Doing business in Zurich: Trends to watch out for

Posting date: 28 February 2019

Doing business in Zurich: Trends to watch out for

Since being named as the world’s most sustainable city in 2016, Zurich hasn’t rested on its laurels, continuing to flourish as a place to both live and work. The social, environmental, and economic factors that led to the award are things that the city has long been revered for, but it’s not something that’s happened by accident.

With a desire to maintain its reputation as a “centre of economic life and education” (a line coined by the official tourist site myswitzerland.com), investment in Zurich’s local infrastructure continues at pace, while being conscious of its environmental impact; the city is one of the lowest generators of emissions and consumers of water in Europe.


Why Zurich attracts businesses and people

While it’s regularly ranked as the second-most competitive financial centre in Europe behind London, uncertainties around the future of the UK could well play into Zurich’s hands.

Already home to 10 of the world’s largest financial firms, the engineering hubs of tech giants and a giant data centre industry, a local startup scene has emerged attracting talent from amongst the 60,000 students who call the city home.

While some will naturally be keen to move into an established household name business when they come out of education, the chance to be a part of something new and exciting is just as attractive to the modern workforce.

Zurich offers the best of both worlds.

Zurich’s low rate of 3.0% unemployment is on a par with the national average, below that of Basel (3.6%) and Geneva (4.9%) and far better than the European average of 6.8%. The business setup is there to cope, no matter how many people want to call the city home!


Sensible city planning

Of the 425k people who currently call Zurich home, 68% of them are of working age. That’s 2% above the national average in Switzerland and 3% above European averages.

Those may sound like small margins, but in a city that’s seen annual population increases of 1.8% over the past decade, it may look from the outside to be a growing city with limited space to expand.

In other regions that could create some serious logistical nightmare — over-urbanisation has a habit of pushing the cost of living way up — however, Zurich isn’t just any other city.

The planning department at the City of Zurich recognised this trend well before it became a problem, implementing an active policy to make better use of abandoned industrial sites to provide affordable studio spaces and rehearsal rooms.

This has seen great redevelopment in Zurich-West, where the former derelict buildings are becoming lively spaces full of contemporary art. Refurbished shipping containers have become pop-up retail spaces and dingy back streets and railway arches now house some of the most desirable restaurants and cafes in the city.


Providing a launchpad

While Zurich is home to many large corporate financial services organisations, such as UBS, Credit Suisse, Swiss Re and Zurich Insurance, it’s increasingly becoming known for its positive startup environment.

Areas like Kreis 5 provide the perfect spot for coworking, and the many meetups, tech conferences and incubator schemes have helped fuel the thriving startup scene.

With the close proximity to those making financial decisions, some for these companies can be expected to break out of startup mode in the coming years. Exactly who it will be is a matter for debate, but there are some strong contenders.

Of course, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, and within the financial sector companies such as Advanon and Wefox are attempting to challenge the traditional norms of the industry.

The medical folk are arguably even more active when it comes to innovation, with Ava becoming a vital service for women across the world, and Versantis, Xeltis and Cutiss showing strength in the pharma and medical devices field.

Whether it’s Selfnation in fashion, ComfyLight in home security, Nezasa in travel or Beekeeper in employee communication, every corner of the city has a potential ‘next big thing’ on its hands. For any company considering where to base their HQ, Zurich surely must close to the top of the list.


Make your business move with Swisslinx

As a specialist recruitment company providing talent solutions across Switzerland and internationally, we’re proud to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and recruitment trends. With a Zurich base, we are active partners to new startups and larger organisations emerging in the city, and have a thriving network of skilled, vetted candidates ready to make their mark in this market. Find out more about what we offer here.

