On-site in the pandemic, part four
For a year, we have been living with the pandemic that rapidly changed many of us' working lives. The day-to-day work on campus switched to working from home and remote teaching – but not for all KTH employees.
In a series of articles with the theme of "working at KTH during the pandemic," a few of our colleagues, who for various reasons cannot work remotely full-time, recount what it has been like to be and work at a deserted KTH.
"We can clean right into the tiniest corner"
Rose-Marie Öhman is a cleaning supervisor working in the cleaning service at Joint Operational Support (GVS).
The team at the main KTH Campus consists of about 50 cleaners and three supervisors. Among other things, Rose-Marie Öhman is responsible for significant cleanings, floor care, and cleaning in the undergraduate classrooms and lecture halls.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected the work of the cleaner?
"This spring, we switched to a "corona cleaning" routine. Then we had to think carefully about what was most important when it came to cleaning. Nowadays, we clean the washrooms twice a day instead of once. All surfaces that people touch do we wipe off several times during each day. Besides, we give the examination proctor plastic face visors and hand sanitiser."
The cleaning service and craftsmen have also arranged for non-contact hand sanitiser containers outside all entrances and lobbies to the KTH Campus's undergraduate premises.
It was challenging to find any vinyl gloves, hand sanitiser, and paper we could buy at the beginning of the pandemic, notes Rose-Marie Öhman.
"We had to skimp on what we had for as long as possible. Eventually, we were able to order a little at a time, so we have never entirely run out of things."
What thoughts or concerns do you have relating to the risk of becoming infected at work?
"I'm still worried because this virus is dangerous. However, you know, you can't be worried all the time. But at the same time, you have to respect it. I think we've been pretty good at minimising the risk of infection."
In their own spaces, the entrances and exits are separate, and a maximum of three people are allowed to stay at the same time in the room where we pick up the keys.
Rose-Marie Öhman believes that working from home within KTH has meant that the cleaning service can work in peace.
"We can clean right into the tiniest corner, and it's nice that we can do that. It will be excellent on KTH's premises when all the staff and students return to the campus again."
Text: Marianne Norén
"By the summer, I hope it will all be over"
Jesper Skult – Education Administrator at the School of Engineering Sciences (SCI).
Distance markings on the floor, hand sanitiser, and Plexiglas adorn the student offices where Jesper Skult sits at his computer. This particular morning focuses on painlessly getting a postal package through customs to Brazil and catching up with the inventorying of the course literature before the students who are eager to buy arrive.
"I've probably got a little more work now during the pandemic, and that's because almost everyone is working from home. But otherwise, things haven't changed much. The students are still coming here; goods need to be received, keys and accesses need to be coordinated," reports Jesper Skult. He says that he hasn't encountered any problems working alone without his colleagues."
"Sitting in the office and meeting with people who need help is exhilarating and gives me energy."
Despite the snowdrifts outside, the warming sun tells us that spring is on its way, and during his walk home to Skanstull, he dreams of a "normal" summer without the Covid restrictions.
"By this summer, I hope that all this will be over and that I will be able to travel to the French Riviera as usual," says Jesper Skult with a glimmer.
Text: Sofia Nyström