The greatest psychic refreshment is work

Forbes magazine interviewed our CEO Jirina Nepalova.

It is our pleasure to share this inspirational and optimistic article titled „The greatest psychic refreshment is work” with you during this difficult time. 
You can find interview here link to Forbes magazine.

Jiřina Nepalová's commentary: The greatest psychic refreshment is work

Businesswoman Jiřina Nepalová is one of the most prominent women in the Czech Republic. The CEO and co-owner of the insurance broker RENOMIA is currently also chairwomen of the Association of Czech Insurance Brokers. Her commentary for Forbes has been edited by Zuzana Krajíčková.

Just 14 days ago, I could not imagine that almost all of us at RENOMIA would pack up the essentials and work from our homes. At that moment, I didn't realize how much I would miss the morning greetings, mutual coffee discussions, the people around me in motion.

The contagion billowing over the world is really dangerous, so caution should be taken. We must adapt to the situation, in order to defeat the disease. Therefore, I am glad and grateful that people from RENOMIA are willing to work from home, and I do not mind them taking a break or learning with their children, who are at home like us.

Thanks to this willingness, our work has not stopped and using the very good technical interconnection, we immediately started to operate in a mode different from the one we had been used to. I get up at the same time in the morning just as if I were going to my office, and at eight o'clock I sit at my desk. I adhere to the discipline, as one cannot do without that.

I am in contact with my people and we see each other online, via Teams meetings, so I dress myself up and adjust accordingly. I have quickly learned to operate the digital equipment from home. The digital equipment is also what connects us with our clients. We try to help them in the difficult situation, we continue to settle insurance claims, and solve their other needs related to insurance.

It is our activity, our mission to help our clients. We deal with emerging claims without delay, be it a fire or a car or machine breakdown, there is still something going on, no matter what the most important topic of these days is. We also follow development in other countries where we are active.

Currently, we are intensively connected with our company in Croatia based in Zagreb, where there was an earthquake resulting in huge property damage. We were also surprised by the cyber attack, the target of which was an insurance company abroad.

I am glad that most citizens understand that the coronavirus is attacking and is very dangerous. I feel that it is especially dangerous for elder and sick people. We do not want the older generation to die out. I am also part of the endangered group, so I follow the recommendations and am not in personal contact with anyone.

I appreciate the fact that the representatives of our country responded quickly and introduced tough measures even at a time when there were just a few cases in the Czech Republic and the restrictions were not understood by many yet.

For the further development, although I am not putting myself into the role of an economist, it is very important that the state helps the people and businesses fast, especially the smaller entrepreneurs, who do not have large financial resources for months, who had been breathing for the success of their businesses and sacrificing a lot of time and effort. I know very well from my own experience, what that means.

Not by their own fault, without a warning, without a possibility to influence anything, they got into trouble and it would be unfair if the government’s assistance did not come in a quick and effective way. Even small and medium-sized businesses are part of a diverse source of services and a benefit for us all.

Our company is big and healthy. We have to take some measures, but we are taking them thoughtfully and with respect to the future, for our people in RENOMIA, who want to be with us for years to come. We think about what to do, what not to do or what to do even better. We have the opportunity now to evaluate, what was before and what will be after the coronavirus.

Stronger and weaker procedural aspects are surfacing, humanity and the ability to respond to a change with a certain "war-like" commitment, the ability to improvise, reliability and more. In general, it seemed to me that people stopped appreciating ordinary things, deeming all these were not enough. My dad would have said: "We fell from the pear to the ground."

I do not sew the masks personally, but colleagues who are not entirely on the front line with our clients are also active in this activity, sewing the masks for doctors, municipalities, people who continue to work in the field and cannot be on home office. We monitor the situation as a company and as individuals, collect information, find out, where help is needed.

Actually, we cannot get much to those most endangered through the quarantine, but I got the idea, for example, to please the residents of a retirement home and their caretakers. To all of them, we have sent flowers and some goodies from RENOMIA. Some of them have never before been given a flower in their lives. I would have never thought that flowers would make someone so uniquely happy, and so little was needed to do so. I wish everyone to overcome that in health.

But that does not stop there. Uncertainty makes many people anxious, they are worried. We focus on all areas of this new situation and gradually offer our colleagues, clients and people in our neighborhood ways to give them strength and optimism to overcome this period. Of course, the old rule applies that work and activities are the greatest psychic refreshment. In that sense, I am doing well.

It will be interesting to perform the evaluation again after some time, when this complication is over. We can then share how different situations and ideas have evolved and what has worked well.

Stay all well and healthy, yours Jiřina Nepalová