WSP’s Hay Sun Blunt has learnt how much she values the separation between home and work and "being present” with her team. Find out more in our latest installment of #iworkinproperty.
Hay Sun Blunt, Director of Specialist Disciplines, WSP
What I love most about my job… Being surrounded by teammates that I genuinely enjoy working with and admire. They surprise me every day! I’m so proud of my team, and that even during these unusual times, they continue to devote themselves to delivering great work and looking after one another.
How my work has changed since Covid-19… I’m certainly checking in with my team more regularly, so that we stay connected. However, working from home means that the ad-hoc conversations had in the office kitchen, in the lift, or at the printer no longer take place, so the surprise gems of random, but useful information are more difficult to come by. I’ve learnt that I need to make a concerted effort to virtually incorporate those personal interactions into the day.
How I’m adapting to the “new normal”… I share a house with a teacher, so in between my own calls, I’ve been fortunate enough to overhear the same lessons that she delivers remotely to her Grade 5 class. I now know a great deal more about rainforests, the Arctic Circle, and the Paschal Candle.
My new workday essentials are… Plenty of tea (to be honest, that was always essential).
The innovative technology or idea I’ve embraced is… Reminding myself that I have to get up from my “desk” (aka dining table) once in a while, and actually move around.
My advice to others looking to implement this… Set an alarm or put reminders in your calendar. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ve spent the entire day sitting on the same chair, staring at a screen. The line between work and home life has become blurred, so incorporating simple measures like these into the day can make a real difference.
My most valuable skill in challenging times… Remaining positive and continually wanting to help the team in any way I can. I feel incredibly grateful that I manage a national team of self-motivated and inspiring designers, consultants and engineers, but I also recognise that it is my duty to maintain communication and help uplift them as we all try to adapt to the new normal.
My biggest inspiration… A dear friend of mine back home in the UK that I studied engineering with at university. A number of years ago he moved away from engineering and into catering. All of his work has dried up as a result of Covid-19, so he is now caring for his children full-time. His wife, on the other hand, is a doctor and on the front line of the Covid-19 action, putting herself at risk every day to help others. They both remain upbeat, and they remind me how lucky I am, and how resilient people can be.
One way I’ll work differently on the other side of this crisis… I, personally, like the separation between home and work and being present with the team. However, I am totally supportive of and encourage others to work flexibly between the office and home, if that is their preferred choice on the other side of this crisis.
What I’ve learned so far from 2020… 2020 has made me realise, even more so than before, how much my team means to me. They are the reason that I come to work every day.
How are your people stepping up to meet the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis and finding a “new normal”? To share your stories or be featured in our #iworkinproperty series, contact email@example.com