Steam, before the Italian government issued the first decrees on this matter, started a progressive fade out from the office activities in the last week of February, when, after the first cases were discovered, our people from northern Italy started home office. One week later, during the first week of March, we decided to close our main office in Pisa, and last week our last colleague working on site in Kenya returned home and he is now working in preventative quarantine.
We keep the spirit of the company up with regular teamwork: everybody has the responsibility to keep connected with very other colleague with calls or videoconferences at least once a day, just like nobody ever takes the coffee alone when we are in the office. Additionally, we have several group meetings online, so that Steam family keeps the same shared vision, thoughts and targets. Our services are ongoing with our problems, luckily our customers in Italy and abroad are proceeding in their geothermal developments for now.
We cannot serve on site, which is a sustainable situation for a couple of months before the projects start suffering significant delays. We are worried for the future business in case the virus continues spreading along summertime, as it would impact the whole geothermal community worldwide, but we know that challenges for existing and future investments may come especially from the very low oil price experienced these days. On the other side, renewable energies may favour a new environmental consciousness, feeling that we humans are part of a whole. If you ask me what the geothermal community can do for us... well, it's very simple: continue investing without fear and let us help them from remote. Know-how is immaterial and we can share it in many ways. If we want to make it positive, we think that this "new course" of business can teach us all how important is to keep a community unite even when it is not possible to work face by face: phone calls, videoconferencing, everything that technology can do in order to help people connecting each other is important.
Maybe also our environmental impact as businessmen in the future will be lower, as we discover that we do not need to make as many meetings in person as we thought. The personal acquaintance is of utmost importance in business, but we can tailor it to the new situation. I personally received some tens of calls in the last weeks from many countries of every single continent of the world: just like long-time friends these colleagues wanted to express their nearness in this situation. This was astonishing and moving for me.
Yes, we are facing and we will face challenges. But together we can make the best out of it.
Luca Xodo - Director of Sales and Business Development - STEAM