Normalcy was taken away by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus utterly upended the lives and livelihood of people all over the world, including engineers. Some engineering fields are considered essential workers, thus continues to serve people despite the risk of infection. Others, on the other hand, remain at home to follow quarantine restrictions. Engineers, essential or not, are not spared from anxiety resulting from the uncertainty the pandemic brings.
The source of uncertainty of engineers is not only due to the possibility of infection. The anxiety may also be caused by the impending slowdown of the economy, which may drastically affect various industries where engineers work. The pandemic has changed and will reshape the engineering world. Fortunately, engineers can adapt and solve challenges that may arise.
Making Necessary Adjustments
Different countries have implemented strict orders to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus. This measure means that companies would have to close their offices and function from the homes of their employees. Fortunately, engineers can work remotely. They have to have the right equipment and programs to keep connected and productive through the quarantine.
Another concern that engineers may have to deal with is the adjustment of scheduled projects. The need to stay at home would force on-site projects to pause. Engineers would have to deal with this change and create necessary adjustments to the progress charts.
No matter which engineering field, communication lines among clients, and the entire engineering team should be open. It is to assure that instructions are effectively disseminated and understood by all. Companies and engineers alike should ensure that correspondence remains private. Also, necessary adjustments should take place to strengthen data security.
Coping With The Changing Times
Lauren Hallion, Ph.D. says, “There are so many ways you can distract yourself from anxiety.” She adds, “The best approach is to try a lot of different approaches to find the ones that work best for you and your family.”
Trial and error are problem-solving methods engineers are familiar with. The same technique can be useful to deal with anxiety caused by the pandemic. No one can escape from feeling anxious about the current situation, even engineers who supposedly know the answer to everything are at risk of suffering from mental health issues.
Solving problems is the bread and butter of an engineer, but the sudden increase of stressors could take a toll on the mental health of engineers. Aside from work-related problems, some engineers may also be having a hard time adjusting to the pandemic. Some people may only be having a hard time finishing tasks amidst the fear the virus brings. Furthermore, financial issues and work security may also add to an engineer’s anxiety.
Dealing with anxiety is a case-to-case basis. You may try to look for methods that are most suitable for you. Experts in the field suggest engineers share their thoughts and issues with their colleagues. By doing so, ideas may be affirmed or accordingly adjusted to avoid future problems. During challenging times like today, it is essential to stay connected both with our friends and our colleagues.
Taking On The Challenge
The new work from home setups is not the only challenge imposed by the virus. Engineers need to provide ventilators for COVID-19 patients in severe conditions. The quick spread of the virus and the absence of the vaccines result in an increased demand for more ventilators. Engineers have resorted to 3D printing to ramp the production of these immensely needed devices.
There are also new challenges imposed on engineers to help society transition into the new normal. Post-pandemic situations may require a change in the design of public transportation, queuing systems, among others, to maintain social distancing. Also, there is a need to address the implementation of new systems that are efficient yet compliant to the new normal.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way people live. Everyone needs to adjust to these trying times. A more significant challenge is upon engineers to make the shift as smooth as possible. For engineers, the battle against the virus is not over once the curve has flattened. The real win for engineers can offer practical solutions to the changing times.