage control and quickly began an attempt to anticipate the sector’s future. Few of the BSS public sector partners followed. Even four weeks into the lockdowns there were many investment promotion agency websites with barely any information on how companies could get help in addressing the pande­ mic’s impact. Early June, leading agencies managed to catch-up. Information and testimonials abound on local level while at national level financial support packages have been launched. “Aftercare” has become the marching order. A major step that all agencies should follow suit.

NEVER WASTE A GOOD CRISIS There is no doubt: the Covid-crisis will leave some lasting changes on business and society. Regions and cities that act now will benefit from a competitive advantage. As Churchill once said: never waste a good crisis.


Elias van Herwaarden

Elias van Herwaarden has 30 years of global location and sourcing experience, including the delivery of over 140 engagements in the business services But some of their plans might run into sector. He leads Locationperspectives, “locational barriers”: a strategy and operations consultancy • Increased digitalization: a 2020 Eurothat assists companies in building ­­­­­­­pean Commission study finds a ma- THE ANSWER HAS JUST CHANGED and restructuring their business jor shortage of ICT specialists on But, if Covid caused companies to rethink internationally. Locationperspectives the labor market. their business models and to shift priori- also advises regions and cities on how to • Wider talent: EY reports that three-quar- ties, shouldn’t the BSS’ public sector part- succeed in FDI promotion. ters of European businesses are suffering ners act in similar fashion? from skills shortages that are damaging Sunny Hindwani their productivity and profitability. Admittedly, the core question for BSCs Sunny Hindwani is an experienced • Remote work: if fixed broadband access remains the same: “Where are the optimal foreign direct investment and location is above 80% of households across ecosystems for my operations?” But strategy professional with strong the EU, disparities are more pronounced the shifts within their location requireskills and expertise in international in rural areas. For Next Generation ments call for a public sector response expansions. His track record entails more Access the cross-EU numbers hover that differs from the pre-Covid one. than 70 projects for public and private between 10% and 100%. investment generation and investment • Multi-facility structures: intra-city con­­­ Starting from BSCs post-Covid needs and consolidation. nectivity, public transport and availa- plans, they should seek new answers to For further inquiries about the article or related topics: bility of suitable office space may limit traditional questions: info@locationperspectives.com. second site choices. • What is our competitive position?

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020


ADAPTION OF PROCESS AUTOMATION IN GERMANY AND THE EFFECTS OF ECONOMIC CHANGES CAUSED BY COVID-19 PANDEMIC Let this be not another COVID-19 pandemic article, please… will some readers may think right now. And no, it’s not about how we all work from home, but to be fair COVID-19 will be mentioned in the context two or three times. So bear with me.


A lot of German companies did not just implement software robots but started with a larger "cleaning-up" of existing business processes. As a result companies have optimized some of their internal business processes to an extend that neither an automation nor an outsourcing makes economical sense.


Stephan Fricke, Deustcher Outsourcing Verband


CHANGES IN THE CITY CENTER A NEW DIMENSION OF KIELCE DOWNTOWN City centers are special districts – they are the areas with the largest concentration of city-wide functions, enjoyed by residents of all other districts as well as external guests. These are usually also business cards of cities, historic old towns, old parks, representative residences of offices and institutions. At the same time, they are also areas experiencing economic vitality crises caused by such civilization changes as the rapid development of trade and internet services or the spill of large shopping centers in other districts or on the outskirts of cities. These changes make it necessary to redefine the functioning of complex downtown organisms. At the beginning of 2020, the senior specialist for the city center and contacts with entrepreneurs began working in the City Hall in Kielce, which means that Kielce joined the group of cities in which the city center manager operates. This position was taken by Rafał Zamojski, who has been involved in the activities of urban movements so far. Using his previous social experience, Rafał Zamojski proposed to Mayor of Kielce Bogdan Wenta a vision and plan of his work that were accepted. Their core is help in managing downtown treated as a complex organism, which requires above all a constant increase in the coordination of activities of all city services dealing with downtown.

promenade – Sienkiewicza Street, taking into account the state of the pandemic, i.e. correlating fees with the actual possibility of gardens operation. In this regard, the city authorities have already made decisions in accordance with the application – it was decided to reduce the fee in 2020 to a symbolic penny, it was decided to facilitate the creation of gardens in places where they were not there before, and a team was established to develop detailed standards for gardens for the following years. The team will also indicate, at the request of the manager, streets or street fragments, which will then be transformed into "woonerf" zones (i.e. combining the features of a street and a pedestrian street).

Further recommendations of the city center manager relate to such activities At the beginning of May, the city center as the purchase of new park benches manager, in consultation with the Mayor of a park nature preceded by a social presented a summary of the informa- campaign, in which the inhabitants tion, proposals and conclusions he had of Kielce would themselves indicate prepared. The most important initiatives places in downtown, where they believe definitely include applying for the urgent the benches are missing. preparation and adoption of a new, structured policy that simplifies construc- A very important element of city center tion of cafe gardens in places other management policy is also the inventory than the Market Square and the main of greenery – both the state of existing



greenery and the development of a map of places where it is possible to introduce a new one (including pocket parks, single trees, flower beds and creepers) and indicate the type of possible plantings (both complementary as well as in new places). He also asked for the development of a cooperation program (such as assistance in choosing a place, designing and choosing plants) with residents interested in joining the development of downtown space (including courtyards) and a system of incentives for private sponsors financing pocket parks, flower beds or walls creeping greenery. On the initiative of the Kielce city center manager, the possibility of announcing, in cooperation with SARP, a competition for a master plan for the entire park area of the Silnica Valley (one of the most popular recreational places in Kielce) was discussed and preceded by extensive public consultations, the effect of which will be the basis for drawing up guidelines for the competition. The plan will include both the definition of the function (what and where is possible), forms of landscaping (types of plantings) as well as standards for pavement, infrastructure, urban furniture and decor.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Another interesting way to stimulate the city center is to introduce regular events to the calendar – Kielce street fests organized by municipal institutions. For the duration of the holiday, a small stage, a fair, as well as tables and seats for the integration feast of the residents would be set up on a car-free street. Elements of the holiday would include outdoor exhibition on street history prepared by the History Museum of Kielce, guided tours of street corners, courtyards, craft workshops, special gastronomic and commercial offer of craftsmen and entrepreneurs operating on the celebrating street, special offer of cultural institutions operating on the celebrating street (if there are any), joint feast of participants with the consumption of products brought by them and folk dance.

was known, i.e. first winning a grant and then the implementation of the world's largest video mapping show – taking place simultaneously on several dozen skyscrapers of the Chinese city of Shenzhen) prepared by Mayor Bogdan Wenta, an offer of mixed reality applications dedicated to the center of Kielce (i.e. augmented reality in which everyone can participate via their smartphone), also in a version connected with video mapping. We are waiting for the effects of work on the application.


The initiative to organize two public debates with the participation of external authorities, unquestioned by no environment, is the first of the proposed changes in the field of integration of entrepreneurs with the center. The debates would Suggestions to diversify / enrich concern: the possibility of creating mini the Kielce historic center: clusters by entrepreneurs from downtown, • creating artistic murals on the blind i.e. their cooperation in building a joint walls of downtown tenements, brand, joint promotions, combined offers, • recreating the most interesting historic discount cards, etc., and organization neon signs that once adorned the city of transport and parking in downtown. center, • appointment of the Artistic and Conser- In Kielce, we are also looking for finanvation Council, cing opportunities for trainings addres• introducing a high-quality bilingual sed to city center’s entrepreneurs, spatial identification system in the city including effective cooperation aimed at joint management of their busines­ses center, • assembly of aesthetic stop posts in in a manner similar to shopping malls. the city center. We believe that the integration of merchants, craftsmen, owners of smaller FOR TOURISM businesses, shops, galleries, cafes is one Exploiting the tourist potential of the Castle of the most important tasks for the near Hill area in Kielce is one of the most future. The people of Kielce expect important points on the map of changes a lively center, encouraging websites, in the functioning of the historic center a family – and entrepreneur-friendly of Kielce. The project of placing boards with architectural drawings of Castle Hill seen from different parts of the world at the borders of this area and taking action regarding the cathedral belfry, former granary and former bishop's brewery basements are the first proposals. The next ones include works aimed at creating a spatial model of the 18th century Castle Hill in order to display it on the square of St. Mary's Square in front of the Cathedral.

place – a modern downtown fully utilizing the city's extraordinary character. The Smart City office of the City Hall of Kielce is preparing, within the idea. kielce.eu portal the "subportal" Downtown, which will include communication platform with city center’s entrepreneurs, real estate owners, residents and social workers, some inspirational information from other cities, including examples of best practices in other downtown areas, a full interactive map of all Kielce downtown cafes, restaurants, clubs, pubs, bars, a map of craftsmen, vanishing professions, places with a long tradition, links to all culture-related entities opera­ ting in the downtown, gallery of the best signs and sites, gallery of historical Kielce shop windows, signs, lanterns, neon lights, "Let's fix it!" i.e. a place where inoperative lanterns, dumps, no wells, torn out cobblestones, a place to discuss Kielce's backyards, enabling visible location proposals for the foundation of new benches and pocket parks can be reported. More information:

Investor Assistance Centre Kielce City Hall: Strycharska 6 Street, 25-659 Kielce Phone: +48 41 36 76 571, 41 36 76 557 e-mail: coi@um.kielce.pl www.invest.kielce.pl/en www.mapa.invest.kielce.pl/en

There is also a suggestion for a tourist melex route prepared at the request of the director of the Kielce Culture Center, as well as suggestions to use the potential of downtown cellars On the initiative of the city center manager, artist Dariusz Makaruk from The Market Square in Kielce during the 46th International Scout Festival of School Youth Culture "Windmill": Kielce (recently his spectacular success Parade and action called The Largest Rock Band. Photo: Przemysław Sękowski.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020





