Who could have imagined a year ago that life and work as we knew it would change so drastically overnight? On March 14th 2020, just over one year ago, Spain declared the state of alarm due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ordered a 15-day complete lockdown. That lockdown lasted 3 months. The pandemic is still very much ongoing. From masks in public spaces to working from home, all of us had to adapt to new ways of living our lives. Never would I have thought that today, over 365 days later, I would consider these things a normal part of my life.
Without question, this past year has been a weird and difficult one for everyone. A year of uncertainty, for some also a year of pain. And for all of us who had the privilege (yes, the privilege!) of working from home, a year of learning. Learning to communicate, to cooperate and to interact through the web. Learning to cope with loneliness in the workspace. Learning to be productive at home. All in all, learning to telework.
To close this first year of pandemic, we asked some members of our group to write a few words about what they have learned, enjoyed and struggled with this past year. Here are some of their experiences:
“The lockdown was chaotic. It was a challenge since we were not prepared to combine work and little kids when both parents should have to work. I had to work outside normal working hours, but on the other side, I could enjoy my daughter for longer than in a normal situation.” – Xavier Saez
“The experience of working at home was not totally new, however working at home for the whole year has been an absolutely new thing. I have found many advantages such as not spending time traveling to the office, or having more time to spend with my family. I do feel very fortunate, however, I miss the trips to JET and the physical contact with the team. Life has changed overnight and we had to adapt, we have done fairly good in my opinion.” – Dani Gallart
“Starting a new position with all team members working from home has been awkward. It is much easier to establish connections in person. Moreover, it takes time to learn how to approach each team/colleague in the company for help or how to organise teamwork. Fortunately, sharing screen has proven an excellent way to solve doubts and I have been able to keep my workflow with only small delays. On the beneficial side, it has been easier for me to keep concentration for long periods and the flexibility and commuting-free nature of working from home time management is unbeatable. Overall, I have mixed feelings about it. I hope soon we can combine both work environments to take advantage of the best of each one.“ – Pedro Bonilla
“Personally, working from home has been quite liberating in certain senses. It has allowed me to structure my day more freely and according to my personal workflow. However, not being able to meet anyone in the team and only interacting via Zoom has been a bit frustrating.” – Tomás Bensadon