May 04, 2021 - by CSCS

Raluca Hodoroaba (Training and Community Engagement Officer) interviews Tomas Aliaga (Software Engineer)

How do you feel about working from home?
Tomas: It was quite difficult to manage during the first lockdown, but these days I feel much more comfortable. I’ve been working from home for quite some years now, even before joining CSCS, so I’ve already tuned my space and got the hang of it. Sometimes, though, I miss the direct interaction with my colleagues, like over-the-monitor chats, whiteboarding discussions and pair debugging sessions.

Do you dress up while working from home or do you prefer comfortable loungewear?
I dress daily as if I was going to the office. Somehow, it helps me with the context switch. I have the feeling that wearing comfy clothes could make me relax too much and send mixed signals to the brain. The only exception is that I am now used to working barefoot.

Do you feel you’ve been able to learn and grow in the last few months?
Certainly yes, as my willingness to learn never ceases. For example, I’ve noticed many conferences that were typically held in person, and maybe only in the U.S., are now online and available worldwide. I’ve taken the opportunity to participate in some of them and dive deeper into some technical topics of interest. I also believe that, at some point, this pandemic helped (or forced) many of us, one way or the other, to stop for introspection and put our lives in perspective.

Have you formed any new habits during this time?
I’ve noticed that during 2020 I started cleaning the house and looking outside the windows much more often. Should I worry?  :-P Also, given that it was impossible to practice team sports in the early months, some good old friends and I have revived the joy of occasionally playing Age of Empires 2 (AoE2) online together.

If you could bring one thing from your home to the office, what would it be?
Good question, especially because CSCS offices are quite well equipped. I believe what home has that the office lacks is not material. Examples include time flexibility and quality of breaks, like a nice chat over home-made lunch with my wife, a pause on the living room couch or a 10-minute stroll by the lake.