The coronavirus pandemic and its resulting restrictions have meant that office-based work has turned into home office in many places. Poznań’s modern service centres, as well as Poznań City Hall, have rapidly adapted to the new reality. POZNAŃ CITY HALL AND THE INVESTOR RELATIONS DEPARTMENT When it comes to public administration, the concept of home office was known only from stories before the pandemic. However, the City’s Mayor, Jacek Jaśkowiak, as early as March 13 decided on officials’ working on a remote basis. All face-to-face meetings were cancelled or supposed to be held online via appropriate tools. The operations of departments where clients deal with registering or conducting business were subject to restrictions. We, the employees of the Investor Relations Department, have also started working remotely while adapting to the changing needs of investors. Unfortunately, in the first place we were forced to cancel planned trips to conferences and fairs which could not take place due to the pandemic, including the MIPIM (Real Estate and Investment Fair in Cannes) or


Infoshare (IT conference held in Gdańsk). It turned out that we can easily remain in touch with investors, even when working remotely from our homes. We have been appearing at the workplace on a rotational basis to handle the most important office matters, such as sending mail or forwarding invoices. New initiatives and tasks for our Department have been appearing. In cooperation with the Department of Education, we carried out a collection of computer equipment for pupils and students who did not have the opportunity to take part in remote teaching due to a lack of hardware. We would like to thank Poznań companies for their involvement in this campaign. We have also prepared a series of articles where Poznań’s modern service centres shared their experiences in terms of remote work.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020


1. ALLEGRO Remote work has been in ongoing opera­ • At Allegro, development is a very tion at Allegro for years and we know that important factor for us, which is why it does not interfere with the conduct of we make sure that our employees our tasks. Both the infrastructure and have access to the best training offer. tools we use on a daily basis are conduDespite the change to virtual rooms, cive to work from home. While experien­ over the past two months we have cing this difficult time for all of us, we organised 93 training activities (workappreciate this system of work even more. shops/lectures/e-learning) on 43 topics, attended by over 1,200 people! We have moved almost entirely to • The health of our employees is just as important to us; that is why we have the online world – all recruitment and moved the internal #AkcjaZdrowie business meetings, events, training courses, as well as language classes are [HealthCampaign] to the online world. held remotely. What does this mean in We have organised remote classes on practice? a healthy spine, face yoga, and consul• All teams have been prepared to work tations with a physiotherapist. from home – we constantly care for • We continue to inform our employees both our current and future employees. about the company’s strategy and plans • The recruitment process is all carried out by organising a remote Q&A session with board members. remotely. Commencing from submitting the CV, through contact with the job • In addition, during this tough time, we candidate and the recruitment process, have financially supported selected to signing the contract and onboarding. employee initiatives related to COVID-19. • We have twice had the opportunity to conduct 100% remote onboarding, in This is just a small part of our actions which nearly 100 people participated! taken during the pandemic. Allegro is New employees do not have to leave constantly developing, which is why their home to start working with us, and we are not slowing down in the search our business equipment along with a for new employees. Nearly 60 offers are welcome pack of company gadgets is open in Poznań alone, for the IT departsupplied to their own hands! ment and Customer Service, as well as • We are constantly sharing knowledge Commerce and Finance. For example, by organising “Allegro Tech Live” tech- we have openings for positions such nological online meet-ups and by as Market and Customer Analyst, Data providing a series of podcasts on the Analyst, Software Engineer, Mobile Softvalues we follow and the direction we ware Test Engineer, Communication are heading. Specialist, and Key Account Manager.

Currently, all Capgemini employees are working remotely. All recruitment processes are also conducted online, in three stages: 1. Contact with a recruiter and foreign language verification, 2. Optional short phone conversation with a team manager or technician, 3. Online meeting on Skype or Microsoft Teams. At this moment, the highest focus is on the positions: Senior Java Software Engineer, SAP PM Consultant, Software Architect in Test Automation, or Performance Test Specialist. Onboarding has been adapted to home-­ -­office conditions, and at Capgemini Software Solutions Center it looks as follows: • The employee receives agreements and all documents from their supervisor in electronic form; • Equipment is picked up during the on­­­ boarding day in Capgemini buildings without contacting others; • All onboarding-related training courses take place online; • On the day of onboarding, the employee is contacted by a Pate-handler and person coordinating the onboarding.

Allegro, #dobrzetubyć [goodtobehere]

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



4. MARS GLOBAL SERVICE FINANCE AND MARS GLOBAL SERVICE COMMERCIAL 3. JOHN DEERE From March to May we were fully working in a remote setting – this temporary solution lasted over 2 months. The employees were given the opportunity to take their monitors and any other necessary equipment home. While the pandemic slowed our recruitment processes down slightly, we are continuing to hire new employees and will execute against our growth goals. Consequently, no employees haven been or will be dismissed from Deere due to the COVID-19 crisis. In general, the virtual work environment did not cause any major obstacles, and remote recruiting started to become our new normal. As the Polish government was loose­­­ ning its restrictions from mid-May on, we prepared our office space for those employees, who wanted to return to their work desks. This was a voluntary option, as we are aware that not everyone has the right conditions to work and concentrate at home. We took care of the purchase of disinfectants and implemented all governmental recommendations to make our employees safe at work. We continue to monitor the situation and answer any questions or doubts during regular pandemic update calls with all employees, as well as individual conversations. The period of pandemic and drought is an extremely difficult time for our customers – farmers, so we did everything to meet the requirements of those who provide food to all of us.


We do know that Mars is often associated with candy bars and the Mars Wrigley gum factory. That’s fine because we are transferring the best security practices from the factory! We want to make sure that we do everything to prevent the virus from spreading. The full process, from recruitment to introduction into the organisation, the team, and the job position takes place online. The last weeks have taught us a lot in this respect and we have improved our approach. RECRUITMENT Each and every recruitment stage is carried out via Skype or MS Teams. The form of con-­­­­ tact has changed, but not our approach: we are still looking for people who would like to start a long-term career with us.

EMPLOYMENT During the process of employment, we operate with the help of couriers to provide necessary documents and equipment. We minimise the need for occupational medical examinations, and when necessary, we pay for travel by taxi to a private medical facility. IMPLEMENTATION Thanks to the use of Skype or MS Teams, we carry out training, we get to know each other and integrate. We are conducting an introductory training plan; only their character has changed – to a virtual form. There is no denying that we are longing for joint meetings, which is why we’re using the remote work period partly to plan how to catch up when we get back to the office!

5. MIELE The current situation has not stopped our recruitment processes; all we have changed is the form of meetings to an online platform. We are currently seeking candidates for positions in accounting, controlling, and related to the SAP area (SAP Business Analyst or SAP Consultant). The number of people we employ depends on how many interesting candidates we find. And our capacity is considerable!

to life. We try to present the specific cha­­­ rac­teristics of our business (the group and our local Miele Global Services). An online meeting lasts about 60 minutes, which does not significantly differ from the previous form of meetings.

We also carry out onboarding online (Skype, Microsoft Teams, etc.). A new em-­­­­ ployee appears in the office only for a short while on the first day to pick up The recruitment process in our company equipment. For new colleagues we have is mostly one-stage; it is mainly based prepared, among others, a virtual walk on a free and casual conversation with around our new office. At least in this the candidate to check their previous expe- manner they are able to make their first rience, motivation to work, and approach emotional contact with the new company.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



At Nordcloud we deal with the public cloud, a fact which only enhances our ability to work remotely. We carry out the majority of international projects in this manner. Nowadays, we take advantage of this custom with even greater strength, though a little under duress, no denial to that. Not only are we currently strengthening the culture of remote work in teams, but also with clients. Video conferencing is standard with us. In this way, we conduct, e.g. workshops and the recruitment process. We use Slack and we have created new channels, for instance #virtual-coffee. There, using a bot, we arrange to go out for a virtual coffee. The bot pairs us up randomly, which means that we often talk to those we have not met yet. We have even done some online cooking together.

Ever since the pandemic started, the offices of Sollers Consulting have remained open. However, for the sake of the health and safety of our em­­­­ ployees, we all have the opportunity to work remotely, which we gladly take advantage of. Owing to the home office policy, we were prepared to face this challenge, though we must admit that we miss the time spent together in the office. We try to do our very best to recreate the same work atmosphere when working from home. We have been assisted by the Scrum methodo­ logy. Within our teams, we join a Scrum meeting every morning. Thanks to this, we can see each other in the whole team and know at what stage we currently are in task implementation.

As part of the benefits available, our partners can, for example, do shopping for employees! A psychologist’s assistance is also available. In Poland, we have also implemented virtual coffee for everyone – at one time – during which we don’t talk about work or COVID-19; this is our informal 30 minutes. Some teams organise beer-online while our women’s community – in a similar formula – a Ladies-Night. Recently 13 people from various locations (Bytom, Gdańsk, Wrocław) have joined us, and this meant completely remote onboarding; the next one, for 6 people, is planned in June. We can manage, with the aid of a lot of the tools that we use: Trello, G-Suite, Zoom.

7. SII Sii infrastructure was designed with the assumption of remote working options for all employees. For over 6 months, thanks to the implementation of cloud tools and investments in bandwidth, we have been prepared for the current situation. At Sii, we use Office 365, thanks to which all employees can safely: • conduct virtual meetings • take advantage of all tools used on a daily basis – CRM system, BI reports, tools of the Office Suite, Intranet Portal, and many others • edit and interchange files online • obtain the data they need. At Sii, we are also prepared for recruitment in the remote mode. Current job offers are available at sii.pl/oferty-pracy. Job interviews take place online, and in case a candidate has successfully passed the entire recruitment process, we deliver both the agreement and necessary equipment to the new employee via courier. Getting started with the job and meeting new colleagues take place in remote mode.

