With over a year working from home and an end not immediately in sight, I felt it was time to think a bit structurally about how to work remotely as effectively as possible. The clear missing element is the watercooler conversations / coffees at the cafeteria.
Universities have to some extend always have had to deal with faculty not having a default schedule for being at their desks, which normally makes dropping in easy. The way in which this is typically dealt with is by holding office hours at a set time every week (when not traveling). Normally for the person holding office hours, when nobody comes by, this is a good time to get done with some paperwork that otherwise gets forgotten.
I think a similar thing can be achieved online by holding “Online Office Hours” (I don’t think virtual is a good term, it seem to suggest the office hours aren’t real, instead of merely online). So starting this week, when not on leave, I will hold online office hours every Monday and Wednesday 08:00-12:00, and every Monday and Friday 16:00-18:00 at https://itu.zoom.us/my/quast. The recording will be switched off, and during the morning sessions I will probably be drinking a coffee.
I do not expect that it will be quite as low treshhold as a watercooler conversation, but at the same time, normally these only happen with people that have access to the ITU building. Now we can have them with anyone in the world (hence the morning and afternoon hours).
Join me and let me know what you think!