Wed | 27.01.2021
Philip Aarsman, Managing Director Business Lease Romania, informs over the new look-and-feel for corporate mobility in 2021.
What impact does COVID-19 have on the company?
I think that every company - anywhere in the world - will experience the consequences, both in a negative but certainly also in a positive sense. The general negative has been discussed many times with some sectors being hit extra hard and will continue to experience this in the coming months. But entrepreneurs are used to challenges and many companies will sometimes have to reinvent themselves. And we can already see that around us. The Hospitality Industry that buys massively - small compact and affordable - cars to deliver their meals, hotels that offer comfortable online workplaces, travel agencies that put together and deliver Christmas packages online, etc.
On a positive note, the traffic problem that has plagued Bucharest for years has been solved almost overnight and it became clear that so many things are possible from home. The fear of how I keep my employee motivated and committed to perform all work well from home, turned out to be unfounded. People are perfectly capable of doing this, but it does require a modified management style where, in my opinion, there are two of the utmost importance: decisiveness and building relationships.
The pandemic has completely changed our routine, so companies need leaders who can make quick decisions with the information they have. Of course, this decision-making ability is not unique in itself and is based on a range of other skills such as problem solving, initiative, research, evaluation, as well as setting expectations in concrete terms.
On the other hand, leadership requires the ability to build and maintain strong and collaborative teams that work together towards the same goal. Relationship building is potentially one of the most important skills for a leadership role because it makes communicating tasks, responsibilities and goals more effective, especially as we, our customers and partners often work remotely.
What is the outlook / expectations for the company in the coming period, also after COVID-19?
That many of these changes will be permanent. Within our company we now work with shifts, smaller independent units led by a management team member or members who sometimes have to operate across disciplines. These teams work one week in the office and the other week from home. Fortunately, there is enough room within our company to organize this in such a way that everything can be carried out “Corona-proof”. We have made a conscious decision not to let people work from home permanently, so that they remain motivated and socially involved. I think the latter is also a Romanian thing. Romanians are very social and have a greater need for physical interaction. Something you see much less at our company in the Czech Republic, for example.
Which are the key elements reshaping corporate mobility in 2021?
Our expectation was to see a decline in personal transportation and mobility last year visible in lower investment goals of both fleet managers and fleet suppliers. Instead after a relatively silent period of 3 months (period March – May), our medium sized- and larger- customers started not only ordering again but even compensating for the past lost period. Of course, the focus on efficiency increased.
Commercial transport grew a lot as a result of the boom in online sales and closed shops and restaurants delivering goods directly to its customers.
Of course, Working from Home has made us realize that corporate mobility needs to undergo a reshape, involving HR more and more. This is going to be a powerful voice throughout 2021 in the internal negotiations with the Fleet and Purchase, deciding how the company culture and employee expectations need to be seen in the Fleet and Mobility scheme.
This new perspective over the corporate fleet is going to call for more intelligent and cost-efficient set-ups, that will come with increased flexibility, regarding both the modes and the contract. But individual mobility increased in value and people in general want to avoid public transport. Will this continue? Our Short-Term Lease product addresses particularly this flexibility need allowing our clients to enjoy the benefits of operational leasing while adapting the length of the contract according to their projects.
Having mobility managed by specialists, outsourcing the administrative burden and financial risks to a leasing company is still a sound strategy, allowing companies to focus on their core business. So, we expect them to look carefully at every penny spent and to keep in house only what is relevant and directly connected to their main activities.
This also requires enhanced capabilities to know their fleet and mobility in real time and plan the efficiency accordingly. The good news is that today’s telematics and connected technologies provide clients the proper solutions for that.
The employees will also act more and more as influencers within their company this year. They have become more and more aware of their individual impact on the planet and are committed to change. Electric Vehicles have become a cornerstone in CSR and in any company’s HR policy. So, we need to shake away the myths and understand the feasibility of electric driving.
This article was provided by our Mobility Partner, Business Lease Romania.