Sollers Consulting has always been an active participant and organiser of employer branding events. In today’s situation, we have moved our activities to the internet, organising webinars. A similar change has occurred when it comes to recruitment processes, which we conduct on a completely remote basis. Meanwhile, new employees have started their adventure at Sollers Consulting with remote onboarding since March. Today we may boast of the successful introduction of 17 em­­­ ployees from 3 different countries. We emphasize teamwork, which is why integration is of extreme importance to us. The creativity of Sollers people has no boundaries. Charades and conversations over a glass of wine after work hours are just a few examples of such meetings.

More statements from representatives of Poznań companies are available in our series “How does the modern service sector in Poznań work and recruit?” at www.poznan.pl/invest.

More information:

Investor Relations Department City of Poznań Za Bramką 1 Street, 61-842 Poznan Phone: +48 61 878 54 28 e-mail: inwestor@um.poznan.pl www.poznan.pl/invest

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



OFFICE MARKET IN LUBLIN ENTERING NEW PHASE For many years, the office market in Lublin has been mainly driven by the IT sector, which maintains a high growth rate. Local real estate offers perfect conditions also for creating new and developing existing BPO or SSC operation centres. New office projects carried out by developers, whose confidence in Lublin is not dwindling, respond to the rapid pace of growth of the modern business services sector. The Business Environment Assessment Study 2019, conducted by experts from Antal, Cushman & Wakefield and Vastint, will serve as an introduction to the current situation on the Lublin’s office market and it will help better understand the rationale behind the recent activities of real estate developers. In this ranking, which puts under scrutiny the investment potential of major Polish cities (Warsaw, Cracow, Wrocław, Tricity, Lublin, Poznań, Katowice, Łódź, Szczecin) based on a survey of CEOs, board members or directors of companies operating in these cities, Lublin and Tricity proved to be the best, with an overall score of 7.4. One of the categories analysed was real estate, taking into account criteria such as access to offices by public transport, the quality of available office space, the quality of additional services located in or near the buildings, and office costs. With a score of 7.8 out of 10, Lublin was the winner in this category, ahead of Tricity and Cracow. One of the competitive advantages of Lublin compared to other locations is the significantly lower rents, which allow for savings in operating costs of 20–30% compared to central and western Poland.


Currently, the average rents in Lublin's A-class office buildings stand at 11–12 EUR/sqm/month, which makes Lublin the cheapest regional market in Poland. With a total stock of 207,874 sqm, the vacancy rate of 12% should be seen as a normal market-specific level. In the coming months this rate is expected to increase slightly due to two key factors. Firstly, the slowdown in tenant activity as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that brought the global economy to a standstill in the second quarter of this year and made companies sit on their hands until their is more clarity on what the near future holds. That is understandable given the current uncertainty surrounding the potential second wave of the pandemic. Secondly, the market in Lublin will grow from Q4 2020 as new office buildings are deli­ vered. The largest projects currently under construction are CZ Office Park D, Wojciechowska 9A and G7 Inter Office, all A-class. Each of them is the next stage of an office park developed by local developers who have undoubtedly dominated the Lublin office market.

The first one to be ready for occupation is CZ Office Park D, which represents the third stage of development of the office complex at the intersection of Kraśnicka and Nałęczowska streets, on the site of the former depot of MPK municipal transport company in Helenów District. Developed by Centrum Zana Holding Sp. z o.o. Sp.K. it will be put on the market in Q4 2020. After buildings A and C with office space of 20,900 sqm and 4,200 sqm respectively, the time has come for the third scheme of 7,000 qm. One of the most attractive things about this place is its excellent location near the university town, especially the new Western Campus of the Maria Curie-Słodowska University at Głęboka St, which will be welcome students in the new academic year. The proximity to the universities, which are the main source of talent entering the labour market, becomes even more evident considering that IT companies, which represent the largest group of tenants in Lublin, increasingly often appoint students. In this context, the proximity to universities is invaluable.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

space – Grzegorz Turski, Vice-President of Centrum Zana Holding Sp. z o.o. Sp. K. CZ Office Park D will be developed in two stages – apart from the first buil­­­ ding, which will become available to tenants later this year, the construction of the second stage with an area of 9,000 sqm has already started. Once completed, the entire investment will fit perfectly into the existing commercial and residential development of the quarter designated by Nałęczowska, Morwowa and Kraśnicka Streets. A little further southwest, at the jun­ction of Gęsia, Jana Pawła II and Kraśnicka Avenue, the largest of the office buildings currently underway in Lublin, namely G7 Inter Office, is developed by JBU Sp. z o.o. Sp. K. on the site of a shopping park in Lublin's Węglin District. G7 is located in the immediate vicinity of one of the fastest growing residential districts of Lublin, where mainly young people are settling.

CZ Office Park D.

At the same time, building D is located by one of the city's main roads, which not only makes it well connected to the major districts of Lublin, but also makes it possible to reach the centre of Lublin within a few minutes' drive. There are also public transport stops right next to the building providing excellent connectivity within the city. The building itself, fully adapted to the needs of the disabled, is characterised by the height of repeatable storeys exceeding 3.7 m. It will consist of 6 above-ground and 1 underground storeys, offering 160 parking spaces to tenants. Its visual attractiveness is primarily due to the three-pane aluminium facade combined with greenery covering 100% of outer walls combined with outdoor greenery, as well as the use of architectural concrete in building interiors. A terrace, a representative entrance hall with a reception, the space of which will be closed with a skylight at the roof level or external substructures for climbing greenery will make the scheme aesthetically impressive, at the same time smoothly blending in with the greenery existing along Kraśnicka Avenue.

One of the competitive advantages of Lublin compared to other locations is the significantly lower rents, which allow for savings in operating costs of 20–30% compared to central and western Poland.

The investor does not deny that the office building is being built mainly for tenants from the IT industry, which is dominated by young employees. There are many bus and trolleybus lines in the building's surroundings, as well as an extensive network of bicycle paths. The building will provide 16,000 sqm consisting of 9,000 sqm of office space and 3,000 sqm of commercial and service space on the ground floor. The four-storey scheme will feature many ecological solutions. The building's characteristic L-shaped structure consists of two parts connected with each other by a glass connector, resulting in a courtyard with

– We wanted to create a building that will not only guarantee a comfortable working environment, but also offer high aesthetic impressions. Thanks to the advanced technical solutions we have adopted, we will be able to offer our tenants the highest quality of both office and accompanying G7 Inter Office.

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The market in Lublin will grow from Q4 2020 as new office buildings are delivered. The largest projects currently under construction are CZ Office Park D, Wojciechowska 9A and G7 Inter Office, all A-class.

Wojciechowska 9A.

offered 5,000 sqm on six overground storeys, out of a total area of 6,700 sqm. As with the two previous office blocks, the building’s excellent location is striking, as it is perfectly connected with other districts of Lublin. W9A, together with other adjacent office buildings and newly erected residential developments, have transformed the area of Wojciechowska St into an attractive business district. The office building itself is built to a high standard with air conditioning, ventilation, excellent sound insulation and will be characterised by high functionality of common areas. The underground floor will offer 56 parking spaces, while 200 additional dedicated lots will be ready for tenants overground. Thanks to the appropriate lighting of spaces, the use of selective glass, advanced technical solutions, including a smartphone access control system, or the use of photovoltaic panels on the roof, the scheme will not only create a functional and friendly space meeting requirements of the more and more discerning occupiers, but will also meet stringent energy The third of the office buildings cur­­ standards reflecting the care for the envirently in the construction pipeline is ronment. High aesthetic values will be Wojciechowska 9A, which is built at guaranteed by sintered quartz facades. the intersection of Wojciechowska and The investment is set for completion in Skromna streets. The investment by W9 September 2021. Investment S.C. J. Urban D. Piątek was designed by EWMA Studio from Lublin. It is worth mentioning that despite the co­­­­According to the design, tenants will be ro­­­­navirus pandemic and temporarily a green zone on one side of the building. This space will house a restaurant with tables on a green roof, offering tenants’ employees a place to rest, regenerate and get inspired. The office building itself will have a green roof too which, thanks to the adjoining allotment gardens, will provide perfect space for beehives. In addition, as with the neighbouring office building G5, the internal facades of the building will be covered with greenery. An undeniable advantage of G7 will be the availability of parking spaces – 1,300 lots in the overground car park and 68 spaces underground. On floor – 1 there will also be a bicycle car park with dressing rooms and all necessary sanitary facilities for cyclists. In this way, the project designed by Jerzy Korszeń fits perfectly into the idea of employer branding. Over 3 metres high offices, flexible room layouts and elevations made of waterproof concrete are other solutions that are important advantages of the building that is scheduled for completion in June 2021.


suspended administrative procedures, the developers do not foresee any delays in the completion of their investments. It is also important to note that a lot is happening in Lublin in relation to office space in older buildings or those in fringe locations that are not classified as class A or B. Nevertheless, these buildings have undergone or are undergoing major refurbishments and offer an interesting alternative to brand new offices. What is more, in Lublin there are still plots of land prepared for office projects and located in very attractive locations. With the forthcoming completion of the buildings that are now underway, Lublin will approach the level of a quarter of a million square metres of modern office space, and more projects are in the pipeline, which should cause quite a stir in the near future, not only in Lublin.

More information:

Łukasz Goś Director of Investor Relations Office Lublin City Hall Phone: +48 81 466 25 42 e-mail: lukasz.gos@lublin.eu

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020


We Are About People: Who deliver open innovation Who like what they do and do it well Who advise at the cutting-edge of technology Who are strategic thinkers, makers and true professionals Who have expertise across Big Data, IoT, ML, DevOps, and more.





