Now, Katalin Karó, Accounting Manager, BPiON Accounting Team, answered the question: “What did you learn during the quarantine?”

I consider the last months a self-development period, both technically and HR. For me and my team, this period has been provided plenty of opportunities for change by facing new situations and having to react them constantly and rapidly.

On the one hand, although digital channels have been present in our work life so far, the entire online communication (MS Teams, Zoom, more common phone), as opposed to previous personal meetings, was challenging for me at first.

I always feel it is very important to maintain good personal collegial relationships in-house and with my accounting team, as well as with our clients. However, in this new situation, it took much more effort to convey the message through the “screen” by gestures and tones in order to communicate the same energy as in a face-to-face meeting. Handling this situation often needs more effort by senders and receivers in the meeting as well. It’s no secret that the first few days were the hardest to find the optimal channels (meeting / quick call vs. email), so these few days put even the masters to the test. As soon as the new conditions became familiar (thanks again to our IT team for their extraordinary efforts), we were able to find a balance in forms of communication as well. For example, based on the experience of the first few weeks, the meetings were organized more often but in a shorter time frame, so that we were able to share information more efficiently.

On the other hand, the new environment also provided an opportunity to practice receiver-side communication. Because of my high energy level, this was the real issue for me. I learnt the power of silence and listening, rather than willingly or unintentionally direct conversation with clarifying questions, which would have resolved the situations. I think awareness is the most important thing here because everyone can listen, and it is not a big challenge to get to the understanding. A post-it on the screen or just a conscious thought before the meeting can help warn you even if our reaction is typically dictated otherwise. This, in turn, can help a lot those colleagues who find it challenging to express themselves in public and even more so sitting behind the screen.

Returning slowly to the office, I try not to forget the newly acquired knowledge and today I organize my group and 1on1 meetings completely differently than before.

Also read Kata Karó’s professional blogs related to accounting, finance, and process development.

And if you’re interested in the previous parts of our quarantine experience series, we’ve gathered it for you here:

Karó Kata, accounting manager is working near the Danube