Isioma Asiodu-Otughwor, an Onshore Asset Reliability Engineer with a global upstream Energy corporation shares with us how she’s adapting to the changes that Covid-19 has brought and her thoughts on remote working.

My typical day (Pre-Covid 19)
I wake up at 6am, meditate and prepare myself for work and the kids for school. My entire family leaves the house and we drop the kids off at school then get to work. My typical workday starts with meetings and huddles, and then I get some down time to connect with my team mates and get some tasks done.
I typically have a fast lunch or take a walk during lunch time. On a packed day, I may skip lunch. I spend my afternoon completing tasks and following up on people as my role requires a lot of engagement and supporting people in adopting new processes and practices.
I plan coaching and mentoring sessions in the afternoons when I do not have any session scheduled, I catch up on pre-reads for upcoming meetings and read some resources that support my development. I review my to do list before closing for the day. I reunite with my family, and catch up on social media. I typically have dinner before 7pm then spend some time engaging with the kids or squeezing in some exercise or stretches. 8pm starts off bedtime routine for the girls and I get some quiet time with a book (currently reading “This Thing Called Purpose” by Adaora Mbelu – great book!) or a listen to a calm podcast like Brene Brown or Caroline Leaf while I get ready for bed. I try to drop my phone and resist the urge to scroll through attractive feeds and messages. I usually aim to sleep before 11pm.

My typical day now
My alarm goes off at 5am. My phone is left to charge at a distance far from the bed so I have to get up to switch off the alarm. I get back into bed and meditate,practice some grounding techniques and read a spiritual devotional. I switch on a podcast like headspace or with Chude or Steven Furtick’s sermon while I do a 15 minutes stretch routine. I am trying to improve my fitness and flexibility during the period. I write and study till 7am (life long learner – adult education!) set my intention which includes how I want to be and what I want to do for the day and begin my workday with mini connects with my team members and morning meetings and review of asset performance. I aim to have breakfast before 10am and have a short connect with my family at that time. I prepare for upcoming meetings and engage relevant stakeholders. I spend my lunch break connecting with my family over lunch and playing music I love. Sometimes I use my lunch break to coordinate diversity and inclusion activities for the corporate women’s network where I serve as an Executive Committee member. I block out time for important deep work and reflection.
I end my day with coaching and mentoring and a review of the day and plan for the next day at 5pm. I take a walk outside and connect with family and friends via social media. Affterwards, I typically have a light dinner, followed by bedtime connect with the kids. I’ll have a shower, light some essential oils and read a book. I do some reflective Journaling on some nights and fall asleep before 10pm on most nights.

My best (remote working) tools

My ears. Listening in remote work is so important to get better understanding and ask good questions to support alignment and execution. Things can go wrong fast when messages are misinterpreted. i love using Skype and Sharepoint. I also use: Trello, Zoom, MS teams for personal collaborative events.

How I stay motivated

The positive stories of hope and impact of the pandemic on how we value our health. Safety and connectedness now keeps me motivated. When I feel down or demotivated, I take a break from what I am doing and either call or connect with loved ones or take a long walk or listen to podcasts or music that inspire or energise me. I also embraced journaling and talk to a therapist if the feeling lingers.

My thoughts on remote working
I love it. I miss the buzz of communal working but I love the choice of working from different parts of the house or garden. A disruptive change that has helped the argument for remote work. It was formerly seen as perk requested for by women and millennials. Some leaders who resisted have to learn to deliver through a virtual team and learn better ways to track deliverables beyond helicopter supervision. The impact on the environment may also be beneficial. I believe every employer should offer and employees should be able to choose . This flexibility is important as some days you need the ecosystem of an open office while some days, you need to work in your garden or workroom alone. It comes with its fair amount of challenges for caregivers and leaders of teams – care giving, work-life blurred lines, communication and productivity arguments. We need to take the lessons and feedback from this experience to optimise the systems and behaviours that make remote work efficient and effective.


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