How to maintain company culture while working remotely

Remote working has become a way of life for many employees. Businesses throughout the world have to adapt and become more agile, with many taking on a hybrid work model. While there’s likely to still be organisations that want employees to get back into the offices permanently, there’s now a much greater demand for remote working and flexibility. There’s certainly a widespread acceptance that remote working is the future. And as organizations have taken to the post-pandemic world, maintaining company culture has become all the more important. Since employees don’t need to be physically in an office to work, companies will need to pay extra attention to their culture and ensure their teams are happy and fulfilled. Reinforce company values With remote teams, it’s even more important for managers and leaders to acknowledge the values of a company. This is particularly crucial when onboarding new hires remotely. For example, the way problems are solved within the business in a remote environment need to be reinforced to employees, as well as how core decisions will continue to be made. All of this should reflect aspects of the company culture. When leaders relay information about the company’s policies and practices, it reminds employees that culture and structure still exists. Due to remote working, the boundaries of culture can be difficult to define – so companies must focus on establishing expectations and promoting a strong work ethic to help maintain culture. Establish trust One of the best ways to maintain company culture while working remotely is to build trust and transparency throughout the organisation. Thanks to digital tools, it’s never been easier to stay connected with people and build relationships. With a remote team, managers need to show confidence in their team and maintain the trust that was built back in the office. For example, leaders and managers should be always open to collaboration and sharing solutions to problems. That way, everyone will feel connected and part of a team, which can remove any feelings of isolation that can come from working from home. Create a sense of accountability In the remote working world, it’s important to empower your team members to be proactive and take initiative. When managing a remote team, you need to avoid simply delegating tasks but instead create a workflow for your team that allows them to take a lead on projects. This creates an environment of accountability which helps maintain the culture you may have had back in the office. Personal responsibility is an important part of many businesses, so translating this into a remote environment is an excellent way of maintaining culture. Set new targets Companies must set all employees new objectives as priorities change. In a remote environment, there are likely to be some significant changes to company goals. Setting monthly and weekly targets is a great way to foster company-wide motivation and it creates a strong work ethic across teams. As in the office, employees will be driven to achieve company goals if they understand what they are. That’s why setting a vision for the work is essential and understanding how people are feeling with regards to meeting their targets in the new normal. Also, leaders should continually share what the company has achieved through communication tools, as well as business goals, all of which cultivate a sense of company culture. Swisslinx can drive your recruitment forward At Swisslinx, we have an excellent track record of providing the best recruitment solutions to companies in a range of sectors, from financial services and digital to healthcare and life sciences. As a leading recruitment agency in Swisslinx, we have access to an array of talent to help your business grow and develop. We pride ourselves on building effective relationships with clients and candidates. Contact us today if you would like to find out more about how we can help your recruitment. Also, please keep reading our insights page for more interesting articles.

READ MORE

Why internal mobility is crucial for engaging and retaining talent

Internal mobility is all about the movement of employees from one position to the next within an organisation. Now more than ever, businesses need to build a growth-oriented and flexible workforce to improve retention, leadership and engagement. Organisations in Switzerland today need to be open to new challenges and make sure their employees always have opportunities to take on new responsibilities and move up in the company. It’s no secret that employees who are happy and engaged will be more motivated to do their best work, so development opportunities should be taken seriously by all companies. Internal mobility is an effective way of filling skills gaps and delivering seamless talent acquisition – and it’s essential for the success of any organisation. Here’s why:   Nurture high-potentials   Internal mobility is hugely important when it comes to nurturing high-potential employees. Having an internal mobility strategy enables businesses to take advantage of the most promising talent and ensure they remain at the company. It’s widely understood that millennial workers change companies more frequently than older generations. That’s why taking an internal approach to moving employees to new roles and adding responsibilities shows you’re invested in the people that work within your company, which is key to retainment. When you identify and nurture the best talent in your organisation, you can create an agile workforce with a team of professionals with cross-functional knowledge and expertise.   Builds a culture of learning   One of the key benefits of focusing on internal mobility is that it builds a culture of continuous learning. First of all, it’s a change in mindset that asks leaders to support a culture of challenge and growth and encourages employees to plan for the next stage in their careers. A learning culture is crucial to securing employee productivity, engagement and enthusiasm. The best employees want to keep expanding their knowledge and learn new skills quickly for their professional development. An internal mobility program can pave the way for a strong learning culture, which can make a more adaptable organisation. In a learning culture, employees actively share each other knowledge, which means problems can get solved more quickly. In this way, employees will be more engaged and more likely to stay at the company for longer.    Business development    Without retaining employees and keeping them engaged, it’s difficult for a company to develop and drive internal growth. Organisations need to think strategically about why people join their companies and why they choose to stay. Often, it’s the work-life balance, culture and learning opportunities that make people enjoy their roles and feel valued. Internal mobility feeds into all areas of business development and growth. An internal mobility strategy can help companies find potential leaders who can empower their businesses in the future. Above all, companies should have an internal talent pipeline ready to fill new positions when needed. Hiring externally takes time and there’s always the risk of a candidate leaving the role prematurely. Therefore, investing in internal mobility is an effective way to empower your workforce, which in turn, can future-proof your business.   Swisslinx has the expertise to help your business grow   Swisslinx is a recruitment leader in a wide range of markets, including financial services, technology and healthcare and life sciences. Our team of dedicated consultants have years of experience in delivering quality recruitment expertise and sourcing the best candidates on both a permanent and contractual basis. We’ve established excellent consultative partnerships with our clients and candidates, and we pride ourselves on our quality service, built on insightful knowledge and experience. If you’d like to know more about our service, contact our team today.  

READ MORE