– ABOUT THE EXPERIENCES OF BYDGOSZCZ IN THE PANDEMIC ERA It is impossible to look for a place in Poland or even Europe that is not affected by the negative effects of the coronavirus epidemic. The situation of recent months has cast a shadow not only in the sphere of public health, but also seriously affected other socio-economic elements, both on a macro and micro level. What experience has Bydgoszcz gained in its current confrontation with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic? What actions for business and in cooperation with business has the City been able to initiate in a crisis? Finally, how did the Bydgoszcz BPO/SSC market react to the pandemic? 70


the purchases. In addition, the City actively joined the activities to support medical In March, at the very beginning of staff and protect employees of services the epidemiological emergency in exposed to contact with the infected. One Poland, the Mayor of Bydgoszcz anno­­ million PLN from the crisis management unced the so-called Bydgoszcz assis- reserves was allocated for the current tance package for entrepreneurs who, safety measures, and chosen municipal as a result of the epidemic, have been facilities were allocated to medical and affected by restrictions running their busi- quarantine facilities. The City also lent nesses in services and trade. The purpose the area for creating a special pickup point of the municipal package of conces- for "Drive & Go-Thru" tests. sions, exemptions and postponement of payment dates was primarily to THE NEW SUPPORT reduce the negative effects of the crisis OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP in which entrepreneurs in Bydgoszcz Bydgoszcz Regional Development found themselves, as well as to support Agency (BARR) – a dedicated municipal those who needed quick help to survive company that has been dealing with this difficult and unexpected time. As part investor support and entrepreneurship of the package, they could take advan- support in Bydgoszcz for several years tage of, for example, reliefs in payments – has also come out with new initiatives for property tax, rental of municipal prem- for local businesses. – Spring is always ises or land. In turn, in May, at the stage an extremely intense period at BARR. It is of gradual defrosting of the economy, trips to trade fairs and economic conferthe Mayor of Bydgoszcz introduced addi- ences, meetings with investors, organitional preferential fees for the opera­tion sation of industry events, B2B meetings of summer gardens in Bydgoszcz gastro- or numerous trainings for entrepreneurs. nomic premises in the 2020 season. Direct contact with people has been Another element of support from the City the basis of our activities to support local were also activities promoting local business. Due to the pandemic, this year has businesses, such as posting on the City been a time to gather experience and intenportal a list of Bydgoszcz gastronomic sively search for new solutions or working establishments offering take-away and methods. All the time we knew, however, delivery dishes, as well as grocery stores how important our mission is, especially and bakeries where one could make in this crisis situation, and how important the necessary purchases by phone or it will be now to support local entrepreneuronline with home delivery. ship and communication with local business – says Edyta Wiwatowska, President Cooperation of the City with local busi- of the Management Board of BARR. ness for the persons most at risk during the epidemic also proved to be a good In the first days after the introdu­­­ction of practice. In cooperation with entrepre- various restrictions affecting the economy neurs, Bydgoszcz has launched a free throughout the country, BARR launched shopping service for seniors, which a special tab on its website with current older and disabled people have started and arranged information useful for local to use. Thanks to business partners – entrepreneurs. This offered a quick go-to the Media System company, which took place to check what changes in the law care of setting up of a special helpline were introduced, as well as what support for seniors and Deligoo, which devel- instruments were made available in this oped a dedicated application for volun- situation, both at the national, local, and teers – the service has become simple regional level. The process of transferring and secure. Blinkee has also joined the entire BARR training activity online the program by lending their electric was also smooth. BARR Business School in scooters for free to volunteers delivering online version, including completely new

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

The purpose of the municipal package of concessions, exemptions and postponement of payment dates was primarily to reduce the negative effects of the crisis in which entrepreneurs in Bydgoszcz found themselves, as well as to support those who needed quick help to survive this difficult and unexpected time. As part of the package, they could take advantage of, for example, reliefs in payments for property tax, rental of municipal premises or land.



In cooperation with entrepreneurs, Bydgoszcz has launched a free shopping service for seniors, which older and disabled people have started to use. Thanks to business partners – the Media System company, which took care of setting up of a special helpline for seniors and Deligoo, which developed a dedicated application for volunteers – the service has become simple and secure. Blinkee has also joined the program by lending their electric scooters for free to volunteers delivering the purchases.


offers appeared on the local market – shares Edyta Wiwatowska. In order to help both jobseekers and entrepreneurs struggling with the intensification of their activities and shortage of employees, at the beginning of April BARR created a special #JestPraca tab on its website, which contained information obtained from local employers about ongoing recruitments. – Companies responded very quickly. Already within the first few days, the site was filled with job offers for nearly 200 people on over 50 different positions – comments the President of BARR and adds – We can see that the #JestPraca tab is frequently visited and there are still new job offers in Bydgoszcz companies. Therefore, we hope that as a result, our activity will improve the situation of people directly affected by the economic effects of the epidemic and at least partially help in relieving the huge challenges that the entire business sector has faced.

trainings devoted to the Anti-Crisis Shield and the Financial Shield, met with positive response and great interest from entrepreneurs from the region and people starting their own business. In relation to the situation on the local market, BARR's offer also includes numerous training offers for those who lost their jobs as a result of the crisis or were in danger of losing their jobs. It is with these people in mind that BARR has also undertaken another, completely new initiative – the #JestPraca (ThereIsWork) campaign. – With the beginning of the epidemic development in Poland, in some enterprises in the region we have observed a reduction in employment, while from others we have received signals about an increase in demand for some of their products or services, therefore new job

IN VIRTUAL CONTACT WITH INVESTORS BARR's activity in the field of communication with investors has also moved to the virtual space. – We try to be in constant contact with local entrepreneurs, create opportunities and space to exchange experiences, communicate needs and problems, share knowledge – emphasizes Edyta Wiwatowska. An example of such conversations on current topics, and also an op­­­­­portunity to exchange good practices, was a virtual meeting with investors opera­ting on the Bydgoszcz market of modern business services "Business continuity during the epidemic – Bydgoszcz best practice round table call", orga­ ni­sed at the end of April by BARR in coope­ration with the Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL). The teleconference was attended by representatives of companies from the BSS sector

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Invested in the city

in Bydgoszcz (including: Cybercom, Sii, Livingston, PZU, Meelogic, Ivy Technology), as well as ABSL experts and BARR employees. Among the challenges and good practices that were discussed during the meeting, the most common were the topics of organising remote work in companies, communication with employees, frequency and risk monitoring tools, or ensuring work safety at company headquarters, where it is not possible to start working from home completely, e.g. because of the provision of maintenance services. Due to the specific character of compa­­­­­nies from the BPO/SSC sector in Bydgoszcz, especially in the IT industry, and nume­­ rous experiences related to remote support for international projects, in most cases it was quick to introduce working from home programmes – although this required providing appropriate equipment and technical support to employees. Also, initially frequent virtual morning meetings with employees after a few weeks were no longer necessary to ensure a good level of work efficiency. However, the challenge remained to maintain adequate motivation and commitment of the teams, as well as a sense of security in terms of continuity of employment. In this regard, in several cases, for example, a video meeting for all employees with the company's president were found helpful. These increased the employees' awareness of the level of company security or further forecasts for the functioning of the entire organisation. The positive aspect was the increased level of satisfaction of some clients who in this difficult situation appreciated the ability of Bydgoszcz companies to provide services and projects without interruptions (including maintenance services).

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The prospect of returning to the "new normality" after a longer period of remote work, including, first of all, ensuring the safety of employees in the workplace remained another challenge. In this regard, companies using the space in modern office buildings in Bydgoszcz also appreciate the security introduced in these buildings, which further helps employers provide the required comfort in the workplace. – The first experiences showed us that this type of virtual meetings are an opportunity for local companies to exchange experiences, ideas and good practices in the industry to cope with a crisis situation or to get additional know­ ledge or advice from expert organisations. The situation is constantly changing, which is why we intend to continue initiating such video conferences also in the future – declares BARR.

Name of the investor: SoftBlue SA Country of origin: Poland Number of workplaces: 31 Sector: IT, R&D, consulting Company's residence in the city: Jana Zamoyskiego 2B Occupied place: 600 sq m

SoftBlue SA provides economic and business consulting services and commercializes scientific projects in its own Research and Development Department. We are a pioneer in the field of solutions dedicated to air quality research. So far, we have developed, among others, an innovative system of the AirDron measuring head and a smogobus [smog measuring bus].

– Bydgoszcz has repeatedly received the title of a business-friendly city in various plebiscites and this status is also a commitment for us – it seems even greater in this difficult time for economy. We are also aware that further economic consequences of the current situation are yet to come and further challenges for business and the City will appear. In crisis, however, constant mobilization of forces is important and that is why we gather experiences and continue working! – summarises Edyta Wiwatowska.

Our systems support public administration, the army, ministries and offices. SoftBlue Group comprises also SoftBlue Mobility, a company which connects the author’s ICT solutions with photovoltaics and Milisystem, a technological company supporting the actions of the defence services. Milisystem operates in the field of the Vistula firearms training system. Our actions are guided by one goal, which is the welfare of the society and support for Polish enterprises.

More information:

4C Unii Lubelskiej Street 85-059 Bydgoszcz Phone: +48 52 585 88 23 e-mail: barr@barr.pl www.barr.pl

Michał Kierul, President, SoftBlue SA



IT IS BEING BUILT! In Częstochowa developers and architects are still working, despite the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Responding to the demand of companies for modern office space, the city has several new, interesting projects, ranging from the development of nineteenthcentury buildings to cosy, modern office buildings in the city centre. – All this will pass and you will have to go back to a normal life, the better you prepare yourself for it, the easier it will be for you – says one of the developers from Częstochowa.

