How HSE switched to the home office overnight.
By now, most of us have gotten used to it but the coronavirus has fundamentally changed the way we work together. That is also the case at HSE: Over two thirds of the staff have been working remotely from home since mid-March. (Almost) everything is running virtually and is working well. Our IT Infrastructure department has been able to switch the staff to working remotely almost overnight. An amazing feat and great teamwork.
As early as February 27, HSE assembled a crisis team to examine potential comprehensive preventive measures. One of these measures was to enable all employees who are not essential on site to work remotely from home. The home office had already been part of everyday work at HSE, but people have become more accepting of it since Covid-19.
From March 16, almost all employees worked from their home office. With more than 850 employees, the changeover was almost a bit too quick for some. There was still a lot to do for IT Infrastructure:
- Rollout Microsoft Teams across the entire company for easier digital collaboration.
- Hand out additional notebooks to colleagues, e.g., from the studio, call center, and warehouse areas.
- Hand out hardware such as monitors, headsets, keyboards, for working at home. Pick-up from the campus or mail by post.
- Create intranet updates and instructions for working with all IT tools.
- An open Microsoft Teams Channel for Q&As and ongoing support.
Of course, there are numerous technical questions that need to be resolved with these types of changes. The IT Support staff was increased to ensure that the colleagues could be supported quickly and directly. How do I use Skype or Teams for my meetings now? Why is my mic not working? How do I use One Drive? How can I share the desktop with my colleagues? HSE also started an IT clinic via Skype to answer individual questions from individual departments.
A lot has happened in IT over the past three months. Thanks to the performance of IT Infrastructure as well as the flexibility and openness of all employees at HSE, everything worked out well and the changeover was fast.