Virtual meetings: opportunities for from the Covid-19 crisis

VIRTUAL MEETINGS - Have you ever stopped for a moment to reflect on how the Covid-19 pandemic has strongly pushed us to embrace an increasingly virtual life? Like it or not, that’s a fact.

The covid-19 crisis has generated many opportunities, including virtual meetings

I’d like for a moment to focus on the benefits that this change has brought to our lives... I would like to avoid filling up that endless string of "we are all ruined" complaints and, once again, I would like to become aware of the opportunity generated by a global crisis.

Let us think, for example, of business meetings. Many of us are sitting in their offices and in their homes complaining, waiting for a "green light" (which does not depend in any way on our actions or our will), not being able to do business meetings "as once". Of course, the human being is a sociable being, you know. None of us are willing to give up relationships in the presence, not even the most shy and introverted person. But while most professionals complain and remain motionless, the other part of the "business man" has seized opportunities that had never presented themselves in the past. I repeat: no judgment, just a healthy awareness of the benefits arising from this epochal change.

Virtual meetings save costs and time

Before the pandemic I remember that I was willing to take a last minute plane, fly for 6 hours, bear the costs of 3 - 5 days of board and lodging, face 3 hours of time zone and sacrifice a night of sleep, to be able to make 3 or 4 important meetings carefully organized with effort in the same period to amortize the travel costs. Today this can no longer be done so easily, and surely it can no longer be done by limiting costs and times. But what happened instead?

Technology has met us and everyone, but all of us, have been put in a position to hold meetings and virtual meetings. Most of the technological means were already available to us before the pandemic, but due to cultural, cognitive or more simply because of our habits, we were not oriented to their use in the normal working routine. And so you save hours of travel, fuel costs, environmental emissions... what impact has this had on your private lives? You ever think about that? Maybe instead of feeling tired of these "modern ways," you haven’t considered how much more time you spend with your families? How much money do you have left in your checking account? On the budgets of certain companies, this saving easily represents tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of euros!

But it doesn’t end here: have you thought about increasing productivity and improving efficiency resulting from these virtual meetings?

Grazie agli incontri virtuali il fatturato può aumentare del 300%

If I was able to meet five people in five days of travel before, now, sitting comfortably at home or in the office, I can get to make up to eight meetings a day with people connected from all over the world, saving on transfer times and travel costs. Translated into larger numbers, if we assume an annual average of 200 working days per person and an average of 4 meetings per day, it means being able to make 800 meetings per year against the 200 that we would have carried out with the expensive traditional methods. This translates, for example, into a 300% increase in our sales opportunities and thus a corresponding increase in our turnover!

And the great thing is that business men and women all over the world, unlike what happened up until a couple of years ago, have integrated into their daily routine this new mode of virtual encounters, whether for opportunity or obligation, Therefore, the probability of finding closed doors has been lowered, even for those who cannot afford to spend large travel amounts.

My vision of the future of meetings

With all this I do not want to say that online dating is the only and definitive solution. I am well aware of the natural need that we human beings have to meet in person. On the other hand, these new channels allowed me to express my sociality and to have the opportunity to know and collaborate with people that I could not otherwise meet. And we didn’t have to wait to meet in person to start generating economic benefits!

There are also areas in which these advantages have not been fully grasped: I am thinking, for example, of the bad management of many "Dads" (distance teaching), of some technical interventions on implants, of doctors who have to operate manually on patients and so on. Nor can we deny that there are already experiences of distance learning organized in an effective and interactive way. There are virtually remote technical collaborations that have led to the solution of the problem on the plant, perhaps with the development of new technological means. I am also thinking of remote visits and biotechnology machines to operate remotely on patients.

We all agree, and I’m looking forward to it too, that we’ll soon be back to a life of relationships in the presence, but I’m sure this world will integrate both real and virtual modes in order to significantly improve our lives and our opportunities again and again... Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go get them!

Why is there no staff in a crisis of 2.5 million unemployed?