TOWER TOWN In the context of the creation of modern office spaces in the city, Częstochowa's urban situation is quite interesting and demanding. The maximum permissible building height in the city of Częstochowa is closely related to the location of the monastery of the Pauline Fathers Order in Jasna Góra and the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Landscape values associated with the exposition of the Jasna Góra Sanctuary are subject to conservation protection by limiting the height of buildings, especially in the central part of the city and along designated viewing axes. In the area of the Jasna Góra Sanctuary, in planning documents, the maximum building height parameters and provisions aiming at eliminating disharmonious and competitive buildings concerning the silhouette of the monastery are in force. Such records from the Local Plan mean that every developer who wants to create modern office space in the city must take into account the need for optimal use of the available area, as well as the need to introduce architectural innovations as was the case with already completed investments.


Aleja Najświętszej Maryi Panny - visualisation.

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Rocha Center – visualisations.

IN THE HEART OF THE CITY The main thoroughfare of Częstochowa is Aleja – wide, one and a half kilometre long, Aleja Najświętszej Maryi Panny. Established at the beginning of the 19th century, connecting two towns of Częstochowa and Nowa Częstochowa. From the mid-nineteenth century, it was here that representative buildings were erected for public institutions and the residences of local manufacturers, whose facades are decorated with bay windows, balconies and other architectural details. Today, Aleja Najświętszej Maryi Panny connects Częstochowa Stare Miasto (Old Town), Śródmieście and the district called Podjasnogórska. A comfortable, revitalized walking boulevard divides the two-lane road. In the very centre of the city, near the town hall, next to the historic "Popówka", a modern gallery with office space for rent is being built at No. 49. Before, there was a decaying building here, out of service from 2011. In the vicinity of the emerging investment, there are numerous gastronomic establishments with summer gardens as well as real estate advantage of the building, especially in offices and law firms. the context of the court's neighbourhood, is its above-ground and underground The ground floor of the building is car park, as well as its location on one intended for trade and services but of the main roads leading to the very on the next two floors – the first with an centre of Częstochowa. Construction area of 1,821.75 m² and the second with works are to begin in the second half an area of 1,696 m² – offices or business of this year. services can be located. Due to the location in the very centre and the need to BRIGHTNESS balance parking spaces, an additional OF THE CONGRESS TIMES underground asset that is being built is "Częstochowianka" is the most impressive an additional asset. The investment will and one of the most important objects, be ready for use in October this year. which is a testimony to the industrial heritage of Częstochowa, which was once ROCHA CENTER a textile power. The new office investment will be built soon at the District Court building in The building has been thermo-moderni­ Częstochowa, which will be completed ­zed since 2018. Structural elements are in 2022. being strengthened, internal installations are assembled and modern elevaNear the new seat of the court at Rocha tors are installed. The form of the building 80/90 Street, a modern, six-storey service is typical 19th-century industrial archiand office building are being planned, tecture, with original brick decorations with a total area of at least 2,400 m², in and dominants in the form of corner the open space system, which the tenant turrets. The insulation was made from will be able to arrange in any way. the inside, and the magnificent facade is The location of the building on the plot carefully restored respecting every brick is also to ensure optimal use of solar detail. The window and door joinery energy and natural light. An additional in the building was also replaced and

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recreated, preserving the character and mullions of the historic windows. The facility is designed as an office building with a commercial and service part, with five floors above ground. Besides, tenants will have a lobby with reception, conference rooms, social rooms and sanitary facilities. The surface for rent on the ground floor is 2,635.1 m², and each floor is 2,965.1 m² for any arrangement made for the needs of the tenant. The investment is located near the centre of Częstochowa at Rejtana 33 Street, next to the DK1 national road connecting Katowice and Kraków with Warsaw and Łódź.



winners of numerous awards (e.g. Facade of the Year 2018, Architecture of the Year of the Silesian Voivodeship in 2019). When The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies together with The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design awarded "40 under 40" – for forty rising stars of European architecture and design before the age of forty – Jakub Cieślik – one of the members of the Verso Group, was among them. Group architects are chara­ cterized by ecological awareness and the ability to use modern technologies.

JASNOGÓRSKA 75 In 2018, the ZF Friedrichshafen AG Group – present in Częstochowa since 2015, when it merged with the TRW group existing here for a quarter of a century – celebrated the creation of another headquarters, an IT centre employing over 200 people found its place in a modern office building. The company is constantly developing and employs over 6,000 people in Częstochowa.

Częstochowianka / Jasnogórska 75 – visualisations.

The owner of the building, the developer from Częstochowa, wants to build a technologically identical and architecturally similar office building adjacent to the current one, which is the seat of ZF. This building is also designed in class A, and the usable floor space is 2,622 m². The estimated construction time is about 14 months. Information for tenants of office space is available at the Investor Assistance Center of the Częstochowa City Hall: phone number 34 370 213, mobile 605 313 604. Author: A. Mielczarek Translation: M. Wytrzymała

GREEN CENTER In the very centre of Częstochowa, on the Solidarity Square, close to the fountain known to all residents as Ms Kowalska, the developer is planning to build a rather unusual office building – unusual because of the small area of the plot on which it is located and the office space that will be built.

Level 0 is the entrance with a customer service room, and levels 1 and 2 are high standard office space. The total building area is 351 m², optimal for use by one or more tenants. The duration of construction is a maximum of one year.

The office building at Solidarity Square is another – after the building with A four-storey facility is to be built on the working name "Rocha Center" in the green square, with a representative the vicinity of the new Court – a project glass elevator in the corner of the building. of the Verso Group from Częstochowa. At level – 1, social facilities, boiler room, Architects have been noticed many warehouse and archive were designed. times in the country and the world,


More information:

Investor Assistance Center Department of European Funds and Development City Hall of Częstochowa Waszyngtona 5 Street, 42-217 Częstochowa Phone: +48 34 3707 212, +48 34 3707 213 e-mail: coi@czestochowa.um.gov.pl, fer@czestochowa.um.gov.pl www.czestochowa.pl

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

IPOSTA riposta.pl


ŁÓDŹ ON THE RIGHT TRACK Some 15 to 20 years ago, people wanted to have a permanent job and relatively comfortable access to it. Other factors which determined whether inhabitants considered their city as a good place to live in, were secondary. This was influenced, among others, by the high level of unemployment. Today, local governments have to take care of many areas in order to retain current residents as well as attract new ones. How the city copes with this situation? It is getting better every year. Based on a representative sample of 800 inhabitants, Łódź has been preparing annual reports on the quality of life in the city since 2018. The image of a dynamically changing city emerges from the surveys, which has been noticed and appreciated by its citizens. Comparing the data from 2016 with the latest data from 2019, the percentage of over these three years, the percentage of inhabitants who consider Łódź to be a good or very good place to live in has increased by 34 percentage points. In 2016, 27% of respondents considered this to be the case, while in the latest report it is already 61%. Simultaneously, the percentage of people with negative opinions of the city is falling i.e., only 7% in the last report. There have never been such good results before. What do people value Łódź for? The majority believe that key asset of the city is its attractive location in the centre of Poland. The second most frequently mentioned advantage is the number of events and the extensive cultural offers of Łódź, which is mainly mentioned by people under 35. Young people also appreciate the fact that there are many clubs and cafés in the city. The ‘specific atmosphere’ of the city, which is mainly noticed by the residents of the city centre,


is also significant. In turn, the inhabitants of Widzew and Bałuty districts appreciate the large number of bicycle paths. Another advantage of the city is its close proximity to forests and green areas. For several years now, residents have been indicating that the city’s authorities are best at dealing with education, sport, culture and municipal services. Of all the areas related to the quality of life, which the local government has an impact on, it is education that is best evaluated. This did not change – even with the national commotion connected with the closure of lower secondary schools in 2017. The quality of education as well as the technical condition and equipment of municipal schools is well perceived.

the University of Social Sciences (SAN) had the highest number of foreign students – nearly 2,400 (of which 2,000 were students from Ukraine. SAN is the first in the country in this respect). 1,600 foreign students studied at the University of Łódź.

Nearly 1,000 foreigners, most of them from Saudi Arabia, studied at the Medical University. The Technical University of Łódź had 488 students from out­­­side Poland but Professor Sławomir Wiak, Rector of the Technical University of Łódź, stresses that there will be many more. As quoted by the Gazeta Wyborcza, he stated: We estimate that we could increase the number of students from abroad to 2,000– our goal is internationalisation. Waldemar Siwiński, President of the Educational Foundation Perspektywy, emphasises that Łódź When writing about education, it is impos- is chosen by the best. In the Gazeta sible not to mention the higher education Wyborcza, he makes the following observainstitutions in Łódź, whose contribution tion: Łódź has the highest-qualified students to shaping the character of the city is and attracts very good students. considerable. There are increasingly more foreigners among the students who each Foreign students who come to Lodz year choose one of the 18 universities appreciate what is important for the qua-­­­ operating in Łódź. According to Gazeta ­­­­­lity of life for their Polish peers i.e., Wyborcza, about 6,000 foreign students the cultural and entertainment offer, representing 108 nationalities (with Ukrai­ the large number of cafés and restaurants nians being the most numerous group) as well as the atmosphere of the city. It is studied in Łódź in the academic year significant in terms of a student’s finances 2018/2019. In the previous academic year, is also the issue of purchasing power,

which is more advantageous in Łódź compared to other cities of a similar size. You have to pay, on average, PLN 1,200 more for renting a flat between 40 and 60 square metres in Warsaw than in Łódź. Furthermore, when buying real estate from the primary market, you will pay up to PLN 3,000 less per square metre in Łódź than in the capital.

the recognition of Łódź among foreigners. Just a few years ago, when foreigners were considering taking up employment in Poland, they were thinking mainly about Warsaw, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Poznań or Krakow. Thanks to our support policy, this has changed. Currently, in addition to maintaining a steady influx of foreigners to Łódź, we are also focusing on ensuring that those who have already arrived quickly

The purchasing power is Łódź an asset that not only students pay attention to. To a large extent, this is what makes more and more foreigners find their haven in Łódź for longer. The number of foreigners living in the city is gradually increasing. Nearly one in five of Łódź’s inhabitants are already from outside of Poland. Most of them are immigrants from the East but there is also quite a large representation of young Spaniards who have decided to leave their homeland because of the high unemployment rate. People with a poor knowledge of Polish can get help at the Łódź Centre for Contact with Residents, where Russian, Ukrainian and Spa­nish-speaking officials work.

acclimatise in our city and feel at home – says Michał Śmiechowicz, Director of the Business Development and International Relations Bureau.

