Impact & Efficacy of Virtual Teamwork: How to overcome the challenges of COVID-19

The pandemic forces companies to adopt new communication strategies. This webinar will explore the most promising ones.

Event Details


[Webinar] April 29, 2020, 16:00 - 17:00 (China) / 10:00 - 11:00 (Switzerland)


Free, RSVP required

With large parts of the global population on lockdown, communication between people has been severely disrupted. Being confined to their homes, people have to find new ways of staying in touch while practicing social distancing. The pandemic is especially felt at the workplace, which isn’t so much a place anymore, but rather a collection of places held together by technologies such as Zoom and Slack. No longer is it possible to walk over to your colleague’s desk and ask for an input – or to joke together during the coffee break.

As physical spaces have shrunken, people are thrust into virtual worlds, having had no or little time to prepare for this change. It is clear that the shift from offline to online has to go hand in hand with new communication strategies. These can only bear fruit if one has a thorough understanding of the communication channels in use. Challenges are numerous. How to keep people engaged during isolation? How to minimize misunderstandings? How to resolve them once they arise? How to strengthen social bonds and keep up the team spirit when people are apart?

Beyond merely coping with the new conditions, it might be possible to leverage them and create work environments with some advantages over the old ones. Thus, working from home allows for a much higher degree of autonomy, a factor considered essential for job satisfaction. Moreover, companies might experiment with asynchronous forms of communication. Giving people time to think about ideas and letting them share them in written form might lead to better decision-making – as opposed to relying on spontaneous reactions during real-time meetings.

Our two experts will take a deep dive into this topic. With one speaker having both practical and research experience in Switzerland and the other boasting a profound knowledge of the Chinese market, we will explore promising communication strategies from the perspective of both countries. The webinar will place an emphasis on interaction and allow the audience to ask questions after each presentation, it will also allow for interaction between the speakers at the end of the webinar.

Event Rundown


16:00-16:05   Introduction

by André Gisiger, Chief Client Officer at GloCoach (International Learning Enterprises)

16:05-16:25   Presentation and Q&A

by Dr. Sarah Genner, Lecturer and expert on digital communication 

16:25-16:45   Presentation and Q&A

by Chris Zheng, Vice President and Head of Operations at Eddingpharm

16:45-17:00   Open discussion      


About the Speakers


André Gisiger
Chief Client Officer at GloCoach

André Gisiger’s professional background spans several industries, including education, financial services, hi-tech and consumer goods. He has over 18 years of working experience in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, bridging business practices across continents. André Gisiger previously was Head of New Platform Development and Member Life at EF (Education First). At EF he developed a new series of products for Career Services and EF’s Alumni Club. Before joining EF, he was the Managing Director at HCD Global in Shanghai, a consulting firm focusing on strategic marketing and HR management learning & development for MNCs and leading local companies. He was also a manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco and also held positions with McKinsey & Co. and American International Group.

Dr. Sarah Genner
Lecturer and expert on digital communication

Dr. Sarah Genner’s research interest revolves around the impact of digital media on people, society and the workplace. She is dedicated to bridging the gap between science and its practical applications. Dr. Genner taught at ZHAW from 2010 to 2018, where she focused on media use, media psychology and the digitization of the workplace. She was a visiting researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Dr. Genner contributed to numerous studies and publications. She was awarded the Mercator Award of the University of Zurich for her dissertation on the societal impacts caused by mobile internet. Dr. Genner is a visiting lecturer at several universities and writes regular contributions for NZZ, NZZ am Sonntag, and SWI

Chris Zheng
Vice President and Head of Operations at Eddingpharm

Chris Zheng has 15 years of operational experience in global pharmaceutical companies in China, Japan and the UK. His roles have been in R&D, supply chain, manufacturing and operations. Chris Zheng has been recognized for his work with the GSK Global Manufacturing & Supply Chain President Award. Currently, he is Head of Operations at Eddingpharm, responsible for procurement, E2E supply chain, manufacturing, quality control and CMC R&D in China and Europe. He successfully integrated the manufacturing site of a leading multi-national pharmaceutical company into the local firm’s operations. Part of the executive team, Chris Zheng reports to the global CEO. At GSK he was certified Job Plus Coach (recognized by ICF) and has coached, mentored and advised talent from China, Japan, the UK, Australia and Singapore.

Event organized by swissnex China in collaboration with GloCoach