In many cases, telecommuting – a “forced” change this year – is here to stay. But setting up a home office is much more than just a desktop computer and a good internet connection. We have spoken with several very different profiles about how their adaptation to teleworking has been and what they have needed . Because one thing is to get out of trouble and another to work comfortably.
While not all jobs can be adapted to telecommuting, there are the most disparate jobs that make our needs very different when it comes to moving the office home . That is why we have spoken with professionals in education, engineering, administration, logistics and creatives. They have all taken the step, but neither the starting point was the same nor their needs.
These are our interviewees:
Fernando de Córdoba : “I work at Webedia as head of strategy and brand”
Rosa Ripa Cózar : “I am a partner and administrator of an intermediary company in maritime, land and air transport”
Pedro Sánchez : “I am an industrial engineer specializing in electricity and professionally I am essentially dedicated to the programming of automatons for industrial machinery and the design of electrical plans and installation plans”
Ana Rubio Toledo “I am a primary school teacher.” I started teleworking on March 16 like all teachers and from today (September 1) I rejoin face-to-face teaching.
Mario Merinowski : “I work in the video publishing part of Webedia Spain for Xataka, Directo al Paladar, Applesfera, Espinof, among others … recording video, editing and uploading to YouTube, Instagram, Twitter …”
Alberto González : “I am a renewable energy engineer, I work in a wind energy multinational”
Angela Blanco : “I work in the editorial video team of Webedia and a large percentage of my day is dedicated to the YouTube channel of Xataka. My work is divided into several legs, on the one hand I am the producer of the team and I do coordination tasks, with which I spend many hours in front of a computer. And on the other hand, I have another part that has to do with scripting, recording and editing. “
Nora Tobio Díaz “I am an elementary school boy (note: teacher). Last year she was a tutor at a public school in Alegría – Dulantzi (Álava) and taught language classes “
Rosa Vázquez Gómez “I am a Local Administration official. “
How has the change been: from work to home
Teleworking has taken some companies by surprise, but others already had it moderately implemented. Be that as it may, this return to work will be non-contact for many: some without a return date to the office and others even permanently. What was your job like before and what is the current situation?
Fernando de Córdoba : “We started telecommuting in March, and since Madrid went to phase 1, the company allows us to go to the office if we want to optionally. From the middle of September we will go obligatorily one week yes and one no, to regulate the capacity. “
Rosa Ripa Cózar : “Since the alarm went off, we left our office and decided to work from home. I don’t think it’s final, we plan to return when the situation calms down, but we will change our strategy: we will be at the office in the morning and telework in the afternoons “
Pedro Sánchez : “I started telecommuting in April and at the beginning of June some returned to the company and others did not. The company was flexible, especially under special conditions. Looking ahead to autumn, if things get worse or something positive comes out, they will send the entire staff to work from home again. At the moment we do not have a return date, although it will not be definitive “
Ana Rubio Toledo ”I started teleworking on March 16 like all teachers and from today (September 1) I have rejoined face-to-face teaching. Although incredible efforts are being made in the centers to implement the measures to ensure a safe return, I consider that the guidelines set by the institutions are insufficient, so it is possible that in the end we will have to return to telematic teaching. If this does not happen, it will be because of the impossibility of family conciliation, not because it is considered that presence is essential “
Mario Merinowski : “Before the pandemic, we could telecommute once a month at home. Now during and after the pandemic we had to sit at home. It does not seem to be definitive, but it does recur. After the pandemic I hope I can telecommute from home for at least 2 days. I think it is safer and more comfortable at times. Others no, others will have to go to the office to produce formats. “
Alberto González : “I started teleworking shortly after the confinement began, back in the month of March. At the moment we have been extended teleworking and we do not know when we will return to the offices, probably next year, but it is not final “
Angela Blanco : “I started teleworking in March due to the pandemic and in principle the situation is temporary.”
Nora Tobio Díaz “I was on leave when the state of alarm was decreed, so I started teleworking on March 16, which was when I joined. She had the option of going downtown if she needed a team, but she already had it at home. Although I had a third-party contract, the adaptation and preparation of the classes took me almost a full day. On September 2, the teachers began classes in person, but I think that before the end of the month we will go home. I don’t think the protocols are viable (bubble groups, staggered schedules, etc.) with the current situation “
Rosa Vázquez Gómez We started from the first day of the State of Alarm and from June 1 back in turns, with an expiration date of September 20, the unions will meet with the personnel deputy to see what is done from there. In my case, I telecommute 75% of the time (three weeks at home, one at the office), with some change due to unforeseen events or service needs. “
The starting point: what tools did they have?
Fortunately, they did not start from scratch: there are those who already had a small work space at home, those who have thrown away their personal computer and others who have received equipment from the company to work from home.
