Meet the Formula E engineer working from home for Williams Advanced Engineering – in Tousist!
By Brian Coombs
I am currently working for in the UK, as a design engineer for the Jaguar Formula E racing team. Formula E is for electric cars and the aim of the championship is to accelerate the development of electric vehicles through competition between the main European car manufacturers.
Most of my design work is done on a computer, so when Covid struck, it was one job that was possible to do from home. Having worked for many years in the UK commuting every week, I was forced to work from home. I thought I would be home in Ireland for five or six weeks before everything went back to normal, but I ended up working here for sixteen months, which was a novelty for me, as I do not think I have ever been home for that long before.
I connect to the office via a VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) link, which allows me to use my office computer remotely so I didn’t need any expensive computers or software at home. I just need my laptop and a reasonable internet connection, in my case SCC Broadband, which have been excellent over the years.
All my meetings are done using Teams or Zoom, which initially took a bit of getting used to, but once everyone is up to speed it seems to work OK. I would prefer to have face-to-face meetings but Zoom or Teams are good replacements in the circumstances.
I really like not having to get up very early on Monday mornings to drive to the airport. Instead, I wake up, have a cup of tea, and walk the dog before work, which has been great, as is being with my wife and daughter – but that took a bit of getting used to as well!
On the negative side, I really missed being in the office every day with my work colleagues and after a couple of months, I felt very isolated. I had very little feedback and missed a lot of the other things that used to go on in the office, so I don’t think I could work remotely forever. I have now gone back to the office – working two weeks in the UK and then working two weeks at home as I am not sure I could ever go back to commuting every week.
I think Covid has proved to the world that a lot of jobs can be done remotely, but it will be interesting to see how many people are still working from home in twelve months’ time, or if they have all gone back to the office.
Maybe a hybrid model as I now have will be the most popular. Time will tell.
This article was originally published in the 2021 annual parish Tuosist Newsletter which can be purchased from shops in Kenmare and Tuosist as well as on-line at www.tuosistnews.ie .
The newsletter has regular articles on rallies that pass through the parish (attracted by the well-known Healy Pass), such as the Rally of the Lakes as well as numerous vintage and classic car rallies. Back copies of the newsletter, in print or in downloadable form (see www.tuosistnews.ie), that have motoring articles include the following
1997 “Historic stages rally”
2001 “Rallying at home and away”
2006 “The Rallying Year”
2008 “Clogherane motorsport”
2009 “Keep up the revs”
2011 “One Sunday in May”
2012 “A day in the life of a rally navigator”
2012 “The vintage scene”
2013 “The car I once loved”
2017 “Rally news”
2020 “Motoring news”
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