Ross Prior, Prime Brokerage & Clearing Sales, Nordic Region, Société Générale SA Bankfilial Sverige
What’s one significant way coronavirus has affected your work?
In Stockholm, the office has remained open and staff have had discretion where to work so long as attendance remains below 50%. I have worked from home for two months now. The lack of face-to-face conversations with colleagues in the office is missed but thanks to the wonders of modern technology other aspects of my role have continued seamlessly. I cover the Nordics and Russia, and pre-Covid I regularly traveled to meet with prospects and clients throughout the region. I also traveled to meetings in London and Paris so handling all this from the kitchen table at home has been the biggest challenge.
What’s a typical day like for you right now as we “shelter in place”?
We live very centrally but are close to the forest and the Baltic sea and get up early and go for a walk before my work days starts. The Japanese call it "forest bathing" and it is considered very therapeutic and calming. I am part of our EMEA Prime sales team and we have increased the frequency of our regular scheduled and impromptu calls with London, Paris, Frankfurt and Geneva which have had renewed importance while working remotely.
What’s something that has given you hope for the future after this pandemic?
I have very much enjoyed working in busy environments where you can go and talk to someone at their desk to solve issues face to face. But there is a real opportunity to do things differently from now on: flexible working can smooth the rush hour, opening the workplace to more women and people with disabilities and reduce the need for offices in expensive parts of town. There is a risk of losing the spontaneity and creativity that comes from physical meetings, but as we have successfully onboarded new clients in these challenging times shows that we can all adapt and succeed. Sir Isaac Newton discovered gravity while working from home as Cambridge University was closed during the great plague: just saying!