Many colleagues are currently working in their home offices, communicating by telephone, email or video conference. Nevertheless, we still miss meeting other colleagues simply in the hallway or in the kitchen. This is why we shift the kitchen conversations into the digital. Today we present Monika Gabernig. She is working as a lab technician in the HySPRINT lab.

Where are you working right now?

I’m currently working at my apartment in Karlshorst.

How do you start the day?

I start the day about an hour later and more rested than usual, as I save the trip to work at the moment.

What are your duties?

Normally I am in charge of the smooth operation of the HySPRINT Pero Lab together with my colleagues Carola Ferber and Hagen Heinz.  This means a lot of maintenance work, refilling nitrogen for the evaporator cold trap and so on….

Since this is currently not possible I have more time for other things. For example, I am in the process of creating documentation and manuals for the lab. Because of the situation I am also a lot in contact with the purchasing department and our suppliers. But I also use this time to familiarize myself with scientific issues and to plan my own experiments for the time after the re-opening of the lab.

And last week I got official permission to go to the lab to carry out urgent works. It was nice to be back in Adlershof.

What chances do you see in this Corona time?

It is a great pleasure currently to be able to concentrate on a specific topic for two or three hours without being disturbed. I often do not have this luxury at work. Apart from that, I think it is great how well the contact with my colleagues via telephone or video chat works. I could imagine that working in home office after the Corona period will be used more often in many companies than it was before.

Do you have any tips for your colleagues?

Spending the entire working time sitting at the computer is a big change for me, since the pure computer working time in my normal working day as a technician amounts to 60-70% at most. I try to do sport regularly as a balance. The intensive exchange with colleagues also helps me.

What are you most looking forward to when this time is over?

To meet my friends and to be able to hug them to my heart’s content.

How do you feel about being separated from friends and family in Austria?

To be honest, in the last few weeks I have had more contact with my friends and family in Austria than I have had in a long time. And I feel extremely connected to all of them. I have the feeling that this is a very special time in which many people are reminded of what is really important in life and are therefore willing to invest more energy in contact with friends and family.

Questions by Sophie Spangenberger