Matt Heyen, P.E., an assistant vice president and Hanson’s power operations lead, serves clients from his home office.
With a family that includes a wife who is an essential worker as a principal of a middle school, two boys in school sports and a full complement of design and construction projects to manage, my daily routine is dedicated to my projects and family. And my day today looks dramatically different than it did one year ago.
Mornings are very active in the Heyen home office/school/music studio/dog park. As with many others who are navigating the remote learning models while balancing their work schedules, the entire day is now in play for work activities. School Zoom schedules are posted everywhere to make sure classes are attended, and work meetings are mobile, so my business discussions do not interfere with classroom learning. Imagine two kids on classes through Zoom, a business meeting going on and your rescued coonhound hears a distant siren. It is a serenade we are all too familiar with now!
Matt’s sons, Chase (left) and Alex, attend remote learning classes in different areas of their home.
However, the flexibility in work scheduling and the remote capabilities provided through Hanson’s information technology department allow for continued work productivity anywhere I am. I use Microsoft Teams chat or phone calls for instant communication with co-workers. I can easily stay in touch with project staff, wherever they may be, which allows projects to continue unimpeded.
My work-from-home setup includes the same equipment that I have at the office, with dual screens and a docking station to quickly and easily connect my laptop. The recently installed fiber network in my neighborhood has helped tremendously, providing faster speeds for all the connected devices now running simultaneously. Even with the increased speed, some software still operates best through a remotely accessed machine. For instance, I have access to a remote machine to run ArcGIS Pro. I recently used this to analyze nearly 900,000 utility pole locations with respect to the design of a wireless mesh network layout.
Sports practices start in the afternoon, so the Heyen car service is in action. By the time those wrap up, dinner is over and homework reviewed, it is late in the evening. I make time for a couple more hours of document reviews and email responses before shutting down my workspace for the evening and resting up for tomorrow.
Work meetings still occur daily, client phone calls can be returned, project proposals can be prepared, design drawings and reports get completed and virtual business development happy hours are in the works. As it is for many of my colleagues and our power clients adapting to new ways of meeting our customers’ needs during this pandemic, business moves on wherever we are, not just in the office.