Writer: Szabolcs Felszeghy, UEF
As the epidemic in Finland has forced most of the UEF employees to work from home, we can stay PRODUCTIVE – and SAFE!
Who Am I?
To preface, who am I and why am I talking about this? I’m Szabi Felszeghy, Anatomist, working at UEF and I’ve only been working remotely in the last years on weekends and holidays…
Remote Work was an end goal after UEF was closed down rapidly.
The infrastructure and policies needed for remote work and online education were already unquestionably in place at UEF even before COVID-19. However, the vast majority of staff members have never been hit with such a long remote work phase before, especially when they’re suddenly left with little to no time to prepare for it. The middle of March has been a very crazy time for everyone at UEF. Organizing blended education, lab work or any other important services, as well as life at UEF in general, has seen a tremendous change. Many of these everyday projects have had to be cut down to minimum or have even been fully scratched. This is indeed a very challenging time. Using education as an example, there are many thousands of students, educators, administrators, and operatives at UEF. None of the blended courses can possibly run without significant student engagement, self-motivation, 24/7 IT service, and the need for teachers to refresh their skills on virtual conferencing, at the very minimum. Luckily, it has turned out to be working well. Slowly, we are back in our best action and have started to adapt well to this current situation and its “online requirements”.
To bring you a unique story, I’ve used the honest experiences of our AMD group below: Upsides of remote work with only a little down.
The home offices of our AMD group members are not only cubicles or wood-paneled corner offices, they are wherever our members happen to be at. They are accompanied by the safe and casual atmosphere of working from home each day.
We, like thousands of other UEF employees, alternate between working remotely and taking care of our family under the COVID-19 quarantine. Like you, we dedicate space for concentration, efficient work, and being creative, trying to avoid too many distractions from the home environment. We might choose to work amongst our loved ones in our home offices during the daytime, or at night in solitude. As UEF, Kuopio is in the middle of (K)nowhere, some of us may even choose to work in the safety of nature. To seek isolation, although our soul wishes to engage in social contact, working together.
Being in a remote work phase for such a long-period of time, we must face it with gusto, though it may pose a significant challenge in remaining physically active… Physical activity and relaxation techniques are valuable tools to help us remain calm during home office work, and they continue to protect our health in this time of COVID-19. Being in Savo amidst the thousands of lakes, we can think ourselves lucky, as we have plenty of activities to keep our fitness and strength up, as long as we keep a safe distance under the brilliant sun. Ice-skating and biking are safe options, so everything runs smoothly and punctually.
Even just sitting calmly on an icy lake is one of the most thrilling ways to enjoy loneliness. So, we had to gear up for isolation at just the right time in this fresh spring season, that we might even find handprints of kids and… (Lynx footprints)
However, some still must take care of the important ongoing scientific projects of our AMD group, even as UEF has been closed down until the middle of May. Breaking out from their home offices and the quarantine, the transition into lab life strengthens our mind, too, so it is much more awaited than ever before! A moment when one can wear that cap and gown, even when nobody else is around. And yet, one might still raise a question that keeps cropping up: “So, what’s going to come next?”
… (dramatic pause with a fade into black)
With this collage, we’ve captured moments to be shared with you who telecommute and educate others, to encourage you and to inspire your remote work from home or the lonely lab work you do during this harsh isolation period in the life of UEF.
Thank you to the friends and AMD group members who submitted photos to make the montage possible to develop.
Please see the video of scientific projects of AMD group in YouTube.