April 23, 2020 - by CSCS 

Michele (Deputy Director at CSCS) asks Alessandro (IT support).

Alessandro, you and your colleagues are providing IT Support to all CSCS staff. What has change since everyone began working from home?
The main challenge is the distance, because I am used to providing IT support in person, where it is easier to investigate and understand a possible issue. Within this situation, I adopted a new approach: I am using remote desktop and video conferencing software. Thanks to these kinds of tools, I can still help all the CSCS staff remotely.

How difficult was it for our organization to transition to working from home? Were we ready?
I can say that we were ready, because in the past few years we focused on the adoption of online collaboration tools and video conferencing systems; and, to facilitate the telecommute, all the CSCS staff has a laptop instead of a desktop. This combination of things helped a lot with the transition to remote work for everyone.

What are the most common problems our staff members have encountered while working from home?
The most common problems are:

  • A slow internet connection that may affect the backup of the laptop and file transfers.
  • Missing adapters to plug the laptop into an external display or other hardware.

And finally, what has changed for you? How are you able to adapt to remote work?
I created a separate workspace in a corner of my living room. It is a place that mentally prepares me for work mode, and I don't use the space for relaxing. The hardest part is to adopt a routine, including free time. I try to start work and schedule breaks around the same time every day. In addition, I try to get some outdoor time once a day.