– The City of Łódź Office is implementing the strategy of support for foreigners, which is particularly important now that the number of foreigners in our city has significantly increased. We are happy with this situation as it eliminates the unfavourable trend of Łódź’s population decreasing. We are working intensely to increase

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per population). A great advantage is the price of flats and lower tuition fees in private schools compared to other major cities in Poland as well as more affordable tutoring and additional activi­ ties for children. The educational and cultural offerings, sports infrastructure and municipal services are the biggest assets of the city

in the eyes of the inhabitants of Łódź. Similarly, the areas which affect the quality of life and are dependent on the local government are assessed increasingly better in each subsequent study. Apart The ikalkulator.pl website, which prepares from the aforementioned, these are also: – among others – rankings, appreciates transport and communication, cleanliŁódź as a family-friendly city. In last year’s ness and aesthetics of the city, healthranking of the ten largest Polish cities, care, welfare, the safety of the inhabi­tants, Łódź was ranked 4th (only half a point housing management, counteracting short of the podium), falling behind only unemployment and supporting entrepreGdańsk, Poznań and Warsaw. The possi- neurship. Thanks to the improvement in bilities that a given city offers to families the quality of life in so many areas, the net – both those who have already had a child migration rate of people aged 20–29 has and those who are planning to – were been positive for years. This is a good foreanalysed. What is good for young people cast for the future. will also benefit parents to a large extent and, in the long run, the whole society, we More information: read on ikalkulator.pl. The authors of the report note that Łódź has an excellent educational infrastructure. They appreciate the large number of public nurseries and kindergartens (Łódź is ranked 2nd in the national ranking in terms of the number of kindergartens

Business Development and International Relations Bureau Piotrkowska 104a Street, 90-926 Lodz Phone: +48 42 638 59 39 Fax: +48 42 638 59 40 e-mail: boi@uml.lodz.pl




- ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN POMERANIA Yes, this text could have already been generated automatically. I could also give the floor to Ivona, who knows the subject from the very first lines of code, and under the artistic nickname of Alexa has moved into millions of households around the world. Long gone are the days when Garry Kasparow could beat a computer at chess. Today, a PC fed with a sufficient amount of data could not only beat the master instantly, but even play like him. Surely, you don’t need impressive computing power to produce better text than this. Technology takes revenge for the failure of Deep Blue. The checkmate of the 21st century.


Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Artificial Intelligence (AI), and above all the methods and forecasts of its implementation, have a huge impact on the shape of the modern world and directions of development or models of operation of enterprises. The global artificial intelligence market grew by 154% last year (statisa.com), forcing us to review policies at national and regional levels. From the French govern­ ment’s impressive strategy to China’s grand plans to allocate USD 150 billion by 2030 to AI development. Thus, posi­ tioning China as the world leader in AI, with an expected share of over 25% GDP. How is Pomerania doing in this race? Similarly to the FinTech sector (“Startup the Bank”), Tricity comes right behind Warsaw as the second most important centre for the development of artificial intelligence in Poland (“Map of Polish AI”; Digital Poland). The common land­ scape of Pomeranian AI is made up, among other things, of long-term pre-­ sence of global brands such as Intel and Amazon, plus the international success of start-ups developing products and services based on artificial intelligence, e.g. Brain Scan in the medical industry, SentiOne in the area of Internet and social media monitoring. The fact that Tricity is becoming increa­ singly more noticeable on the global AI radar is evidenced by further foreign direct investments. In an interview from the “Conversations without a tie” series, Mike Rhodin, Executive Chairman at Acoustic (supplier of world-class marketing products and the youngest member of the local AI community with IBM roots), stressed that the key to locating the Digital Lab in Gdansk was access to qualified staff and high quality of life. In turn, when asked about the same issue, during the Info­share AI & Data Science conference in Warsaw, Paweł Noga (Habana Labs) pointed out to the large number of hardware special­ ists and the enormous role of the existing ecosystem, where small, innovative entrepreneurs meet with the giants of the world of technology. In order to properly illustrate the potential

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

of the region, as well as to provide further employer branding activities for Pome­ ranian companies, the Invest in Pome­ rania initiative has launched a website, aipomerania.com, which is part of the Live more. Pomerania initiative.

Artificial Intelligence is not a promise of the coming future, but the future happening right before our eyes. In para­ phrasing the words of Jacek Kawalec, founder of Voice Lab – a company specialising in intent recognition plat­ forms and speech recognition decoders, The AI community in Tricity also includes we can assume that AI will revolutionise events, institutions and places. “AI Bay”, the global economy in a similar way to operating out of Gdańsk University electricity. Pomeranian Voivodeship is of Technology, facilitates exchange preparing to play a significant role in of information on research projects, this revolution. transfer of knowledge and expe­ rience, as well as implementation Please follow #3cITy to get the latest info of interdisciplinary research work. on what’s happening in the Pome­rania The AI Digital Innovation Hub, started AI sector. in 2019 and is financed via govern­ ment funds. It provides education, ABOUT INVEST IN POMERANIA training, demos and implementation AND LIVE MORE. POMERANIA activities. A whole series of meetings Invest in Pomerania is a regional noncarried out by Infoshare Foundation, -profit initiative that supports foreign the “IT Manager of Tomorrow” confe­ direct investments in the region at rence, dozens of meetings and hacka­ every stage of the investment process thons complement the ecosystem. More­ (www.investinpomerania.pl). over, there is a well-developed technical and scientific infrastructure such as tech­ Live more. Pomerania powered by nology parks, incubators and accelera­ Invest in Pomerania, aims to encourage tors and top-class office space. STARTER talents to relocate to Pomerania and to Gdańsk Business Incubator has started promote the region internationally as a special space for companies which a perfect place to live, learn and work. deal with artificial intelligence, while (www.livemorepomerania.com). the Pomeranian Science and Technology Author: Bartosz Wojtasiak, Park in Gdynia allows for consultations Project Manager Foreign Direct Investment with experts on issues concerning tech­ nology commercialisation, patenting Proud winners of: and financing. The growing interest in Tricity was confirmed in the Tech City of the Future 2020 report published by fDi Intel­ ligence, The Tricity was ranked 4th in the FDI strategy category, just behind London, Barcelona and Berlin. More­ over, the latest Numbeo ranking places Gdańsk in the top 100 of the best rated cities, beating Lisbon, Paris and Rome in terms of quality of life, access to health­ care and cleanliness of the environment. It is all complemented by a rich scientific offering of public universities, as well as the possibility of improving qualifications at private academies, which contributes directly to the high number of gradu­ ates of courses and training workshops relevant for the development of AI.

More information:

al. Grunwaldzka 472 D Olivia Business Centre – Olivia Six 80-309 Gdańsk Phone: 58 32 33 256 e-mail: office@investinpomerania.pl bartosz.wojtasiak@investinpomerania.pl www.investinpomerania.pl


HR NEWS BSO APPOINTS ANNA FLACH AS GLOBAL MARKETING DIRECTOR BSO, the global telecoms operator powering the digital age, has announced the appointment of Anna Flach as Global Marketing Director.

strategy to drive the company’s continued success. Anna is based in London and will be reporting directly to Fraser Bell, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO).

The award-winning network, cloud and hosting provider has enabled business’ digital transformation journeys through superior infrastructure and connectivity since 2004.

Anna Flach joins from the world of fintech, where she was most recently working towards mainstream adoption of blockchain technology. Prior to that, Anna held roles at Commerzbank, BNP Paribas and Allianz in Munich, Paris and London. The UK voice of fintech, Innovate Finance, recognised her for leading the change in the ecosystem two consecu­tive years in a row (Women in Fintech Powerlist 2018 and 2019). Anna speaks English, French and German and holds a BSc in Business and Psychology and a MSc in Management.

A strategic, commercially-driven marketer with over seven years of experience in investment banking and financial technology, Anna has been hired to take BSO’s brand to the next level. As a member of the management team, she will be responsible for defining and executing BSO’s marketing and communications

IWONA MICHALIK IS ONBOARD AT BPION POLAND as Implementation Director at BPiON Poland. Iwona joined our Process & Digital Transformation Team just after shifting into full speed in Poland in Q4 2019. She is responsible for the accounting, HR & payroll process and service implementations for our Polish clients, technology support regarding digital solutions, process transformation, system, application, and interface management. BPiON is one of those lucky companies which had no difficulty moving into full remote operation within hours since we had already been providing our accounting and payroll outsourcing services in a fully digitalized environment.

She has a solid technical and project management background with more than 20 years of professional experience with ERP system implementations (Scala, SAP, Teta). She spent 11 years in Business Process Outsourcing as an Implementation Director both at ADP On the other hand, luck usually comes Poland and Teta Services, then she held as a result of hard work done by a great the position of Implementation Manager combination of excellent talents, since Let us introduce one of these experts, at HRK SA. She was responsible for more going and being digital does not only Iwona Michalik, who has recently joined than 600 implementation projects.


mean only purchasing IT equipment and licenses but its foundations should also be embedded in the culture of the organization. In order to infect the DNA of a company with a digital mindset, every organization needs high-qualified experts with a visionary approach.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

Support at every stage of SSC growth KPMG offers advisory services for Shared Service Centers and Outsourcing organizations at every transformation phase: from strategy development and target operating model design, through solution implementation and optimization of already established organizations. KPMG Experts support companies in developing innovative solutions in their organizations using centralization and business process improvement methods. KPMG supports business transformation towards intelligent digital organizations by complex solutions implementation in area of reporting and performance monitoring (BI – dedicated dashboards online with easy access to transactional data), and process automation (RPA/IA). Global SSOA Centre of Excellence constantly works on best practices and innovative solution development, improving methodologies and adjusting it to changing trends, clients’ needs and expectations.

