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Only 15% of the AIBEST member companies plan to return to the offices in full capacity with the end of the state of emergency

A survey among the members of the Association for Innovation, Business Excellence, Services and Technology (AIBEST), shows that only 15% of the companies will return to the offices in full capacity. Every third company plans to extend the home office, and more than half of them have chosen the option to return gradually or on shifts . Internal analyzes show that remote work has in no way affected the efficiency and quality of the services they offer. Therefore, in the future, AIBEST members intend to keep some of the newly introduced practices, allowing for increased working hours from home and continuing professional development through virtual trainings and e-learning platforms.

The companies from the so-called "knowledge industry" see the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to accelerate digitization and new business opportunities . 62% of the AIBEST members report that the crisis has not significantly affected their business and no company in the sector has benefited from the government's economic measures.

"Thanks to the transformations in the business services sector in recent years, Bulgaria has already won positions on the world map. We create high added value not only by developing technological products, but also by offering modern business services and solutions. That is why I believe that our companies and our industry in general will remain competitive even after the crisis, and there is an opportunity to overtake other of our competitive markets", the Chairman of AIBEST, Ilia Krustev, commented.

In order to minimize the negative effect of the crisis on businesses and the unpredictability of the situation, within these two months, 44% of the members of the association have taken internal measures such as freezing the hiring of employees and promotions. Reducing the number of working hours and reducing some of the non-financial incentives, but maintaining the additional health insurance of employees, are part of the practices during the state of emergency.

None of the companies has so far resorted to extreme measures to lay off a large number of employees. The available resource is actively engaged in developing its own products and services, as well as in providing digital solutions for the benefit of the state in the fight against COVID-19. As part of the government's commitment to digitalizing major systems in the country, ScaleFocus developed the ViruSafe mobile application, and SoftServe, together with Viber, created the COVID-19 Bulgaria chat bot channel.

In parallel, in June, the association will provide an analysis of the transformations in the in the public sector, businesses and social systems, which were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The experts from the AIBEST’s companies will monitor, analyze and provide successful practices and recommendations for changes in policies and regulations based on the transformations in the economy, labor market, international relations and strategic sectors for Bulgaria.
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