Editorial note

By Michael Dembinski, chief advisor, and Dorota Kierbiedź, membership director, BPCC

The pandemic has been with us for a year and a half, the numbers of new cases and deaths at the time of writing is not dissimilar to what they were this time last October, despite over half of the Polish population being vaccinated. This suggests it will not be going away in a hurry. Business has adapted, finding new ways to work through the disruption.

What have we learned from the experience?

This issue of Contact Magazine Online looks at this question from different angles, from different business sectors – but reading the interviews and articles, one gains many positive insights about the responsiveness and responsibility inherent in business.

We start with four interviews – Prof Witold Orłowski, chief economic advisor of PwC Polska presents a big-picture overview of how the pandemic is reshaping the future course of the global economy. Anna Rulkiewicz, CEO of private healthcare provider Lux Med looks at the challenges facing public-private cooperation in the sector. Marc Burrage, managing director at Hays Poland, presents an overview of the way the labour market is changing as a result of the pandemic in Poland and globally.

The labour market is undergoing massive change, accelerated by the pandemic. Will the global labour shortages trigger a shift to a four-day working week? Łukasz Chodkowski managing director of Déhora Poland, considers the prospects, based on the experiences of corporations already trialling this system of working.

Albert Cenkier, technology director, Wunderman Thompson Technology (formerly Cognifide) sets out his five values needed to create a friendly and effective hybrid work environment, given that we’ll not be returning to the old ways of working.

An extremely useful article from PCS Littler Global answers many of the questions HR bosses have been asking – about remote work from abroad, vaccination information for one’s employees, the validity of electronic signatures, working-time management systems and trade unions’ use of corporate email servers all come under scrutiny.

The effects of the pandemic on education are discussed by Tom McGrath, principal of the British Primary School of Wilanów; technology, communication and independence being essential elements for schools and their pupils to continue to flourish.

Workspace is changing. An interesting new technology – liquid crystal partitions – can offer privacy and shade and can also be used to project presentations! This solution is already in use at the Warsaw Marriott Hotel. Available from Sonte

Jan Szulborski from Cushman & Wakefield considers the future for offices, presenting the findings of the firm’s proprietary survey of office tenants. Will firms need fewer square metres overall or more per employee? Some interesting results have emerged!

The Polish M&A market has rebounded after a slowdown due to the first lockdown. an increasing appetite for deal-making on the markets, and the pandemic crisis turning into an opportunity for many investors. Adam Zohry from Mazars in Poland considers the lessons learned.

Michał Kulczycki from Accreo explains the new form of company in Poland, the ‘simple joint -stock company; prosta spółka akcyjna (PSA). We shall be seeing these initials often – what it means for the company itself and for those who do business with it, you’ll find in this article.

Dr Ewelina Stobiecka, managing partner in the Warsaw office of Taylor Wessing, focuses on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the rapid transformation of team management and client relationships in the legal services sector.

Executives will still need to travel, but less frequently and for longer stays. The pandemic has hit the hospitality sector harder than almost any other – what the future looks like for the sector is looked at by Piotr Cwojdziński, CEO, Exclusive Aparthotel.

Logistics has played a crucial role during the pandemic. The delivery of vaccines in closely-controlled temperatures, 99.999% on-time, is something that UPS is particularly proud of, achieved at a time when the rate of acceleration of e-commerce doubled.