© 2020 KPMG in Poland

kpmg.com/PL/SSOA kpmg.com/PL/FinancialManagement


Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020






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THE ROLE OF THE CFO IN THE DIGITAL ERA The role of the CFO has evolved dynamically recently, both in the competences sought in candidates and their scope of duties. Many of them shouldered a responsibility of managing a constant transformation and preparing the organization for digitized reality. Paweł Wierzbicki, partner at the recruitment company Page Executive, presents the new role of the CFO and the profile of competences sought in financial directors to help them rise to the future challenges. THE EVOLUTION OF CFO

The origin of the CFO evolution may also Over the past three years we have be observed in the continuous transforwitnessed a dynamic evolution of the CFO mation of companies, resulting from e.g. role. The last such major change occurred the development of new technology and between 2006 and 2016, when the CFOs digitization, which transform almost day gradually ceased to be chief account- by day our reality, businesses and models ants and were promoted to Finance Busi- of work. ness Partners. However, we have noticed for several years that the duties of the CFO 91% of respondents, who took part in are developing towards the CEO (Chief the 2018 McKinsey survey admitted that Executive Officer) / General Manager. their organizations underwent at least one transformation between 2015 and – Tendency towards promoting the CFO to 2018. Mostly, the financial directors were CEO roles has its origin in big companies accountable for these changes. and listed companies, especially those that benefit from complex external financing As one of the most important leaders in structures. These companies were the first the company, the CFO had to anticipate to transfer the highest managerial positions the upcoming changes and introduce to directors with financial experience. Those adequate actions to prepare the company people knew the organization best – they for the future. were aware of its material situation; moreover, they had extensive financial compe- THE CFO IN THE NEW DIGITAL tences, which allowed them to interpret accu- REALITY rately data and surrounding reality and were Over the last decade, the business world reliable for the business partners and boards. has shifted towards a model in which finance leaders take more active, strategic Today, the scale of this phenomenon is roles in organizations. surprising – in the last three years, dozens of organizations have decided to appoint According to McKinsey, the activity of CFOs as the CEOs or GMs people pursuing their responsible for the company managecurrent careers as CFOs. There is a good deal ment increased almost twofold within two to indicate that this tendency will continue years – from 24% in 2016 to 42% in 2018. in the future, especially given how the role What is more, at the same time, the rate of directors in organizations is expanding – of CFOs responsible for digitalisation says Paweł Wierzbicki, partner at recruit- nearly doubled – in 2018, 28% of them ment company Page Executive. were accountable for digital acti­vities,


and 16% shouldered the responsibility for cybersecurity. – The CFOs have more and more duties in the organization. It is not surprising, though, since they are liable for the company’s profi­ tability and increasing its productivity, which means the strategic supervision of its development is necessary. We estimate that around 70% of the CFOs has much wider range of responsibilities, far exceeding finance and accounting. An increasing number of the CFOs are taking over tasks connected with operational risk management, security, including cybersecurity, investments – also concerning ICT infrastructure, which will enable the company to operate and gain a competitive advantage – says Paweł Wierzbicki from Page Executive, a company specialising in recruitment for the highest positions. The experience of recent months has shown that digital transformation is beco­­ ming a necessity. Day by day, technologies are changing consumer habits, transforming workplace and business models and challenging business leaders with new, increasingly demanding tasks. Three years ago, Forrester predicted that one in five CFOs (20%) will put its company at risk if digitalisation actions are not taken. Meanwhile, in the same survey, over 60% of managers around the world admitted

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

that their company was no longer keeping up with the digital revolution. According to Commvault data, in 2018, 40% of com­­­­­­­pany leaders did not have a deve­loped strategy to digitise the organisation. – The recent time was a crisis management exam for leaders and a test for the company ICT infrastructure. Many companies already know that they are not prepared to switch to a virtual work and sales model. Postponing the necessity to introduce technological changes caused the lack of both tools, systems and people with appropriate digital competences, which could efficiently maintain the business continuity in a new, virtual reality. On the other hand, the market advantage was given to the companies led by the conscious leaders, who had anticipated dangers and had effectively prepared their organizations for the extraordinary situation. In many cases, responsibility for this task was shifted onto CFOs – claims Paweł Wierzbicki.


adapting to rapidly changing business environment. Functions taken over by the CFOs require of people in that position not only excellent knowledge of the company’s finances and its specifics.

to establish contact, maintain long-term relations and enter into an effective cooperation with stakeholders, board and employees. The CFO also serves as an HR strategist. Therefore, he should know the realities of the modern labour In order to deal with new tasks, the CFOs market – know how to use the available should first understand the business envi- talent pool and what competences to ronment and be familiar with industry develop in the team in order to achieve trends and new technologies. It is also a competitive advantage. important to be knowledgeable of the data available to the company, the ability to – The role of the CFO is dynamically evolving, manage it properly and its effective analy- so they should constantly invest in profes­sis and interpretation. As early as 2017, sional and personal development, which the Commvault survey revealed that 50% will allow them to keep pace with new chalof its respondents said that the key to lenges. In today’s world of dynamic change, company success is better information the successful CFO must have an open mind collection and its management, as well as and willingness to improve constantly his the use of new predictive analytics tools. qualifications. Such attitude will enable a better control of the organization and Apart from technical skills, such as analy­ successfully lead the CFO to the next level tical capabilities, knowledge of data of his career – concludes Paweł Wierzbicki. management tools or strategic and crisis management, the CFO should also be Author: distinguished by highly developed soft skills. Such competences will allow him to better fulfil the role of a trusted business partner and a valued expert who can pass on interesting stories and convince to his arguments.

Strategic company management in the medium and long term is becoming the role of CFO. This means that we need to predict the future accurately – the ability An important feature is being commuto forecast changes and crises and constant nicative, which makes it easier for the CFO

Paweł Wierzbicki, Partner, Page Executive

An important feature is being communicative, which makes it easier for the CFO to establish contact, maintain long-term relations and enter into an effective cooperation with stakeholders, board and employees. Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020



HOME OFFICE: A NEW PROFESSIONAL STANDARD? Home office as a phenomenon has been a popular trend both globally and in Poland for several years already. Job candidates inquired after it and it was featured on the lists of benefits. During the COVID-19 pandemics, however, it has become a professional standard. Will home office remain with us for good? According to a study conducted by CBRE and Grafton Recruitment in late 2019, as many as 86% of Polish employees wished to work from home at least one day a week. Employers tended to introduce home office solutions very carefully, however, treating it as one of attractive benefits. Meanwhile, life has written its own story. Since mid-March 2020, most of us had to undergo a fast-track intensive course on how to work from home. Forced by the COVID-19, the mass shift to home office posed a significant challenge for employers and employees alike. Has the whole process been successful?

OUT-OF-OFFICE BUT EFFICIENT According to a study conducted by Gi Group and Grafton Recruitment in the second quarter of 2020, i.e. already after the pandemic outbreak, most organi­ sations in Poland continue to operate remotely several months after the beginning of the pandemic and their emplo­­ yees declare their willingness to continue to work from home also in the future. Almost 60% of employees would prefer to work from home one or two days per week, and the biggest group of respon­ dents (31%) favours the two-day option.


According to many specialists, it is the optimum number of days with respect to home office as it helps preserve the balance between teamwork and individual approach to allocated tasks. Full-scale home office is not the right solution for everyone. Not everyone is well suited to working from home, not only because of requirements connected with respective positions but also because of individual predispositions. In order to work from home efficiently, one has to possess numerous skills, such as time management, independence, focus on goal completion, and perfect famil­ia­ rity with teleworking tools. Other important individual features include punctuality, precision, discipline, communication skills, and openness (including to feedback). It seems, however, that needs must: over 65% of employees working from home now feel they are more or at least as efficient as when working at the office. What is more, six out of ten respondents claim they know how to work remotely. Employees have even been noting an increase in their efficiency (over 20%) and the correct functioning of relevant processes within their organisations (54%). It is a natural “mobilisation

effect”: everyone is trying to perform their professional tasks as best they can and feels responsible for the organisation they work for.

WHAT IS MISSING WHEN WORKING FROM HOME Not everyone working from home is happy with this state of affairs, however. We asked employers about their experience with the “pandemic home office”. What are the main obstacles for them? What do they miss the most? Initially, the challenges generally con­ sisted in technical and organisational problems, such as slow Internet connection at home, no experience in using telework tools, no access to company drives with documents and databases, and the need to learn the operation of e.g. Dropbox or Google drives. Planning task execution and reconciling professional and family obligations still poses a lot of problems to one-fourth of the respondents. As it is, it is difficult to separate private life from professional activity. Many employees also encounter issues with self-discipline and work planning. 18% of respondents claim they have no space to work, while 12% have no appropriate equipment. What people miss

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

the most is contact with their colleagues (mentioned by 50% of respondents) and the exchange of information, opinions and discussions which drive their daily professional activity. Limited possibilities of teamwork, including consulting respective tasks, is one of the biggest impediments to home office. It is becoming obvious we like spending time in areas dedicated to work as they naturally boost our efficiency and creativity. The main advantages of working at the office are: interacting with other employees (64% of respondents), interpersonal contacts (56%), and the possibility to exchange ideas (42%).

