Saying goodbye to my sister after working together for only two weeks, not knowing when we would be seeing each other in person again was a little weird. We had little preparation for what was ahead. But six weeks later I feel that I have the working from home (WFH) nailed. I’m going to find it tough reverting back to the norm.
For six weeks my husband and I have been closeted away in our home office working side by side. This morning I asked him how we were going to feel when we once again joined the rat race? He agreed that this lifestyle certainly suited him.
Reports on-line tell me that I am not alone in feeling this way. There is a massive shift is on the horizon. Since the early 1970’s futurologists have been imagining home as a workplace. Networked computers have meant there is a way to blend work and family life. But many managers have been resistant to remote working. They have felt their workforce could not be directly monitored and that supervising from a distance posed too many challenges.
Yet there are many of us who possess self-motivation and discipline. We have the ability to work without direct supervision and the ability to cope with minimal social contact. WFH is not for everyone especially those who crave the vibe of interaction with their colleagues, bumping shoulders with strangers or overhearing others talking in the office.
The Covid-19 crisis has shone a light on both the pleasures and pressures of having home as your office. Jumping from a Zoom meeting to domestic chores or taking the dog for a walk for some is a template for the good life.
When I took on my new role with Fraser People, working remotely was always part of the plan but something that would evolve over a long period. With this upheaval it has shown how quickly we were able to adapt, and I think has actually given us a head start.
I’m looking forward to returning to my workplace alongside my sister. But now with the added flexibility of being able to spend days working at home. An outcome that I know will be the new way of life for many New Zealanders.
What is it like taking on a new role whilst the world is experiencing a pandemic?
It’s been exciting, stressful, scary yet satisfying. Those are four words you would not normally see in the same sentence. But we are in a unique time that calls for a unique way of going about our daily tasks. It’s fair to say we have nailed the “working remotely” challenge. We didn’t think this was possible until I had time to learn the ropes. Now with the benefit of modern technology, it can be done! There’s hope for other businesses who may be worried about making changes in this environment.
What led me to working with my sister?
Carol turned her passion into “Fraser People” and single-handedly grew her business to the point where she needed to expand. This was where my future lay. I had been one of Carol’s greatest supporters and knew this was my chance to get inside her industry and learn from one of the best. The big question was: could two sisters work together?
After months of planning we took the plunge and I can honestly say it was a great decision. As sisters we can totally be ourselves, share a good laugh while being intuitive to each other’s needs.
What Do I Bring to Fraser People?
I’m a highly experienced executive assistant with a strong background in customer service. I enjoy seeing people get the best quality service they deserve. Why say no, when there is always a solution? I have advanced computer skills but still love to learn all I can and I pride myself in my ability to turn an idea into an eye-catching work of art.
In my new role as Client Services Manager for Fraser People I bring honesty, exceptional customer service whilst embracing the values that have made Fraser People the company it is today.
Firstly I hope you are all safe and doing well. Congratulations on making it through week one in what is such a surreal time for us all!
Thank you for playing your part to stay home and save lives, let’s stay united to beat this. In what is a challenging time for us all, there is one thing I am certain of – we will be here to support you in whatever way we can. Whether you are looking for work or wanting some support with your people processes, we are here, so give us a shout if you’d like to connect.
We are very excited to launch this newsletter which we hope will inform and inspire you on a regular basis. You are receiving this because you are in our database.
Are your pets loving having all the family at home in their bubble as much as mine are? Lots of extra walks and treats for us all.
….And then we were two
A huge welcome to Leila McIntyre as my new Client Services Manager. Some of you will know Leila already, as she is in fact my sister. It is very humbling and motivating that Leila believes in my business and has joined me to continue this epic journey.With her strong background in PA and customer focused roles – she is the perfect addition to the team.
This Too Shall Pass – by Leila McIntyre
In our own way each of us will be coming to terms with how Covid-19 has affected our lives. Who would have ever known that 2020 would become such a nightmare?
Two weeks into my role as Client Services Manager for my sister Carol, and we had to say goodbye to each other not knowing when we would see each other again in the flesh. We are so lucky that in 2020 we are able to to stay in touch virtually, during this imposed lock down, and how we are now turning inwards and realising the importance of staying in touch with those nearest and dearest.
