AG: Prior to the covid-19 restrictions, did you already telecommute and, if so, how often?
DVP: Unfortunately no. We have many technical and organisational constraints and it is way easier to work at the office, to have direct exchanges of views and then move faster on our projects.
When did you start telecommuting as a covid-19 precaution?
We made tests on every employee’s workstation at their home, in phases starting in early March, to solve the big technical issues and little by little employees started to work at home. Personally, I started on Monday 23 March, when the activity of the 3D technical modelers on my team was fully organised.
What was your telecommuting workspace previously? Or was it always your “home office”?
I already had a desk and a personal laptop, but it was clearly not enough to work at home in good conditions.
What do you like about your telecommuting workspace?
I have a workstation configuration that is very close to the one at work, so it doesn’t really change much on that point. But, what is sure, and what everyone must love about telecommuting, is that they no longer have to stand the endless traffic jams to go to Luxembourg. I save a lot of time each day, which allows me to spend more time with my partner and to take more care of everyday things at the house.
Is there a “personal touch” to your home workspace?
My partner and I love to travel, discovering new scenery, new cultures… We have a map of the world and one of Europe where we mark the trips we’ve made, and there are many others we would love to do! They are just good memories and it relaxes me to have it around to remind me.
Dorian Van Passenhove and his partner’s travel maps, seen in his home workspace. Photo provided by Dorian Van Passenhove
What are your most widely used telecommuting tools or applications?
We mainly use Microsoft Teams for information and document exchange, as well as for internal videoconferencing. It’s really a very flexible and intuitive tool that we like a lot, of course for working, but also to keep in touch with the team when we take breaks.
How do you make telecommuting work for you?
Clearly, this is my workstation. With my job and the activity of 3D technical modeling, I can’t work with a laptop and a screen. So, I had to take all the computer equipment I had at the office: the desktop computer tower, the 3 screens and the tablet.
Have you developed any new habits or routines?
I try to keep the same routine as if I had to go to the office, but every midday I join some colleagues on an online gaming platform in order to relax. Telecommuting also allows me to have dinner with my partner and take my coffee break with her.
After the covid-19 restrictions are lifted, do you plan to keep telecommuting sometimes?
If the company extends telecommuting, so that technically and financially we can have workstations as efficient both at home and at work, I would be totally ready to work at home a few days a week, but for that to happen, Belgian tax legislation would have to change.