UNEMPLOYED STAFF - The unemployment rate in Italy was already close to 10% before the crisis and the forecasts are not at all rosy. An increase of about 300 thousand unemployed is estimated as soon as the blocks of redundancies are removed. Yet, most companies and breeders complain of a great difficulty in finding staff! Why? Let’s find out together.

The unemployment rate is set to rise, but there are no staff

According to Unioncamere, as of December 2020, there would be 729,000 applications for employment, from managers to technicians, from employees to cleaners. Well, 33% (240 thousand people) are missing! I had already talked about it in my article in 2019 (https://www.lastampa.it/vercelli/2019/07/24/news/cercansi-meccanici-specializzati-ma-all-appello-non-respondness-1.37173715) and yet the situation does not seem to improve.

Let us examine together the motivations behind this strange phenomenon.

First of all, it must be said that the world of work has changed profoundly and the covid crisis has done nothing but accelerate the digital transformation: from Blockbuster we moved to Youtube, the classic commercial store has been replaced by Amazon, Travel agencies have been supplanted by online travel and TV has been replaced by portals like Netflix! What does that mean? Operating hours have collapsed, leaving more room for different activities, which certainly require more specific training, more commitment and more responsibility. Most people understand change but do not accept that the world of work has changed at the same speed.

Isn’t there any qualified staff among the unemployed?

The first problem is certainly to be identified in education: when an unemployed person lacks the skills that the market requires, training makes a difference. In Italy there is little, too little: the fault is not only to refer to the few regional notices that are limited to providing a lack of generic training not in line with what the territory asks.
The problem is also rooted in the mentality of a large part of the population: everyone wants a fixed salary, but almost no one is willing to change, to put themselves in the game to do something different.

After all, the meanings of the word "work" represent only negative concepts: fatigue, effort, labor... It would therefore be foolish to say that there are people with the desire to struggle, to strive or to suffer physical and mental labor. I have already mentioned this in part in my last article:

"A lot of people got caught up in an old socio-economic paradox. They abandon their dreams and aspirations in favor of alienating, stressful and insignificant roles, all small cages kindly offered by the system itself, where people get stuck for life in exchange for a secure salary at the end of the month. How many of us are really willing to put up with this for 40 years in exchange for a small salary by the end of the month? And how many of us are really ready to get into the game to re-invent and qualify to go and realize their dreams through the work that you love to do?"

Social policies do not encourage recruitment opportunities for the unemployed staff

Actually, this scenario only increases the number of people entitled to benefits. In June, 1.3 million people were earning unemployment (Naspi), just as many are able to work who take the income of citizenship. Additionally to the unemployed there are also 13.5 million inactive and discouraged, especially young people who are not looking for a place, convinced that they do not find it...

In Italy, labor policies have been made simply by giving money to the unemployed to get to the end of the month. A road that doesn’t solve anything, because the state can’t deliver them forever... and to take away the incentives is like to suspend the Tachipirina to who has the flu: then the fever returns. And in the meantime, there are still a lot of inactive workers who somehow perceive a temporary income and don’t bother, either to look for a job that can satisfy them economically, or to invest in their own personal growth to carry out one that can please them.

How can we escape the paradox of the unemployed jobless?

So what can be a solution to get out of this paradox? First of all, I believe that the important changes come from ourselves: as long as we are waiting for some form of incentive or intelligent policy on the part of the State, we will be overwhelmed by the catastrophic events that are changing the world.
Secondly, we must take advantage of this "stalemate" to do some introspection and ask ourselves what we really want. Let us find the courage to express our dreams and, once we have clarified what our specific will is, let us take action to implement a plan that starts above all from personal growth: if we want to have more, we must be willing to be more!

Finally, I would like to remind you that there is not only "traditional work". We could, for example, think of getting rich not by looking for a fixed salary, but by aiming for a passive income. And this current economic scenario, very driven by digitization, allows anyone to create one, even from scratch. We are used to associate the word "rent" with demanding investments such as those on the stock exchange or in large companies or in real estate. In fact, this goal is available to everyone, if we think of all the forms of passive income that can be created by exploiting the internet. For example, developing useful and fun applications. Or, with the production and dissemination of creative content such as books and music, up to more smart business forms such as network marketing. This sector in Italy is in great evolution. It has about 300,000 units of use, an increase in turnover of +6.7% in the period January-September 2020 for a total of over 478 million euro.