Fernando de Córdoba : “Fortunately both in the office and at home I have a Mac laptop, so thanks to that and the synchronization of my documents with iCloud, when the company got ahead of mandatory confinement, I was able to work with my personal computer until I went to the office to pick it up from there. At home I have an external monitor to connect to it, a Samsung from at least 15 years ago, which makes things much easier (at the office I had one). As for the keyboard, I manage with an Apple Keyboard (169 euros) with a numeric keypad that I had and that I use with cable. “
Rosa Ripa Cózar : “Before teleworking, I had bought a very light and thin laptop, an HP x360 Envy (883 euros), which is the one I used. I also had a multifunctional home multifunction printer, which have helped me but have fallen short. In the case of the laptop, more than anything is that it is so small that it left my eyes with the screen “
Pedro Sánchez : “As for me and in my department, we were lucky because we were prepared. We provide external assistance, so we had computers and tools to access the internal network and for internal communications, so that we could work from outside the office. The company has provided us with software and my usual workstation, an HP Zbook 15 G3, for me has been like going on a trip “
Ana Rubio Toledo : “I had a Surface Pro 4 laptop and a printer. The computer has been very useful for communicating with my students, sending and receiving homework, preparing materials and making video calls, both with the students and with my classmates for everything related to teaching coordination. It has also been very useful to rescue a mouse that we had at home to avoid the uncomfortable use of the Trackpad . “
Mario Merinowski : “Before teleworking I had my Macbook Pro from 2015 and my own audiovisual equipment: Sony A7II (1099 euros), H4N Pro recorder (200 euros), lots of SDSs … Above all, my computer fell short , so we brought the one in the office a 27 ″ iMac 5K (2200 euros) with 24GB of RAM. The office equipment is dedicated to our work so it fits better than my old laptop. Furthermore, the company had to buy some LED spotlights (42 euros) to be able to record from home and create illuminations. “
Alberto González : “Before the confinement I had an HP laser printer that is already a few years old. Since I was in semi-telework – I worked remotely two days a week – I had a laptop and some helmets that were quite pro of the company that helped me when I started teleworking full time “
Angela Blanco “Luckily, with teleworking I didn’t have to buy big things because we were able to bring the equipment we used in the office. So we divided the recording equipment we had among those of us and I took with me the Panasonic Lumix G7 and our audio recorder, the Zoom H5 (265 euros). “
Nora Tobio Díaz “I bought a decent computer, the HP Pavilion 15, a few months ago and thank goodness, because otherwise I would have had to buy one. Then one had a printer, a mobile to record videos and a tripod. I have managed quite well with everything. “
Rosa Vázquez Gómez “I have a MacBook from 2009 that is behaving like a champion. We had some problem installing the VPN because of how old it is, but in Systems there is a compi that is a Mac crack and found a solution. Despite 90% of my work I can do it without connecting to the PC at work, because it is an online platform that we share with the administered. I really missed the huge screen of work , it would save dances of scrolling up and down. She took me ready, since I have a printer / scanner and headphones with a microphone. “
Your purchases for telecommuting
Spending eight hours a day in front of an “emergency” office takes its toll, so who else who least got down to work to make their workspace a more comfortable and productive place.
Fernando de Córdoba : “During the confinement I just bought a Victsing mouse (16.99 euros) that works via Bluetooth and has a rechargeable battery. So the receiver does not occupy a USB and I also do not have to run with batteries. But in the last few weeks, thinking that working here is going to take a long time (at least every other week), I have decided to improve my workspace a bit and have bought an IKEA architect lamp (10 euros) and an XXL mat ( 19.99 euros). I also got a chair, the Markus from IKEA (169 euros curiously the same model that we have in the office. And I bought an ethernet adapter (11.69 euros) since my house has a bad wifi that on a personal level I It worked, but I can’t run out of internet in the middle of a meeting. “
Rosa Ripa Cózar : “The first thing I did was fix the laptop’s mini-screen, so I bought a 24-inch Dell P2419H monitor (166 euros). And for added convenience, a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse. To answer a few emails, my laptop was enough but for eight hours it is worth using peripherals. Then I replaced my home printer with an HP Laser Jet pro 15w (79 euros) with toner to optimize all the print volume and an HP dock station (75 euros) because my laptop only had a USB-C and needed more ports. And since I was there, to be calm having to work remotely and separately, two NAS Synology DS218J (195 euros) for my home and office with the 2TB WD Red hard drive (90 euros) “
NAS Synology DS218J NAS Drive
Pedro Sánchez : “Apart from the laptop, they didn’t provide us with anything else, so the first thing I did was buy a simple 22 ″ monitor from AOC (84 euros) the next day. Without it, working at home would have been more difficult to work at home in terms of ergonomics. Then I threw away a keyboard and mouse that I had at home. “
