"I would very much like to be vaccinated": an interview with Ralf Göttel

Salzburg, April 7, 2021. The Coronavirus pandemic is changing our daily working lives. In this interview, Ralf Göttel, CEO of the BENTELER Group, talks about home office, protective measures at sites and his stance on vaccinations.

Mr. Göttel, there is currently a lot of discussion in Europe about vaccinations and their risks. Will you get vaccinated?

Absolutely. Vaccinations are our best chance to defeat the pandemic. They are the way to save lives, get our lives back to normal and, ultimately, stabilize the economy. That's why we are working flat out to offer vaccinations to our employees wherever possible, too. It’s socially important, however, that at-risk groups are vaccinated first – that is, people who are particularly at risk of succumbing to COVID-19 infection. Once they are immunized, I would be happy to be vaccinated.

As long as the pandemic is rampant, lockdown and mobile working will determine daily working life in many countries. How is it for you?

I, too, work from home. We should all do our utmost to slow down the further spread of the coronavirus. Working from home plays a crucial role in this. For this reason, employees with PC workstations at all BENTELER sites are encouraged to work from home. Mobile working must be made possible for all employees as far as the job permits. The Executive Board has informed managers accordingly.

What about employees who cannot work from home?

Where the job requires presence at the workplace, comprehensive protective measures are in place. For example, the package includes precautionary plans in case an infection occurs at one of our sites. Plus, it includes information on rules of conduct and distance, hygiene, and wearing nose and mouth protection. And to increase peoples’ motivation to participate, it also explains why all these measures are so important. That's why we pay such close attention to compliance. The health of all our employees is our top priority.

Do you understand it, when those who can’t change their workplace feel disadvantaged?

I would appeal for mutual understanding here. Not all employees can work from home. Generally speaking, viewing mobile working as an ideal situation falls short of the mark. Many colleagues who work from home currently have little or no contact with other people. The current phase is tough for everyone, and we have to get through it together.