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.
Today we interview Jess. Jess is a people person in every sense. Jess is one of three people that make up the Catalyst heroes, also known as the ‘People team’. So Jess, what routine works best for you? "Wake up, coffee, emails, tend to children, coffee, emails, coffee, phone calls, coffee, ad nauseum."
Top tip: 'ad nauseum' is a Latin term for something that has been discussed or continued to the point of nausea. For example, "I have worn my pyjamas to work ad nauseum". This is probably incorrect but hey, I'm trying to have fun here.
Good time to mention Jess studied Classical Studies and Latin at university. Jess once graced us with a presentation about her favourite Latin insults. One of the thousand reasons we really appreciate having Jess at Catalyst. Asinus asinum fricat anyone?
Somewhere between these seventeen coffees, Jess fits in time to eat breakfast which is oats with blueberries, cream and cashews – oh you fancy huh? But, the ‘fancy’ only lasts so long when we introduce two kids into the mix. Jess has two lovely children, who are five and seven years old.
Jess’ husband is home too and they share care-taking duties, but Jess doesn’t do an eight-hour work session, she emphasises that her children need time with both parents and a bit of structure in their day.
“I usually break up work chunks by spending time with them, then carry on a bit later in the evening. I'm trying to block off weekends entirely – no looking at emails, otherwise it's a slippery slope.”
Jess is embracing the work from home change, “I like working from home and I really love spending more time with kids and my husband. Plus no commute and living my best track-pant life!”
The biggest struggle for Jess is missing real face-to-face time with people at Catalyst – she finds she can do this remotely but as we value community, interactions and relationships at Catalyst, this feels a little weird for Jess.
Jess’ nugget of work from home wisdom is to draw boundaries,“if you can't draw off a specific physical place for work (I can't) try it with times of the day, a mindset, or build a routine as much as possible.” Jess’ wisdom doesn't stop there, she recommends we remember that people's emotional capacity is pretty full. Communicate regularly across a variety of platforms and always do it as kindly as possible.
Top tip: this is not a COVID-19 exclusive, I encourage you to carry this attitude on.
Jess emphasises that we are all in it together (what a banger)! “We've never collectively experienced a situation like this and how we work together right now will have a big impact on getting back to normal life later. Make a coffee, grab your phone or pull up your chat channels and keep sharing!”
Jess is a woman of many cool layers, her latest hobby is writing stories for her children, heavily based around child-friendly versions Greek mythology. Jess plans to record these for the children to listen to before bed. She is also keeping life spicy by doing at least one crossword a day and trying new recipes. If you want to try some recipes too, check out the Pandemic Pack Collaborative cookbook.
See below, Jess and George the dog. Jess does have a desk, but she prefers this fun horizontal style desk that allow for dog cuddles, can we blame her?
Thank you, Jess, for keeping us all sane at Catalyst and stay safe everyone.