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Víctor Contreras

CEO Chemical Civil Engineer of Universidad de Concepción

Víctor Contreras

Víctor Contreras 

May 18, 2020

Three months ago, we were finishing the summer, preparing for the return to work and our children to the school year, and we were looking forward to the process of a new constitution. At the same time, we watched with concern the trade war between China and the United States and watched from a distance what was happening in Asia with the spread of Covid-19.

However, in the first two weeks of March, the spread of the coronavirus paralysed Italy and Spain, along with the rest of Europe, and spread to the Americas, with the first cases in Chile. In 20 days, life as we knew it in our country changed.

If someone had warned me at the beginning of March that the whole company would be teleworking on the 27th of that month, I would not have believed it, thinking that such a thing was impossible. But as rarely happens, fiction overcame reality.

From the beginning, for Pares&Alvarez, taking care of our people’s health became our number one priority, and that is how on March 17th we defined the implementation of teleworking, a subject we had been developing, almost without noticing it, for years, because we have offices in three regions and several projects with companies with headquarters outside Chile, although we had never thought of taking it to a full company scale.

What helped us to have good and quick results?

Being a flexible and modern company, which, since its beginnings 26 years ago, has always sought to be at the forefront in terms of the use of technology and digital tools, almost banishing the use of paper.

For more than 20 years we have been working in concurrent 3D environments, gradually including 4D and BIM methodology. We have powerful and stable networks, servers, internal communications and file management, properly updated, maintained and supported.

A high percentage of our people have access to modern communication tools, such as Teams, with entrenched and committed teams. As a company, we have cultivated close, trusting and respectful relationships, both horizontally and vertically.

Finally, we have capable and skilled staff, many of whom have been with the company for many years. All this has allowed us to maintain our activity, internal and external communications, the generation of products and projects, and, above all, to fulfil our commitments to our clients, as if we were working in the same office.

If you had asked me 3 months ago, I would never have imagined a situation like the one we are in today, but neither would I have imagined that our company, with over 600 employees, could operate 100% teleworking, with productivity and very good results. My respects and appreciation to all our team”.