Juca Andrade, Chief Product and Client Officer at B3 - Brazilian Exchange & OTC
What’s one significant way coronavirus has affected your work?
Social distancing is without doubt the measure having the greatest impact not only on my work routine, but on all of us. In my specific case I have been working via home office since March 15, after having contact with someone who was later confirmed with Covid-19. Thankfully, I did not contract the illness but for the safety of all, I placed myself into isolation, in accordance with sanitation recommendations. Social distancing, initially forecast for 14 days, kept growing longer and has now lasted for almost two months.
I share a house with my wife and three children. To have as little impact as possible on the domestic routine, I set up an en suite office. This is my solution for keeping a private space inside my home without affecting everyone else’s routine. It undoubtedly does affect the routine of everyone living here, but we are looking at how to reduce these impacts as much as possible.
What’s a typical day like for you right now as we “shelter in place”?
Another thing I have noticed is that I am more available. I am connected to several channels – by computer, cellphone, landline – almost 100% of the time. This has increased my response rate compared with typical periods of less availability, such as during in-person meetings.
What’s something that has given you hope for the future after this pandemic?
I think the biggest lesson in this period has been our more mature relationship with home office. A lot of people had viewed this practice with mistrust, resistance, even prejudice. Notwithstanding the crisis and losses that it has caused, the pandemic has radically changed this perception. Home office is the new normal. The end of the pandemic – which I hope happens as soon as possible – means that we will need to consider more tools to guarantee the access and communication of those using home office with those who are in person at the office.
Another reflection that might result in changes in the medium term is the need for physical spaces. Do we really need several floors of corporate offices? This is a line of questioning that many companies will follow after this crisis. I recently read a thought experiment that made a lot of sense: does a company really need physical headquarters to exist? Or is it the people working for the company who constitute it? The reality we are living through now tips the scale in favor of the latter.