HOME OFFICE: CHALLENGES FOR MANAGERS • Organisation. For the team to work from home efficiently, the whole organisation and the team’s direct superior must prepare appropriate tools for communication and project execution, ensure access to databases and catalogues, draft schedules, and establish clear rules of operation while working from home. • Communication. Honest, open, and regular. The employees want to know the organisation’s situation on a current basis. A manager should avoid the temptation of micromanagement: frequent phone calls, urging e-mails, and text messages “just to see how things are going” will bring effects contrary to what you expect.

This is why regular online meetings are so important for the team also when working from home as they not only help maintain the rhythm of work, establish priorities, and allocate tasks, but also form an opportunity to brainstorm and maintain team spirit. Meanwhile, what are the advantages of home office? All respondents have stressed they are not wasting time on commuting. Furthermore, they can be more flexible and independent in organi­ sing their work.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

• Support. Managers who know their teams well are perfectly aware who might need some organisational support and who would be in need of a psychological helping hand. They also know who requires more independence and room and who needs help in preparing a task schedule and a regular progress review. • Plan of action. It is always best to discuss the action plan with the team. Virtual status meetings (e.g. once a week) are a good solution: the whole team devotes 30–60 minutes to discussing current issues and determining next steps.




HOW TO MAKE HOME OFFICE EFFICIENT? TIPS FOR EMPLOYEES: • Make lists of tasks and establish priorities; regularly summarise and check off your tasks. • Take regular breaks from work, if only to check your messages or take a short walk. • Explain to your family that even if you do not go to the office, it does not mean you are not working. Plan appropriate time for your partner and the kids. • Introduce fixed rules, such as waking up at the same time, set up a separate place for work (not in the bedroom!), wear business clothing and your favourite perfume, and remember about breaks for coffee and a call to your friend from work. • Communicate with your team, colleagues, and clients on a regular basis. Write e-mails and use messaging apps. Avoid small talk, however; it only wastes time. • Do not snack; instead, introduce fixed meal times. • Be reasonable: do not mix your private life with your professional activity; do not procrastinate, putting tasks off until later or tomorrow; but do not work too long either.

After the initial pioneer period, we have already become home office veterans. Dedicated IT teams have been established within organisations to solve technical problems encountered by telecommuters as they arise. Some organisations have equipped their employees not only with company laptops, screens, and headsets, but have also allowed them to take the company chairs. Online courses enjoy a great deal of popularity in this period of isolation and telework. The Polish Chamber of Training Companies has observed that trainings in work time management ranked among the most popular recently, while managers favoured courses in managing virtual teams. Various studies (including those con­ ducted by Gi Group and Grafton) show that isolation is the biggest issue for employees. They miss contacts with their friends, family, and the world outside. This is why many employers promote the wellbeing of their employees working from home by offering online trainings (e.g. in managing energy during home office or positive thinking) as well as yoga and meditation classes. The fact that employers are managing well with communicating the situation we are all in to their employees is an optimistic sign. Internal communication when working from home is a crucial element of organisational culture. Employees need information about the condition of their organisation and the planned changes. They also need to feel their employer is honest with them. When the situation comes back to normal, this open and transparent attitude may even suggest in a rise in trust towards the organisation. Author:

Magdalena Furs, Service & Delivery Director, Gi Group


Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020




HR DEPARTMENT ON THE FRONT LINE We want to maintain our workforce, which is why we are putting an emphasis on building the manager’s reputation as a leader who will lead the team through the crisis related to compulsory isolation. Team management in the current situation requires most of all empathy and understanding for employees who are isolating and worry for themselves, their families, and work. Interview with Kasia Adamczewska, HR Manager, Digital Teammates. Outsourcing&More: The Digital Team­­ mates mission is to support digital transformation. In practice, the company is a supplier of robots to customers (RPA, i.e. Robotic Process Automation). Who are digital teammates and what is your customer service about? Kasia Adamczewska, HR Manager, Digital Teammates: Digital Teammates provides software robots in the Rent-aRobot model. Robots – or digital teammates – imitate work done by people with a virtual keyboard and mouse. They follow clearly defined procedures and instructions. They’re a particularly good solution for repetitive tasks which require high accuracy and where a lot of data is processed.

skills and building a dedicated team that will manage and maintain robots. Instead, you can rent robots. That’s where Digital Teammates can help with our automation services that businesses can benefit from in a simple way by hiring digital teammates to do these tasks.

I believe Robotic Process Automation designing certainly requires particular skills and education... Digital teammates are developed by Robo Shepherds. However, Robo Shepherds are in charge of more than RPA developers, hence the original name of this profession. Apart from developing robots, Robo Shepherds also assess the automation potential at the beginning To put it simply, digital teammates of the implementation, then develop and perform tasks which employees don’t like test digital teammates, and after the imand would rather not do because these plementation they maintain the robots. tasks are boring and tedious. They don’t make employees more satisfied with their A key skill in the RPA team is analytical work or contribute to their professional thinking, which is required at virtually growth, and they lead to burnout. What every stage of automation. The ability to can you do when there are a lot of such analyse data and arrange logical structasks to do in your business? You can, tures is an inherent element of Robo of course, implement process automa- Shepherds’ job. How do we verify during tion in-house, but that requires signifi- the recruitment process whether candicant financial investments, acquiring RPA dates have this skill? We ask them to


describe the process of making coffee or their commute to work. We check if the candidate displays process thinking abilities, notices alternative solutions and is capable of making decisions at every stage. Another important skill is the ability to handle challenges and flexibility. In the processes we automate procedures and instructions can often change. A Robo Shepherd needs to adapt to new situations and react to changes quite quickly so that our clients’ processes can proceed without interruptions. The ability to adapt to new situations and quickly react to changes is vital because one week we develop robots for one client, and the next week we’re already working on a different project. That’s why we look for people who can quickly switch between tasks and are resistant to stress. If a candidate has these abilities and also additionally they have previous business experience or work experience in operations, that definitely helps to understand the automated processes better and to work and communicate with business and operations teams in the organisation.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

You are a very diverse team of people whose areas of specialization extend from IT to back-office operations to environmental protection and philosophy. What has attracted such diverse personalities to Digital Teammates? Robo Shepherds are a new profession which provides broad opportunities for learning and growth. Candidates are most of all drawn by their curiosity and desire to prove themselves in a new environment and, of course, to become a Robo Shepherd. It’s true that we have a geo­grapher, dietician, philosopher and many other people with a “non-IT” background in our team. Selecting such personalities is extremely valuable and, what is the most important, introduces many complementary skills to the team. What counts most of all is the business goal we all want to achieve, working together and helping each other, which contributes to a good atmosphere at work. Which is why, when we choose new team members, we pay attention not only to specific skills and abilities, but also to character traits. Our employees have diverse work experience and because of that we can learn a lot from each other. I have the impression that Digital Team­ mates is definitely looking ahead. You have even created a profession of the future – Robot Shepherds? Who can become such a Shepherd? What competencies does the Shepherd need? Yes, Robo Shepherds are more than RPA developers. They’re in charge of analysing the automation potential, testing robots and maintaining them once they start working for our client. Because it’s a new profession, we help our employees to retrain for the job and teach it to candidates. We’ve created our own original reskilling program. After completing it a new Robo Shepherd is able to develop their own first robot within a few weeks. It’s really something when someone who has had no previous experience in develop­ment creates a tangible robotic product. It’s amazing professional growth

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

but also a challenge, which is why we seek out ambitious, courageous people who are resilient to stress and are not afraid of change in their lives. Let's move on to the topic dominating reality now – pandemic COVID-19. How did you deal with the COVID-19 crisis? What does work routine at Digital Teammates look like during a pande­ mic? Is it difficult to communicate with the whole team? In the beginning the new reality required us to understand it, then calmly find solutions which would make it possible to work from home for a longer period. It was essential for managers to prio­ ritise actions to maintain the work pace and at the same time to support emplo­ yees, resolve their doubts and uncertainty when it comes to the near future.

We have a geo­grapher, dietician, philosopher and many other people with a “non-IT” background in our team. Selecting such personalities is extremely valuable and, what is the most important, introduces many complementary skills to the team.



Robo Shepherds from Digital Teammates.

The ability to analyse data and arrange logical structures is an inherent element of Robo Shepherds’ job. How do we verify during the recruitment process whether candidates have this skill? We ask them to describe the process of making coffee or their commute to work.


Communication with employees and the entire team was quite a challenge, and here we decided on up-to-date communication tools. We organise regular online meetings with employees, virtual conferences. We encourage our employees to video chat with each other often. Work hours were another challenge because suddenly working in the regular 8-to-4 schedule became simply impossible for many employees. We introduced flexible working hours so that employees could take care of their children and still work effectively. That called for making well-informed decisions and a lot of empathy. We are still learning to build trust with remote management to increase employee engagement. That demands a change in mindset and creative approach to motivating employees from managers.

The two key challenges for the HR department are business and safety, related to protecting employees. We want to maintain our workforce, which is why we are putting an emphasis on building the manager’s reputation as a leader who will lead the team through the crisis rela­ted to compulsory isolation. Team mana­gement in the current situation requires most of all empathy and under­ standing for employees who are isolating and worry for themselves, their families, and work. The HR team is at the frontline and we must support managers so that they can support their employees. We’ve organised interactive workshops where our employees can constantly develop their skills. We also reorganised our departments’ work to make extra time so that our employees can talk more with each other and team leaders not only about their current projects. I’m slowly starting The situation caused by COVID-19 to think about returning to the normalcy pandemic is certainly a big challenge and the organisation of work at the office. for the HR department... What issues Our work environment will have to change do HR Manager face now? Which soft and the biggest challenge here is convincskills do you need to manage the team ing people that the office is safe. in social isolation circumstances? Thank you for the interview.

Outsourcing&More | July–August 2020

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