Working from home during a pandemic, a rewarding experience despite a tumultuous period By Fabio Dalmasso
2002: Freshly graduated, I felt ready for the world of work, and ready to put into practice the tools I had learned during my training.
I could see myself either being employed, labeled and badged, or being in a start-up with no work schedule, spending sleepless, caffeine-filled nights.
In all of this, I didn’t see the consulting option coming, an option that made me consider the fact that I could be flexible and above all, have the possibility to work on projects in various fields.
There was still one aspect that I was already dreaming about at the time: the fact that I could work from home. Of course, at that time it was only via a terminal, nothing too bad, but it did not yet allow to have video-conferences with several people at the same time. This last possibility only existed in the realm of science fiction, or was only possible for those who could spend a lot of money.
Later on, years were piling up, IT evolved, software and infrastructures improved to allow this kind of eventuality, but still very few were considering it.
The force of habit, the lack of trust of these new methods and the lack of social contact made us fear the worst, and very few companies were ready to take the step. It took a sad event for everything to change and for everything to fall into place.
2020: The COVID crisis hits all sectors hard, and home computing becomes even more „necessary“ for a large part of the population.
This unprecedented situation causes an „arms race“, and eventually leads to the unavailability of certain elements that are essential for working at home.
On this side, I didn’t realize it since I’m immersed in computers, and it’s also my passion.
I was still concerned about the predicted recession with a declining GDP.
Nevertheless, the IT development sector seems to be the one that is doing the best, and the announcements and the overall situation of Antaes confirmed this feeling.
Nevertheless, this did not prevent some clients from abruptly interrupting some mandates, and it was with great surprise that I found myself without a mission, in between two projects.
The hardest part of this kind of situation is having little contact, which has been exacerbated by the general situation and the health restrictions in place. However, as my boss made me realize, this is also an opportunity to develop my autonomy, a bit of entrepreneurship of my time. The support of Antaes is priceless at this time and the challenges that are offered to me are also very demanding.
One of the major challenges for me was to put myself in the shoes of a training officer, and to take part in organizing and conducting meetings for the Antaes IT practice.
I already knew that the task was far from easy and it was totally out of my comfort zone; however, this did not discourage me and I still wanted to take up the challenge.
After the first session, I think the biggest challenge is realizing that the presentation is to be done for participants who are not in the same room. While video conferencing calls allow for a lot, they still don’t convey the spontaneity that can happen during a physical meeting.
In any case, it is a whole world that I am discovering and that is no less motivating, since it allows me to increase my knowledge and to try to transmit it to invested professionals.
What is less obvious, however, is to understand if the message and the information have been well transmitted and understood. I now understand better the frustration of trainers and coaches when they don’t get feedback that allows them to work on gaps and improve the training experience.
Anyways, thanks to the support of Antaes and the quality of the managerial relations, I was able to live quite well through the period of lockdown and also find new perspectives for my personal development.