Yesterday was yet another glorious sunny day and my husband and I took the opportunity to walk around the neighbourhood. Never have we had so many greetings, or waves from complete strangers. We then came home feeling energised and our social contact tank topped up. Later that day whilst I was pulling weeds in our driveway, each person who walked by greeted me. With the lack of noise pollution from vehicles, I was able to hear conversations never heard before. I found it entertaining being given an insight into other people’s lives and again made the isolation a little more bearable.
I know that eventually this will pass and life will go on, but I like to think that this new way of being aware of each other will remain.
Round North Island Race 2020
The Round North Island yacht Race kicked off in Auckland on 22 February. Fraser People was proud to sponsor CU Later yachting on their epic adventure. The race was created by Sir Peter Blake back in 1976 and is raced every 3 years.
Thirty eight yachts took on what can be considered a crazy challenge – circumnavigating the north island.
Logan and Nico had a great result completing the race on 9 March with an overall 2nd on line and 2nd on handicap in their division. As one of the smallest and most extreme yachts in the race we were delighted to support their dream.
Things to be grateful for whilst working from home
Here’s an opportunity to restore some balance in your life
Less commuting time means you now have more time to spend with your family
There’s also the comfort that comes from being in your own space, with your own things, and wearing what you like
It’s easier to stay on top of household duties like putting on a load of washing or letting meals cook while you work
You might find it simpler to schedule in exercise or just take a break by going for a walk around the block
The way you work could be more streamlined – a meeting might become an email; or a quick video check-in
Your breaks can also involve things you couldn’t do at your workplace, like playing an instrument or cuddling your pet.
“Option A is not available, so let’s kick the shit out of Option B”. This philosophy from Author Sheryl Sandberg really resonated with me last year, as I processed my grief after losing a loved one. It helped me as I worked out what the next phase of life was going to be like for me. The thing is – most of us are in fact living our Option B, C or even D, as when big stuff happens in life that is out of our control, it can create a shift in mind set, or the need for change.
So how is option B going for me? I have been reflecting a lot over the past week as we approached the Anniversary, which I’ll admit has had quite an impact on me. While I don’t want to be defined by what has happened, writing about it is cathartic in a lot of ways. Taking some time out to see how things look today also helps.
Taking the plunge to start my own business was one of the scariest and most rewarding things I have ever done. Having a new focus was key and I knew I had to do it my way. Simply, I wanted to work with good people with the same ideals who wanted to work with me and have fun along the way. I am happy to say that is in fact happening, and 1 year on Fraser People is taking on a life of its own.
I heard a saying somewhere that out of our pain we find our power. It’s certainly what has driven me. I’ll always be grateful for the support I have received – so here’s to you all kicking the shit out of your option B, C or D!
Life changing decisions can stem from many things. For me, taking the plunge into self-employment is the end result of my journey following the sudden death of a loved one last year. It may sound cliché but I now understand why many people effect change in their lives after suffering a loss.
Grief can be a baffling experience, and I can say without hesitation I have never felt anything like it. It’s something you move through not get over – and it can create a huge shift in your outlook.
Some people decide it’s time to do something radical like volunteering in Africa, moving cities or re-train. Some choose to retain the status quo. It’s a personal journey so the outcome is different for everyone.
Grief became the catalyst to start my own business – and consequently start this new blog. I should probably have begun with a topic like ‘recruitment tips’ or ‘how to write a good CV’ – that would be the easy option wouldn’t it?!
But first I wanted to share why Fraser People is more than just a name to me.
It’s scary to put yourself out there, and I (like most of you), have had that voice in my head creating all the usual objections about why we can’t do something rather than why we can. But hey, to quote US research Professor Brené Brown: “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen”.
So here goes…
Throwing in a paid job and taking several months out last year to contemplate life in general was exactly what I needed to do. Hanging out at the beach with our much loved dog, Frodo, was just the tonic. With family, friends and some wonderful clients as a sounding board, it became clear to me that starting my own business was what I really wanted to do.
Being able to build a business that fully embraces the values I believe in – strong relationships, honesty and exceptional customer service – is incredibly important to me. So I’ve taken everything I’ve learned from my life’s journey so far and found the inner strength to jump right in and do things my way.
I’m proud to say I’m now re-energised and grateful to have a new focus. “Life is short” is no longer an over-used term from my point of view. Instead I’m embracing tech executive and author Sheryl Sandberg’s philosophy: “Option A is not available so let’s kick the shit out of Option B!”