In 2021, our General Assembly took place online again, and we are very happy that members are increasingly participating: This year, 17 members were present.
The Covid year 2020 presented us with a decline in turnover to 1.3m Euros, while at the same time growing by 50 members to a total of 217 members and around 1.200 users. Fortunately, the number of orders in 2020 has also increased compared to the previous year. The still young smart@work GmbH – it was founded at the beginning of 2020 – had a great start, accounting for one fifth of turnover. All the details can be found in the new annual report, which we published for the first time in the run-up to the GA. Here we have compiled all the important information for a broad readership.
The pandemic has challenged us, but it has also shown how necessary a structure like Smart is. The short-time work option was a real plus for many employed users last year. Early in 2021, we issued a press release on Smart and Covid and were able to generate quite a bit of response. Among others, the APA and Der Standard as well as other newspapers reported on it, and we were invited to an interview on Okto. Still, the statements of the users themselves are what pleases us most.
In the course of 2020, the management team was newly formed: Andrea Wälzl has retired from the management at her own request, but remains Senior Advisor. Angela Vadori joined the management team at the beginning of 2021, responsible for operations and finances.
One of the most important items on the GA agenda this year was the vote on an increase of the Smart Fee in order to secure Smart permanently and for the benefit of all (details and background information here). After intense preparations, many discussions and two open discussion fora for all users* in spring 2021, we voted together with the members at the General Assembly. We feel that the clear decision for the new rate of 10% is a great sign of confidence.
But this is just the beginning: We have already made great efforts towards digitization in 2020, introduced digital forms in early 2021, and finally applied for digitization funding in the spring. We are delighted that the application has been approved and can now start work on an integrated, digital, web-based tool for work management and participation. An essential part of the development will be the collaborative conception: Users and members will be involved throughout the project. More information will follow soon!
In 2021/22 we will be moving ahead towards: Smart „Platform Coop“ Austria.