June 04, 2020 - by CSCS

Pablo (Service/Business Manager) asks Maxime (Computer Scientist).

As a portfolio manager, what are the main challenges you're facing at work, having to meet virtually with so many people every day?
My role as a portfolio manager is to ensure that developments of initiatives continue in the right direction. Like everybody else, I use videoconference tools or chats to talk with the team leaders and organize planning meetings. I find these tools both useful and sufficient to do my work. Sometimes it is even better than starting a discussion in person by entering an office, as it allows your interlocuter to select a time that suits his/her workload better.

How well are you doing in the confinement?
Overall, I’m doing pretty well. On one hand, I’m missing lunch and coffee breaks with colleagues, but on the other hand, it is also nice to spend the breaks with my young kids. I can more easily support my wife and take care of the kids while being at home, as the working hours are more flexible. Of course, working from home with small kids can be challenging, but it is a great opportunity to be more present in their lives; and in the meantime, we have defined a new routine and rules, which seem to be working.

How do you manage to stay fit (if you manage, that is)?
This is more difficult! Before the confinement, I went to work by bike to ensure a minimum amount of physical activity every day. Now, I need to make a conscious effort to do some sport – usually, I exercise before the kids wake up.

Do you want to go back to the office 8x5, or would you rather stay like this?
If the projects I am working on allow it, I would prefer to be able to keep the work location flexible. I find it important, though, that I can meet my colleagues in person too. I could imagine a solution based on working from home mixed with office days.

Are there any particular fears you (and your family) have about what’s ahead of us?
It will be interesting to see how the confinement period and COVID-19 will change our way of living in the short and long term. We are careful and respect the recommendations by the authorities and CSCS. Hopefully, it will soon be possible again to travel abroad to see our relatives and friends.