Has COVID19 changed your working routine and how can SmartWork support you in monitoring your health and wellbeing? – SmartWork asks older office workers

While the work on the prototype of SmartWork platform continues and the summer season is in full swing in Europe, SmartWork talks with the four representatives of its target group – office workers – about their health and wellbeing related to telecommuting during the pandemic. We were interested to know how working from home has affected their physical and mental health and if digital solutions like SmartWork can practically support older office workers in situations like COVID19 and in the future.

According to a study by European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), overall 37 percent of those currently working in the EU began to telework as a result of the pandemic. In some countries the percentage is above 50%. Most of the workers are generally happy with the switch and plan to continue telecommuting when the COVID19 crisis ends.

This week SmartWork talked to Sergio Guillen (68), Chief Innovation Officer at MYSPHERA.

SW: Sergio, how has your working routine changed since March, as a result of the COVID19 pandemic?

SG: It changed a lot and in different ways. Now that I am not travelling as before, I feel more efficient and productive, but at the same time I feel like I lost control of managing my time.

SW: Can you explain what you mean by “loss of control”?

SG: Since lockdown began, I have difficulties in separating my work life from my private life. Despite the decrease in the number of face to face meetings, which allowed me to save the time that I usually spent at the airports, on trains or airplanes, my life has been completely absorbed by online meetings, which are up to 10 per day. The exponential rise of online meetings has totally affected my routine. Imagine that in the last four months I have never managed to eat a proper meal for lunch.

SW: Despite that, is there anything you like about working from home?

SG: Sure. I realized that 90% of my work can be done easily from home. The only thing that I am missing is the opportunity to meet my team. We already started replacing our meetings with periodic online ones. In general,      even though my office is not far from home, I can say that I expect to continue to telework and I’ll go to the office only sometimes. Also, it will depend on how the COVID19 situation will evolve in Spain.

SW:  When you look back at the whole experience, how do you rate your general wellbeing? Did you find a way to do physical activity during the pandemic restrictions?

SG: I used to walk around my garden for half an hour per day, which is almost 7 kilometers. Honestly, I would say that I walked more during the lockdown. However, let me say something that for me is essential, if you have to work from home. The problem is not to work from home itself, but it depends on the type of home you have, how big it is, what is the composition of your family nucleus and with how many people you have to share the common spaces. My wife and I do similar jobs and even though we have a big house, we need to coordinate the use of      common spaces, so I can imagine that it is not an easy situation for all.

SW: In your opinion, which of the SmartWork services could help the older office worker in situations that we find ourselves with COVID19 now and in the future? Do you think that the SmartWork services could help you or other office workers monitor their health and support them in those kinds of situations?

AM: I would say that most of the SmartWork applications do not directly apply to me. Personally, I don’t currently need that type of support, but I found the WorkCoach service and the opportunity to access on-demand training very interesting and useful for this specific situation. Workers are receiving many offers to use different services and apps to work online and often they are not able to use them in an efficient way. Even though I work      in a tech company, many times I had problems using some of these tools.

Read more about all SmartWork services on smartworkproject.eu/services/