we are 30 individuals,
we carry more than 15 nationalities & many of our last names are likely to twist your tongue,
we have a team full of bright minds & full of diverse characters.
Meet these characters in our sequence “EMBOSTORIES”, featuring one of our employees, providing a little insight into our company.
This Embostory is presenting Andreas Kyrtatos, Embotech’s CEO.
Q: What do you like the most about your job?
A: Seeing a company grow and mature, and how people are developing their skills and personalities. Discussing with colleagues the future of the company, then converting our thoughts into plans and our plans into reality. Collaborating and learning from great minds.
Q: Could you give us a quick description of what your typical workday as Embotech’s CEO looks like?
A: Arrive at the office at 8 a.m. and make a double shot cappuccino to start with. Iced if it’s warm. Then try to look at the list of urgent things on my notebook, before opening my emails. Review calendar and plan the day. Plan a sports break if possible. Sit in 4-5 hours of meetings, typically reviewing progress. Go through 60-100 emails, most of which can be dealt with very quickly. Then try to find concentrated time to review finances, contracts or prepare for important meetings such as board or customer meetings. Leave office at 6.15 p.m. and go home for dinner with family. Then sit again for 2-3 hours if really quiet work is needed – bad habit from Covid times, trying to get rid of it.
Q: How is working at Embotech different from the pre-Corona times and what are the long-term consequences?
A: The Covid-19 pandemic coincided for Embotech with an office move which was designed to create more space for growth of the company from 30 to 45+ people. In one sense we were very lucky with the timing of this move, because that has enabled us to redesign the layout for post-Covid19 requirements, such as minimum distance between desks, maximum number of people in meetings, etc.
I believe fundamentally that people need to see people face to face in order work efficiently with them in the long term and to ultimately trust their coworkers. However, I found that home office suits different people very differently. It obviously depends on people’s preferences, their commute, family and housing situation but also, very importantly, on people’s intrinsic motivation. Some people can find motivation purely in their work, while some others need interaction and peer or customer pressure. I found these differences to be enormous and thus, there will also be long-term consequences on our home office policy.
The COVID-19 restrictions have taught us some lessons. One is that home office has proven itself to be quite efficient for some type of work and not all communication needs to be face-to-face. Post-Corona, our office has been converted to a hybrid setup, equipped with video conferencing gear in every corner so that meetings can take place partly in the flesh and partly from home, from a coffee place or from the beach for that matter. Nonetheless, there will be no replacement for the office and I don’t think that Embotech would ever go primarily remote.
Q: How does Corona influence your personal life at home?
A: Personally, the COVID-19 restrictions were a great time for me and my family because we spent much more time with our son, as a couple and also found enough time to work – from home. At first it seemed as if the math doesn’t add up but what went out the window were social encounters with friends, acquaintances, work dinners, work travel, etc. That suited some of us with young families quite well, at least for a while.
Q: What did you do before working at Embotech?
A: Studied Mechanical Engineering in the UK and after working at the university as a research assistant came directly to Switzerland for a job at a Finnish conglomerate active in the Marine and Energy/Power generation industries. Starting in the R&D there, I then moved to project management and general management positions. Towards the end, I took part in a carve out of the Swiss subsidiary from the Finnish group into an independent Swiss company fully owned by a Chinese conglomerate, and rebuilt the business IT infrastructure to suit the new, smaller company under the new ownership.
Q: If you could have any other job just for the fun of one day, what would it be?
A: Almost definitely being an architect or interior designer. I’ve had the kick for architecture since I was a kid, influenced by my mother who is an architect. In some senses I feel it comes naturally to me, judging from several mini-projects, but I haven’t tried the real thing. Maybe I will give it a try at some point.
Q: Let’s jump to the last question: Something your colleagues at Embotech don’t know about you yet?
A: When I escape the office for around 40mins late-morning or early-afternoon with a little black Deuter backpack, I am on the way to a swim training at Badi Letzigraben ?.
Thank you, Andreas!