May 07, 2020 - by CSCS

Alessandro Prato (IT support) asks Dino Conciatore (System Engineer).

Dino, have you learned any new skills since you started working from home?
We are lucky, because our job is a continuous learning path. Now even more than ever, we have more time at home for things like reading, following online webinars, and so on. In my case, I finally was able to follow some webinars and do some tutorials I have wanted to do for a long time. I also have many hobbies that I was able to spend more time on. For example, as a fly fisherman, I used to buy my fly lures; but now I have more time, so, after following some tutorials online, I started making them by myself.

How do you manage the coordination with team members?
For me, coordination has not changed so much. We always meet in a meeting room, only in this case, a virtual one. We receive and send calendar invites when we need a meeting. With my colleagues, all communications are made through Slack; and if the argument is too complex to write down, we set up a VC on the fly, via Slack or Zoom. It is simple and works well for us.

What are the most common problems with time management (deadline, distraction, overwork)?
I don't have issues with deadlines, personally. Working from home doesn't change my working speed. We are always working with top-of-the-line notebooks, and I was also able to arrange a second monitor screen (my personal iMac). In fact, I have less distraction here, maybe because I don't have children? With fewer interruptions, I can focus more time on topics. On the other hand, I do perhaps overwork, because my laptop is always on. After dinner, I quickly check if the job went fine, if the service is still up, etc. In the morning, I wake up and always take a look at the dashboards to see if something went wrong, and I already start thinking about solutions while brushing my teeth.

And finally, what has changed for your work organization?
Only one work habit has changed since I began working from home — I focus for longer on a single topic at a time, and I feel that this approach is more productive. On the other hand, all the surrounding habits, yes, they changed! I drink more coffee, and my breaks are also different... Instead of going to the cafeteria and talking to colleagues, I take a coffee in my garden and enjoy the sun under the Pergola, talking with my girlfriend about our next vacation (after the lockdown). Sometimes during VCs, I just sit on my sofa and pet my dog a little bit. Overall, I really like the flexibility we have in our environment.