Corona - What's up
RWU does not stand still even in these extraordinary days and weeks. In many places new solutions are being worked on with commitment and creativity. With the series "Corona - What's up", we want to focus not only on what is currently not possible, but especially on what's up.
The Corona crisis also means a change for the employees of RWU. Wherever possible, they will work in their home office. What challenges does this pose for employees? How are the individual departments organized?
Schools closed, daycare centres closed, grandparents off limits. A good three weeks ago, my husband and I were also faced with this situation and the question: How should we organize our daily work with two small children? In the meantime we have arrived at our new everyday life. The initial chaos gives way to a new structure. While I write this text here, my little daughter is sitting very busy at a little table behind me. We have set up a "children's office" for her. My son is listening to a radio play in the room next door. I know that this silence will not last long. But what I thought was impossible a few weeks ago is working somehow. We get creative, we adapt, we move in together. We are not alone with this experience.
The situation can break down reservations about home office and show what is possible
In the student department things are normally very lively. Doors are opening and closing, professors, lecturers and students pop in. As the situation became more and more acute, Anne-Marie Federspiel, the head of the student department, also wanted to make it possible for her staff to work in the home office: "The fact that the student department was not equipped with laptops was problematic at first. But the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science was very helpful and quickly provided us with laptops on loan. With the tireless help of the computer centre, all laptops could be equipped with the necessary software and were ready for use at home in no time". The team communicates with each other via e-mail, telephone and the web conference system "BigBlueButton" is increasingly used for meetings. However, there is always one person in the student department at the university on site as an emergency staffing.
The personnel department also works from home. During the peak phase, they received numerous e-mails with questions, for example, on how to deal with returnees from risk areas, childcare leave, temporary home office. And the normal personnel department operations also had to be dealt with. Melanie Breins, the head of the HR department, draws a positive interim conclusion and is sure that with good organisation and ongoing coordination, the home office makes a lot possible - even in areas that are perhaps not considered suitable for a home office per se. "I hope that the current situation will reduce reservations and fears about home office and show what is possible," says Melanie Breins.
Emerge from the crisis strengthened and with a new sense of community
Other employees also report positive effects. From the peace and quiet one has at home for work, or the time saved by not having to travel. What is missed, however, is the personal contact with colleagues, the hustle and bustle in the corridors of the university, the joint lunch in the canteen.
"The current circumstances challenge each individual in different ways. They put a strain on all of us and require an enormous amount of flexibility and commitment", Anne-Marie Federspiel sums up the situation. She looks optimistically into the future: "But I am sure that if everyone keeps a bit of peace and quiet and contributes their individual share to the success of this turbulent semester, then we will also overcome this crisis together and perhaps even emerge from it stronger and with a new sense of community".
The radio play is over, there is now a break in the children's office. We meet in the kitchen and prepare lunch together. We spend more time together and do things together that often have no place in our busy everyday lives. This is another experience we take away from these unusual days.