On-site in the pandemic, part three
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.
"Most of the time, I feel safe"
Rebecka Viktorin is a service coordinator at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).
Even though students continue to make it to campus, there is a lack of colleagues in the corridors, says Rebecka Viktorin, and it feels peculiar.
"Within my working group, there have been changes in tasks and redistribution of responsibilities. Nowadays, we mostly communicate with each other digitally".
Although Zoom can be useful as a work tool, she misses physical meetings.
What does a working day look like now compared to before?
"It's a whole new way of working now. We always try to provide a personal service with presence. This is a challenge now that most things have been digitized. We still want to satisfy the operations' needs and work actively to find ways to do so".
"Today our service center has limited opening hours but still offers the same services, says Rebecka Viktorin".
What do you think about the fact that many of your colleagues can work from home while you can't?
"Everyone at KTH has different roles and fulfills various functions. To do my job, sometimes I need to be on site. I couldn't do everything that I need to do from home. To me, it makes good sense. I'm grateful that those who can work from home do so".
Rebecka Viktorin feels mostly safe at work from an infection control perspective.
"My colleagues and I show each other respect by keeping a distance. We have also got equipment to protect us from infection".
Text: Moa Hörnquist
"I scan all post and emails for the recipient"
Hampus Grönberg is a janitor. He is also responsible for exam scans at the School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE).
Hampus Grönberg walks to and from work every day and did so before the pandemic. So it's not a problem to go to the office.
"There are always things to do that require me to be there, even when no one else is. The post must be emptied, and sometimes something needs to be fixed. There's no shortage of work, but the campus feels quiet and empty these days".
In the beginning, Hampus Grönberg was almost alone in the building. Nowadays, at least he meets some colleagues, but from a distance, of course.
"I split up the work. For example, I do things that I have to do on-site in the morning. I deal with orders, Zoom meetings, and other kinds of administration home on the computer".
Hampus Grönberg has changed his work according to the new circumstances that have emerged during the pandemic.
"We still get a lot of posts, but as almost no one is in the office, it is not enough to distribute it in the mailboxes. So I have started scanning all the posts and email them to the recipient. I take photos of larger items such as books and brochures and email them".
The main difference in the job is that the exam scanning has almost ceased now that so many exams take place digitally. Instead, Hampus Grönberg is involved in the school's project to update the technology in all meeting rooms in close cooperation with the IT department.
"It will be a significant improvement – concerning both sound and image. As more people return to campus, the need for hybrid meetings will increase. It feels good to contribute to preparing for this".
Text: Josefin Backman