The National Bank of Romania (BNR) has sent 70% of its employees working remotely less than two weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic, Mugur Tolici, BNR Human Resources Officer, said Thursday.
“All the measures that were taken inside the national bank were to ensure continuity of operations and that was done in all the ways already well known applied in all organisations, with staggered hours at the main headquarters and reserve headquarters, by avoiding unnecessary overcrowding in the bank with important but non-critical staff, who can carry out their activity from a distance, so that the challenge was from 0 to 100%, including zero possibility to work remotely, meaning lack of internal regulations, until sending the largest share of staff working remotely. That happened in less than two weeks, from 0 to 70%, a challenge I think to any institution, even more so to a settled, stable institution with a long tradition of 140 years, as the National Bank of Romania is,” Tolici told a human resources conference “Working remotely – benefits and challenges” that was broadcast live on the YouTube account of BNR.
He mentioned that BNR joined the ranks of other central banks, currently in September, in the European system of central banks, with an in-person presence at the headquarters of between 15 and 75%, and a large part of the employees continuing to work remotely.
Tolici explained that there were also changes in the document trail.
“From an almost total paper trail of the documents, we switched in an extremely short time to their electronic trail, which I think during the state of emergency probably reached 90-95%. Everything that comes in from outside the bank through the BNR registry, all the documents that used to be dispatched between the directions were somehow digitised, submitted electronically; the use of the business e-mail became relevant, almost the only means of communication. We switched from quite a few in-person meetings to virtual meeting on existing platforms available to us, Webex and Teams, and we found that things can be done differently,” said Tolici, according to Agerpres.
The BNR employees not eligible for remote working were given the possibility to take paid days off, provided that they make up for the days in the next 12 months.
The event aimed, in the context generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, to present the experience of the National Bank of Romania, as well as other institutions / companies, regarding the unfolding of the activity in a regime assimilated to working remote: its advantages, limitations, opportunities and challenges.
The approached topics in the conference aimed at the solutions put in practice by employers in order to ensure the continuity of the activity, especially the critical one for the functioning at the optimal parameters of the company / institution, in parallel with the protection of the employees’ health.