Stable work, what is it? How has security changed after the Covid-19 crisis

STABLE WORK - Which jobs do we usually consider secure? Checco Zalone’s films tell it in a fun and effective way, but it is clear that most of the media society has been rooted in values that respond to the keywords of "trade union protection", "fixed position", "permanent contract", "citizenship income", "unemployment benefits" and so on... I wonder whether all these objectives that many of us have committed ourselves to seeking and achieving in years of work are indeed values to be striven for in order to achieve greater security.

A "stable work" is no longer the same after the Covid

I had been asking myself these questions for a long time, but they became more persistent after this world pandemic that completely changed the economy and its rules! I’m sure that many of you will feel hurt in their pride by reading these words, But what kind of life can we actually expect by insisting on linking ourselves to a work system that we basically complain about every day and that weighs heavily on our country’s finances? After all, do we want to be right or do we want to be happy? I leave the question open and it is clear that only a few of you will want to read these harsh words and stop reflecting on the situation that we are trying to describe in respect of everyone and not meaning to offend anyone.

Aspiring to a fixed-term employment generates unhappiness and insecurity!

Even out of the pandemic condition, let’s think about what kind of life we would like if instead of focusing on finding the job we like and create satisfaction, we would be striving to achieve a "permanent employment"? How many people do we know who, every morning (perfectly Fantozzi style), set their alarm early at the same time and drag themselves laboriously into a job they constantly complain about?

I don’t know about you, but I see a multitude of unhappy, apathetic people running in the "hamster wheel" making themselves immune to the concept of happiness. And for what? A small handful of hundreds of euros a month? Is this what we call security? A modest wage that maybe doesn’t even allow to bear an unexpected expense?

"Yes, but if the company goes bankrupt or you get fired the state pays you unemployment". That’s great, and in what percentage of these salaries? And for how long? And in the meantime, what skills would we have developed to make ourselves more attractive to start a new job? The ability to endure the same days, between all the same people who do not let themselves realize their dreams? Some are even afraid to express their desires and don’t even know they have a will! Is this really what we call "security"?

Covid crisis changes the concept of stable work

In our state, since the crisis began, companies have been able to use the "covid redundancy fund" and have been obliged not to lay off employees. This has led to virtually no economic consequences for almost all of the employees hired "permanently". Without thinking that, while there has been a significant reduction in the income of salaried workers forced to take advantage of the redundancy fund, on the other hand these people are not leaving their house and are not spending thanks to the lockdown. So, paradoxically, these workers find themselves having saved more than in previous years.

Suppose that only half of these companies are actually in crisis: have you ever wondered what will happen once the pandemic is over and the redundancies are unblocked? Probably most of these workers will be dismissed for the simple reason that companies that do not close will have to make very difficult choices to rationalize costs in order to be able to restart.

And so I ask myself: where is job security protected by national employment contracts? Do you really believe that temporary unemployment benefit is really the answer to the need for security? And if there will be fewer companies, leaner activities, more automated processes, especially in the digital age, how long will it take before one of these former workers can occupy a "fixed position" with the same privileges as the previous job? Maybe we should start by asking ourselves "why should they choose us"?

So what do we do to get stable work?

What can we do then? I personally made some choices: I chose to set up another independent activity in a moment of economic instability. This is because I believe each of us should be the sailor of his own boat, and nobody should have a life based on aid and third-party protections.

Furthermore, each of us is free to undertake (or continue) his own path, but for those who mean to consider a different way of creating security for himself and his family, I have three pieces of advice. The first one is to focus on their life goal: where do we want to be in 10 years? Is it with our family in a bigger house and with more time for ourselves?

The second one is to invest in education. None of us was born a master, in order to gain more we have to be more, therefore it is crucial to pursue self-growth objectives everyday.

The last advice simply is open your mind and think out of the box. Once our goal is clear and we work for it, the rest will follow. And it will take us to fulfill ourselves.To learn more about the state aid, click here