Engineers Ireland will host Cork Region AGM online due to #COVID19

26 April 2020
By Elaine Murphy

Engineers Ireland Cork Region AGM

The Cork Region AGM will take place online at 7pm on Tuesday, 28 April 2020 through the Avaya Spaces cloud-based video conferencing and meeting app. Members who are based within the region are encouraged to attend the AGM to hear the chairperson’s review of the year, elect the new committee and discuss plans for the coming year. New committee members are also encouraged to join the online meeting.

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A switch to desk based jobs?

Attitudes to remote working and online collaboration have progressed through necessity during the Covid-19 crisis. While working from home was once considered as the exception for many office workers; it is likely to become more common and even expected once the restrictions are lifted.

This is especially true for desk-based workers; for example, engineers involved in design, project management and research. The advances in online collaboration and communication tools over the past 5-10 years has meant that engineers today are as likely to be working directly with a colleague based in another office as the person sitting next to them. In fact, for larger companies, project teams often extend across multiple offices, countries and even continents depending on the size and complexity of the project. The benefits of this connected approach are now being realised as businesses succeed in maintaining continuity of service for their clients in these unusual times. The benefits to our environment are also evident where sustainable travel and reduced journeys can be realised as part of new working practices.

However, it is important to recognise, that despite the benefits of remote working and online collaboration, there are new challenges for workers during this crisis. Maintaining a balanced working day can be more difficult when the ‘office’ may double up as a bedroom, kitchen or living room depending on where a quiet corner can be found. For many, a quiet corner may never be found, as parents try to juggle childcare and schooling during ‘traditional’ working hours. This has the potential to result in longer, fragmented and less productive working days for many people where fatigue and burn-out becomes an issue. The importance of personal interactions with work colleagues has also become clear. Group video calls and online meetings cannot fully replace the impromptu conversations about the latest Netflix series or the result of the match at the weekend.

The effects of the Covid-19 restrictions on our working practices will only be known when we return to normal – whatever that “normal” may be. The key will be in striking a balance between an efficient and sustainable approach to work while maintaining human interactions and the wellbeing of the workforce. Let’s hope we can start trying to find that balance very soon.


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