CBH coping with teleworking

Published May 29, 2020

How are we dealing with working remotely? Can I keep in touch with my colleagues? And how does the dialogue with my manager work? These are some of the questions we wanted answers to as we entered our 8th week of teleworking, in accordance with the recommendations made by the Public Health Authority on March 16, i.e. that those who have the opportunity to work from home should do so.

The absolute majority of all employees in the administration work from home part time or full time. Only the functions that must physically be on campus regularly work on site, mainly functions within the infrastructure group such as goods reception. The vast majority of employees have been working remotely since March.

Some employees in the administration have come in sporadically or at regular intervals with the manager's agreement. This has been controlled to do everything possible to reduce the risk of transmission. Thoughtful travel routes to work and social distance in the workplace have been important. It is still a situation that is new to us, although many new well-functioning routines have been created after seven weeks.

Survey for the administration

In order to get a slightly broader picture of how it works, a survey was sent to all employees in the operational support at CBH. The questionnaire contained five questions, it was completely anonymous and took about 5-10 minutes to answer. The results of the survey are only used to provide a kind of current picture of the situation. The results of the survey will be presented and discussed at the appropriate APT and in such a way that no individual or entity can be identified.

The survey was out for a week during the period 11-18 May 2020. Fortunately, the response rate was high, a little more than 60 people answered the questionnaire, which represents a response rate close to 80%.

The results of the survey show that for many people it goes fairly well, beyond expectation, to work at home. What was perceived as problematic was often the physical work environment, such as the lack of height-adjustable desk and chairs, and lack of access to technical aids such as printers and scanners. What was perceived as positive about teleworking is to a large extent the feeling of reduced stress when you do not have to travel to and from work. When it comes to keeping in touch with colleagues, most people feel that it works well thanks to the technical tools we now have with Zoom and Slack. But the lack of spontaneous interaction with colleagues and the social-physical meeting cannot be replaced by the more two-dimensional Zoom.

Functioning dialogue

The dialogue with the manager is felt by most people to be ok and in some cases even better when it comes to how quickly you get a reply to e-mails etc. But even here the lack of personal and spontaneous meetings is noticeable.

A generally perceived challenge of working remotely is to distinguish between work and leisure. It is easy to get them mixed up; we might answer a few emails in the evening while still sitting with the computer in front of us. What is noticeable is that it can be more difficult to take breaks and lunch breaks when you are working from home. In the workplace, colleagues are often there, reminding us to take a coffee break or asking us to lunch, and there is a train to catch that regulates when the work day ends.

The survey provided the administration an opportunity to comment and provide tips on how to find different ways to handle the situation with teleworking. There are many valuable inputs that we can take forward when it comes to creating a well-functioning work environment, at group and individual level, when it comes to working remotely. Since our school is spread out in five physical destinations, it is extremely valuable to develop tools for this to work as well as possible.

Text: Marie Larsson, Head of Administration at CBH