Ana Rubio Toledo : “I needed to buy a 24” AOC monitor (99 euros) to connect it to my laptop, since using the screen on it was very uncomfortable for so many hours of work. I have also made software purchases to facilitate the work, such as Genially and Canva to create materials, as well as storage in Google Drive through a Google One payment plan to support the large amount of emails and heavy files that I have received. “
Mario Merinowski “Actually nothing specifically, luckily I had almost everything to be able to work from home because I’m very freaky and I have all kinds of gadgets, connectors, cables, a comfortable Newskill Kitsune chair (149 euros), Plantronics 941610 headphones”
Alberto Gonzalez: “I used the typical cheap desk that quickly fell short of me. Also, since my partner also teleworked (he is computing), we thought about buying furniture to improve our workspace and be more comfortable. We needed a 1.80 table (it was what fit) with adjustable height, because I am taller than her. We bought two chairs, one from Songmics (93 euros) and a more professional one from Fibkit (139 euros) that was designed to maintain good posture. We bought two monitors We also bought two 24 ”monitors, an AOC C24G1 (199 euros) and a Dell S (124 euros) because programming to look down is horrible and also keyboards and mice. In my case I bought them cheap from Logitech, but for my wife we bought a Trust Verto vertical ergonomic mouse (18.99 euros) because she had problems with her elbow. “
Ángela Blanco : “Now, yes, I have made some purchases with other types of things that at first seem secondary but are not . In the first weeks of telecommuting, I realized that my desk chair was going to kill me.If I hadn’t done it before with her, so I opted for this second option and bought the Actiu Stay Series 50 (283 euros), which is a simple, sober model that is very comfortable for me. In my opinion, having a good chair is one of the most important points when starting to telework. And then I have done with two more things to make the hours in front of the computer more comfortable for me, the first is a mat with wrist rest (11.99 euros), which although I know they are not for everyone, I believe that already I wouldn’t know how to work without it. And I also bought a footrest (24.39 euros), and the truth is that I am also delighted. “
Nora Tobio Díaz “I didn’t buy anything, although I valued making a subscription to Genially for the videos”
Rosa Vázquez Gómez “As it was slow, I had to buy a TP-Link N300 Tl-WA850RE Wi-Fi extender (14.99 euros) (to spend so many hours the signal came to my room slow). I placed a large order at Amazon for colored notebooks / pens / markers, which I am a lot of to organize in colors and folios. Wherever there is an agenda 1.0 that Asana is removed “
Upcoming acquisitions for teleworking
After a while telecommuting, they already have a home office that is well catered for, but they continue to miss devices and peripherals that make their work easier. These are some of his future acquisitions:
Fernando de Córdoba : “At the moment I miss colleagues more than devices, but if I had to choose something to improve, it would be my monitor. I am very tempted by those super-wide monitors , but the truth is that mine is fine and I don’t like generating computer garbage just because. “
Rosa Ripa Cózar : “My technical needs are very simple since my work is basically office automation. Right now I am missing a decent scanner, because right now I can manage with my mobile and an application “
Pedro Sánchez : “The only thing that I have missed was a printer, because we handle a lot of documentation, we have to have access to plans and technical specifications and that requires printing corrections and entering data in the margin. It is good to have everything on paper . I do not rule out buying a simple printer with cheap spare parts “
Ana Rubio Toledo : ”An iPad with which to create materials through applications such as Procreate and especially for the use of iDoceo, with its corresponding Apple Pencil. I’m waiting for the iPad Air 4. Outside of the technological section, if I were to telework again, I would buy a bigger table and a more comfortable chair , as well as some shelves to store the large amount of materials and documents that are generated. “
Mario Merinowski : “A secondary 144Hz monitor, the MSI Optix G271 (249 euros), since I would use it with the iMac as a secondary monitor, but with my personal computer for gaming. “
Alberto González : “We are looking at a laser printer, although at the moment we are using the one we have. We are also evaluating a shelf to organize the space a bit “
Ángela Blanco : “For the moment with the equipment I have, I am happy, but for my next purchase I would bet on a support monitor that is larger than the one I have and with better quality, such as the BenQ GW2780E (167 euros).”
Nora Tobio Díaz “If we go back to teleworking, I have considered adapting a room for the videos because my house is very dark. I would buy a background, a ring of light, a camera and a microphone because the quality of the mobile falls short. More than video calls, at these ages I prefer to make video content so that children can watch it at any time, something simple and that does not require too many resources, since children are not trained to use it and in some cases neither parents. For example, in the third quarter I did a Harry Potter project “
Rosa Vázquez Gómez “I am in the process of redecorating : changing the table, which I do not need as large but more comfortable and a chair, that my back is noticing. Who was going to tell me that I would miss the chair at work. No longer on a personal level, but on a communication level with colleagues, because WhatsApp did not seem like the best way to organize ourselves, but it will be because I know Slack “