44 (139) 2020
Download PDF-version

Chairman’s note

Tile article reczek

Chairman's report

By Antoni F. Reczek, chairman of the board, BPCC


At last year’s Annual General Meeting, held on 29 May 2019, members voted unanimously to restructure the Chamber from an English Company Limited by Guarantee to a Polish employer’s organisation (organizacja pracodawców). This has now happened, and from 1 January 2020, the BPCC has been functioning as a Polish-registered entity. The residual English company, the approval of whose annual accounts was the main business of this year’s AGM (held online for the first time ever on 24 June) will be wound up by the end of 2020.

Editorial note

Tile article black typewriter 200

Defining the New Normal. Adapt or die

by Michael Dembinski, chief advisor and Dorota Kierbiedź, membership director, BPCC


Here is the second issue of Contact Magazine Online of the Covid-19, with a focus on insights and practical advice about running a business during a time of unprecedented change. We present four interviews and 22 articles from our members, which between them cover a broad range of business issues.

Tile double banner sage july 2020
Tile double bane prawy reg38689 spaces staticbanner letsredefine 143x463px


Tile article adam krason

Trends from before the pandemic have been accelerated in the New Normal

Adam Krasoń, country managing partner of PwC in Poland, talks to the BPCC’s Michael Dembinski about how business is adapting to the pandemic and what changes are on the horizon


Now that the economy is reopening, how do you assess the damage from the lockdown, and how has it altered the way we do business?


Tile article sesja casto 18 09 2018 4d4a2777 b

Responsible retailing rides out the crisis

Sébastien Krysiak, Castorama Polska’s CEO, talks to the BPCC’s Michael Dembinski about the challenges that Poland’s retail sector will face in the post-Covid world.


UK retailing in Poland has had a patchy record with several household names entering and leaving the market. Kingfisher's Castorama brand has been very successful. To what would you attribute that contrast, comparing the experience of British retailers in the Polish market?


Tile article piotr ciski sage

Piotr Ciski, managing director of Sage Polska, talks to the BPCC’s Michael Dembinski about how the software company dealt with Covid-19 and its impact on the business world in the medium term.

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated many trends that have been taking shape in the business world, such as nearshoring, home-office working, e-commerce – but above all the process of digitalisation. The increased reliance of business on digital solutions has placed a strain on the IT sector, with an increased demand for the skills of analysts, programmers and web developers. How has Sage’s IT hub in Poland been affected?


Tile article krzysztof misiak 1

Poland to remain a ‘quality market’ for real estate investment

Krzysztof Misiak, head of Cushman & Wakefield Poland, talks to the BPCC’s Michael Dembinski about how Covid-19 is reshaping Poland’s real estate markets, and where the new hotspots for investors are likely to appear.


The real estate sector will experience a major shake-up globally with winners and losers across the board. Different sub-sectors will feel the changes in different ways. The shift to home working will reduce demand for office space; continued need for social distancing will affect retail, in particular shopping malls; whilst the rapid shift to e-commerce will impose profound change in warehousing requirements, in particular last-mile logistics. What's the more nuanced picture around the post-Covid trends for real estate, in particular in Poland?

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

What could our cities look like after Covid 19?

By Martin Hyams, director, AHR Architects


Covid-19 has appeared and turned our lives upside down, forcing us into lockdown. We find ourselves in survival mode – within a new set of constraints, we try to carry on as best we can. Our lives immediately reduced down to their simplest and most basic forms.  Those that that work from home do so.  With schools closed, working and childcare have to be juggled somehow. We start to rely on our local communities to support us.  Safety demands that we live our lives within a confined area, staying among those we trust.  

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

This is about transformation, not recovery

By Jo da Silva, leader of Arup International Development


I have spent the last decade thinking about and working to improve the resilience of communities and cities across the world. How do you prepare for the worst and, once it’s happened – be it an earthquake, a typhoon, a drought or a flood – how do you recover from it so that you are stronger next time? There are many parallels that apply to this pandemic. And yet the magnitude of what we’re all living through now feels unique.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

How did Poles pass the enforced test of remote working?

By Joanna Mroczek, head of CEE Research & Marketing, CBRE Poland


The coronavirus pandemic has created a situation, where we have had to undergo an intensive course of performing our duties outside the office over the past few months. The conclusions have turned out to be surprisingly optimistic – Poles have coped well with the transition to a new work mode, almost overnight. Research indicates that a significant number of us are able to work from home as efficiently as before. On the other hand, we still need an office, as it is a space where we can meet and exchange ideas, and that is what we miss the most.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

The New Normal for construction industry – are we ready for it?

By Tadeusz Jachowicz, regional director CEE, Gleeds Polska director


After more than three months of partial lockdown, including the most restrictive stages, through others that have led us to today’s situation, every sector of Polish economy faces a major challenge of adjusting to a new reality. As construction market players, we, our clients, business partners and all the parties involved in the real estate market must deal with that, as well.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

Life and work during pandemic

By Filip Pietrek, marketing manager, Hamilton May


“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is.” (Virginia Satir)

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

The office sector in the post-Covid era

By Magdalena Czempińska, director, Research Department, Knight Frank


While observing economic conditions which followed the lifted restrictions, commercial real estate investors are wondering how the Covid-19 pandemic will impact their business. In uncertain times, one thing is sure – the scale of the impact will depend on the amount of time it takes for the economy to shake free of recession.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

