Expatica news

Stories making the Sunday papers

Employee work hours, more storm damage in Switzerland and electricity companies’ fears of cyber attacks are among the main headlines in the Sunday papers.

Not all younger employees in Switzerland prefer the freedom of more flexible work hours as companies try to adapt quickly to an increasingly digital world, reports the Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung.

As business changes, employees entering the workforce are expected to be increasingly flexible to keep their jobs and meet companies’ demands.

The magic word is “flexibility”, but for many younger employees and even middle managers there is a sense of fear and discomfort and a preference for a fixed routine, according to the newspaper’s interviews with managers.

At Migros, Switzerland’s biggest employer, retail company and supermarket chain, many workers would like to keep their fixed routines and there also has been resistance to changes from middle management, according to Walter Huber, a member of the Migros management board who heads its department of industry.

“I would guess that half of our employees are hard hit by changes,” Huber was quoted as saying. Migros has about 100,000 employees, or almost 1.2% of Switzerland’s 8.4 million population, but Huber was referring to a much smaller segment, about 3,500 Migros employees who work in production. “Many of these employees are happy when they are able to keep to a daily routine.”

Austrian economist Christian Scholz, a business professor at the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken, said the post-millennial Generation Z annoys the highly-acclaimed generation of people born during the 1980s and early 1990s known as Generation Y.

He said the younger generation “longs for solid structures, wants continuity and a regular working and leisure life.” Others agree.
“The image of an agile, changeable employee is a contradiction to all findings and is just as inflationary as sustainability,” said Norbert Thom, an emeritus professor of organizational theory at the University of Bern.

Storm damage

Severe thunderstorms crossed central Switzerland over the weekend, causing heavy rain and hail particularly around Fribourg and Bern, and caused flooding in Lucerne, Swiss public television RTS reported on Sunday.

The most severe thunderstorms were classified as a “high hazard” by the Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, which saw potential danger for almost the entire country. The storms passed to Germany, where there was more damage.

At least 60 people needed help from rescue workers in Fribourg but no injuries were reported, the cantonal police said. Power lines and road closures from falling trees disrupted life in Bösingen. There were at least 80 calls for aid in the canton of Bern, where Konolfingen was hard hit by hail.

The Luzerner Zeitung newspaper reported that streets and basements were flooded and trees damaged in Lucerne and Malters, where about 50 people called for help but there were no reported injuries.
Lucerne’s open air cinema was briefly interrupted to protect against hazards from the thunderstorm, the organiser said.

Cyber attacks

About two-thirds of Swiss electricity companies fear cyberattacks could lead to loss of power in Switzerland, attacks, according to a study by consulting firm EY in Switzerland.

Some 45% of 82 surveyed companies want to improve their security by using an IT security officer or have already done so, said the study reported by the Swiss News Agency. But Alessandro Miolo, a specialist in power and utilities for EY, says the distribution networks and IT systems the companies use often are outdated.

The consulting firm recommends that companies pursue more consistent strategies among themselves to modernise their networks.

swissinfo.ch and agencies/jmh