WUR is working from home. For now, there is no alternative. But how are we doing? Sophie Brasseur, a seal researcher at Wageningen Marine Research, tells us how she is doing.
© Sophie Brasseur
‘‘My husband and I live in the centre of Den Burg, on Texel. My son lives at home; my daughter has a student room in Eindhoven. But she is staying with us now because all her housemates left, and she didn’t want to stay there by herself. I already have a home office because I work from home occasionally. My business location is Den Helder, which is not all that far, but working from home saves me a two-hour commute. There are days that it makes no difference whether I am behind my computer here or at the office.’
'My office is a former apothecary. The shelves are crammed with theses, magazines and reference books. Downstairs is the former doctor’s office, where my husband works. He is a writer, so he always works from home. He makes cartoons for local newspapers and writes scenarios for several TV shows, such as sesame street. The perfect husband for a biologist.’
'I was already accustomed to online meetings, which I often chose from an environmental perspective. But I think we should be able to do this more frequently. We drive so many kilometres just for meetings. I have also noticed that online meetings tend to be more efficient because there is much less small talk. Those social interactions are important; however: some ideas are formed at the coffee machine. But there are creative solutions, such as an online coffee break.’
'This period allows us to reflect on our way of working. We could create a new working method, more ecologically sound than the current approach. Environment and sustainability are topics that many WUR employees value. We should be able to do more from home, even after the corona crisis.’
‘From a researcher point of view, I am curious to see what the ecological effects the corona measures will have. Seals are now given more peace, which may affect the areas they use. Seals are very tenacious, so it could take years for them to move to a new area, but we may see them foraging in other areas.’
This is part of a series on working from home during the corona crisis. The editorial staff calls a WUR colleague every day to find out how things are going. The illustration is (of course) a selfie or a snapshot taken by a housemate. Would you like to participate? Mail firstname.lastname@example.org or share via #WURkfromHOME.