Return to the Office

By Jakub Jędrys, head of Building & Project Consultancy, Savills


As Covid-19 restrictions are being gradually lifted, many employers are looking for solutions to enable workers to return safely to offices. However, the social distancing rules that are still in place are giving rise to many questions about protocols that should be introduced in the workplace.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

Skanska rolls out new safety standards to create new office concept

By Arkadiusz Rudzki, EVP Leasing & Sales in Skanska commercial development unit in CEE


Skanska has created some new rules and adapted workplaces in Central and Eastern Europe to support its tenants returning to their offices. The new offer called Care for Life Office Concept includes recommendations and consultancy regarding new hygiene and safety protocols, adjustment of existing technologies in Skanska’s buildings and reorganisation of office areas. The concept is being developed for Skanska buildings in CEE in cooperation with external experts.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

How in three days we have transformed the way we do business

By Andrzej Skowroński - member of the management board; market manager, Poland and Bartłomiej Jabłoński – area sales manager, Imperial Tobacco Polska S.A


The coronavirus pandemic has completely changed the profile of doing business in virtually all market sectors. The tobacco industry found itself in a special situation, where the main element of the sales chain – consisting of representatives' visits to retail outlets – virtually ceased to exist overnight. Action taken by Imperial Tobacco Polska S.A. proved that three days are enough to change the model of activity completely. 

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

Covid-19 will mean governments will need to offer long-term jobs support to avoid economic turbulence

By Jakub Wojnarowski, head of ACCA Poland & Baltic Countries


Governments around the world, larger businesses and financial institutions such as banks will all have to play a part in helping to rebuild the global economy. That’s one of the main recommendations we make in our report Covid-19 Global Survey: The Road to Recovery.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

Lessons learned; strengths gained

By Jerzy Dąbrowski, CEO, Bibby Financial Services


What lessons have been learned by SMEs during the pandemic? It was a difficult experience for everyone and required great wisdom and resourcefulness from businesses. They had to quickly adapt to the new reality and change their plans realistically. Quick response was the key to success. Companies that have survived this stage have definitely emerged stronger for the experience. Now, as everything is returning to normal, we can ask business leaders – what they have learned during a pandemic?

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

Resilience means excellence. How to help teams in the new normal

By Shell Polska

Using its wide range of resilience programmes and experience in virtual team-management, Shell in Poland has remained fully operational during the pandemic. Covid-19 highlighted the simple truth that mature organisations treat their employees as partners rather than as a means to achieve their business goal. As business is heading towards a new normal, this lesson will be crucial for companies that want to create a vibrant, cooperative workplace.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

Uninterrupted access to medical services

By Anna Rulkiewicz, president, Lux Med Group:


What are the similarities between the Spanish-flu epidemic of 1918 and the current pandemic? The former claimed dozens of millions of lives, while the latter has claimed around 500,000 lives so far. However, both exerted a similar impact on human behaviour and mindsets about health.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

The future of business meetings post Covid-19

By Barbara Stachowiak-Kowalska, BPCC board member


We are all acutely aware that many sectors are suffering as a result of Covid-19, but the travel and hospitality sector will be hit more than most.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

How Covid-19 put the food supply-chain under pressure

By Aon Polska


As the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has transformed the way we live and work, among its most immediate – and critical – impacts has been its effect on food supplies.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

Creating a new brand: the Polish sales professional

By Elżbieta Pełka


Reversing damaging stereotypes, changing attitudes towards a social group, implementing industry standards, regulating a broad spectrum of economic behaviour.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

Enterprise software and home working – putting the employee first

By BPower2


There are numerous IT systems on the market supposed to optimise and improve companies as well as facilitate their process management. However, most of those solutions are focused on supervision and the convenience of managers. Yet one of the key resources of a company is its employees, so isn’t focusing on managers’ needs the wrong way of looking at business processes? It is important for employees to feel that they are needed, to know what their duties are and what is expected of them. Companies that are aware of this become successful due to committed, efficient and satisfied staff.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

Mutual understanding for long-term success

By Paweł Prymakowski, CEO of IT Vision - company that implements ERP since 2000. Experienced executive, sales and business development expert.


You know that you are about to implement an ERP system in your company. But what's next? How to prepare for it? And what should you know before making a decision?

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

The Polish Labour Market Beyond Covid-19

By Anna Gwiazda, Attorney at law, partner and head of Labour Practice at Kochański & Partners


The Polish labour market as it was in January 2020 and the one that exists six months later are two different worlds.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

Home Office: the present and the future

By Magdalena Furs, service & delivery director, Gi Group


Home office as a phenomenon had already become a popular trend both globally and in Poland. Job candidates would ask about it; home office featured on lists of employee benefits for several years now. But the Covid-19 pandemic has turned it into the professional standard. Will home office remain with us for good?

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

The science of getting what you want

By Lucyna Baca-Lönn, leadership and business trainer and founding owner of Graphology Solutions Group, BPCC board member


Science has defined sound rules of ethical success which constitutes one goal of our business activities. Properly designed leadership development programmes can help us to achieve desired business results, regardless of the circumstances. They are a great method of enhancing our paradigm and achieving results through orderly and authentic thinking patterns, supported by positive emotional attractors.

Coping with the New Normal - Covid-19 and after

School’s out. What happens now?

By Tom McGrath, principal, British Primary School of Wilanow (BSW)


On Friday 26 June we arranged our End of Year Ceremony on the final day of the academic year. In normal circumstances this would have been in an auditorium, packed to the rafters, with a miscellany of musical acts, drama performances, presentations, farewells and speeches. It would have been followed with a buffet and refreshments for the assembled community.