[email protected]: Alan

by Chloe Gunn

At Catalyst we are striving to attain normality in our personal lives and reliability in our professional life. The latter is appearing the easier of the two. To maintain our community, share our struggles and tips for working at home, we will be publishing a regular blog with a different Catalysta each time. Meet Alan, he is a Project Manager from our Auckland office.

So Alan, what routine works best for you? “I get up early, normally 6:00 am and run, do all the normal stuff - we continue to get the kids up at the normal time and everyone gets dressed (albeit casual Friday style).” I didn’t press Alan but he strikes me as someone that breezes through a 5k.

But get this, Alan still packs his bag for work and leaves the house to go to his ‘garage office’, while his children also do a mini commute of riding or walking around the block before starting [home] school. Alan recommends this as it helps his children get into school mode. Having a designated school area and routine has also helped the family compartmentalise their daily routines - physically and mentally.

Let it be known that Alan is thanking his lucky stars as his partner does contract work and has some time off to help with childcare duties.

Alan would also like every parent out there in this COVID-19 boat, to know that we are all human, we are not perfect teachers, “we are doing our best to fill a gap, try to relax and know that your best is all you can do in these times.” This also applies to those working from home who are taking a little longer to get into the swing of things, no one expects perfection.

Alan's home made desk set up in his garage

Let’s talk more about this office garage, I pictured something ‘007 headquarters’ style and was relieved to see that Alan is as human as the rest of us. His precision, laser focus and efficiency within his projects at Catalyst had me thinking otherwise.

What you see before you is a desk made by Alan with ply offcuts and an old post cut to size, while retro speakers make the perfect footrest. If the footrest didn’t make you nervous, Alan isn’t confident in his corrugated iron roof so doubles down on safety with a BBQ cover to avoid damage to his chic desk if it rains overnight.

Alan wants people to know that this is the perfect time to re-watch every Star Wars movie, a little more TV than usual won’t hurt. And, if TV isn’t your thing Alan recommends video calling your family and friends.

Thank you Alan for giving us all an insight into your home office, be sure to check our other [email protected] profiles with Dena, Jess, Liam and Billy.


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Catalyst is a New Zealand owned and operated company where openness, long term relationships, community and diversity are essential characteristics of how we do business. Since 1997, Catalyst has been enabling success with expert open source solutions, and clients all over the world trust us with their mission-critical systems.