At Pentecost Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. After Easter and Christmas, it is the highest festival in the church year. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples and apostles on this day. Suddenly they could speak foreign languages and tell people from all over the world about the deeds of Jesus, says the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament.

And for the feast of Pentecost 2020, in the current times of the coronavirus crisis, we interviewed Mr. Josip Heit, Chairman of the Board of Directors of GSB Gold Standard Banking Corporation AG, about the significance of Pentecost for the citizens and how the economy could change with the home office?

Mr Heit, the Christian feast of Pentecost is just around the corner, is this a special feast for you?
Josip Heit: “Pentecost is a very special celebration for every Christian. It will remind us that Peter enthused his listeners so much with the Christian message of Jesus that, according to the story, 3,000 of them were baptized. This is why Pentecost is also the “birthday of the Church” and the beginning of worldwide mission.

But as much joy and faith as there may be, I as an economist, at Pentecost 2020, I see the large churches facing great economic problems because of the expected decrease in church tax revenue due to the corona. The churches could face income losses of at least 25 to 30 percent. This is considerable, since the personnel costs of churches are already at about 70 percent, as I know.

There could be a lot of lamentations, up to the sale and closure of conference centres, hospitals, kindergartens and the like, also because a real crisis strategy is not apparent to me. What is important for development are islands of hope and, above all, sustainable strategic priorities, such as pastoral care as a means of discussion in city centres and tourist locations, or support in crisis situations such as homelessness.

Despite the crisis that has also affected us as a company, as well as many corporations in the European economic zone, we as a company have tried to help and recently donated 95,000 euros to church organizations, because it is precisely now that we need to stand together in the Christian faith.”

Mr. Heit, do you think that the business world will come to terms with the coronavirus?
Josip Heit: “With the spread of the coronavirus, it was possible in many places very quickly, something that was tenaciously discussed for years: Entire workforces worked from home for weeks and months. The Corona pandemic has shown that the home office is a working model for everyone. All of a sudden, everyone did it and realized: Hooray, that somehow works.

Now with the loosening of the rules, it will become clear whether people are aware of what they want to keep. In addition to the ideal, the entire economy will be thinking about a model that people could still live with – if what they originally had in mind cannot be realised. Of course, employees will have to provide arguments on why the home office is a good working model that is under discussion. In the home office I can approach certain tasks more productively or creatively. Or: “Travel times are reduced, costs can be cut.”

Mr. Heit, do you believe that the home office will prevail?
Josip Heit: “As a rule, home office productivity decreases in the first phase – until you have adapted to the new structure. Then it rises. However, this requires a number of conditions to be met, which are the responsibility of both the individual and the employer. GSB Gold Standard Banking Corporation AG, is currently working at full speed to clearly define the work package for the individual.

However, the individual employee is also involved here, whether permanently employed or working freelance for GSB Gold Standard Banking Corporation AG. First and foremost, it is important to consider how do I control my availability? Working from home is a highly flexible and mobile form of work, it automatically comes along with very flexible working hours.

If you don’t have clear structures, not only for the daily routine but also for the course of the week, you will quickly run into problems in completing your tasks. This has become apparent in recent weeks with many people who no longer even knew which day of the week it was. This is very dangerous, and everyone has to take care of it for themselves. Even professionals fall into this trap again and again.

And to come back to this year’s Pentecost, the question of social, ecological and creative justice must be at the centre of the reconstruction just as much as the home office as a creative possibility for the world of work in the 21st century, because only then will we survive this crisis together!
I wish all people God’s blessing, strength and above all health. ” Josip Heit (