Working from … the Office | Charles Durodola, Huntsville, Alabama, USA

While most of his colleagues have been working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, Charles Durodola has remained doing his job from Hexagon’s PPM division headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. The senior administrator who has worked for Hexagon for 21 years could best perform his task of creating software licenses and making software available to PPM customers from the office.

Since restrictions were put into place, what did you have to do to continue working at the office?
I carried a special letter from human resources to show I had permission to come into the building. It was like a ghost building.

What changes did your company make to keep you feeling safe in the office?
They provided masks and sanitizers, and they doubled the cleaning crews. They also organized the flow of people traffic in the building; some stairways are designated for only up traffic, and other stairways are for only down traffic.

Looking back to before the pandemic started and now, what do you feel has been the biggest change?
I’ll start my answer by saying, “Remember working from work?!” The whole building bustled with people everywhere you looked. There were people on the terrace, in the cafeteria and conference rooms. Now I mostly see empty chairs and desks. The bathrooms are lit by sunshine rays piercing through the glass windows. Since almost everyone is working from home – except for a small handful left in the building – it makes sense economically to turn off most lights in the building. It’s been amazing to see how easy it was for the company to adjust seamlessly to people working from home.

What is life like in your city/location currently?
Life in the city started off like being in a ghost town. Remember traffic congestion on Interstate 565 during the rush hours in the mornings and evenings? Well, with less cars on the road, traffic was light and everything around the city of Huntsville was so quiet you could hear a pin drop!

What has been your path to adaption to the “new normal”?
It feels different walking around with a mask on my face and having to remember when and where to wear the mask in the building. There is no new normal; just when you think you are adapting to the new normal, things change again. For good or bad, only time will tell.

How has Hexagon adapted/supported you during this period?
The company implemented the WFH option and drafted letters that made it possible for skeleton staffs to work on campus.

How has having part of your team working from home impacted the work that you do?
In some instances, delivering software electronically to customers while working from home put too much strain on VPN (virtual private network). Electronic delivery is easier and faster when it is done from Hexagon Campus 305.

Have you found that you can now do some things better or you have improved a skill when compared to before the pandemic?
Yes, I’ve learned that I can breathe a lot better under some masks, and I breathe the worst under polyester masks.

If you could go back and give advice to yourself back in March, what would you say to yourself at the beginning of the lockdown?
Buckle up! This is not going to be an easy process, so get ready for a rough ride.

What are you looking forward to the most in your city once the restrictions are lifted?
I’m looking forward to getting together with friends and socializing with people again.


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