Many colleagues work on site, others continue to work from home. These different working environments will continue to accompany us in the coming weeks. Therefore, we will introduce people telling us what it means to be back in the lab as well as people who continue working from home.
Today we talk to Lars Korte, group leader in the photovoltaics department at Adlershof.
How was your experience of the Corona period?
I am actually positively surprised. My office is almost paperless, I was able to move seamlessly. The ongoing international projects also continued well, we are used to being in regular contact via email, telephone and now we added the virtual conferences.
It is definitely more difficult to work with people in the lab. I cannot just drop by quickly to exchange measurements or ideas. The fact to catch up and chat is simply missing!
How does your team work?
Our operation is currently reduced, only half of the people are in the institute and since I don’t need to go to the lab often, for example, it is enough to be in the office twice a week; this also gives those who work in the lab more time on site.
In my workgroup, we are seven people and we continue to hold our weekly online meeting. This is going surprisingly well, even with a PhD student in Lima. We have a standard program, we all read a paper and discuss it, and then everyone talks about what they’re working on.
How was your first day back?
I had a little moment of shock because my plant didn’t survive the corona period in the office. In general, it was just great to see people again and exchange ideas. I also enjoy being more concentrated at work – I still have an office for me at the moment (one seat is not occupied), so I only need the mask in the floor. You get used to everything, I believe; even talking at a distance doesn’t bother me.
What are you doing right now and do you want to take out of this lockdown period?
I am currently writing an application for the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy for a joint project on perovskite / silicon tandem solar cells with partners from other research institutes and industry. I also teach at the TU Berlin. We are a group of three people giving a photovoltaic lecture there. We are now recording screencasts for it, which the students can then stream or download. The seminar via video conference was a bit unusual and bumpy at the beginning, but now it works really well!
The content does not really change; it’s more the home office option that I now use more consciously. There are of course advantages and disadvantages; I notice, for example, that I have more time at home thanks to the travel time gained and can support my child with schoolwork, for example. That is worth a lot!
Personnally I believe there is a lot going on in the home office, also in online collaboration with others, it is definitely one of the things I have learned from this Corona period.
>Want ot know what other researchers think about this special “Corona period”? Read the interview of Rowshanak Irani from the Solar Fuels Institute.