Working From Home. By Owen Zupp.
Working from home – it took a little while for me to adapt and I’m sure that I’m not alone in embracing such change.
Both as an “Ambo” and a pilot, my working life has been characterised by the changing scenery. No two days were ever the same and the people with whom I worked and those that I encountered were ever-changing. The mobility of both roles brought me sights, sounds and situations that I could not have imagined at the start of a shift – and I loved that. And then the COVID pandemic arrived.
Having also fostered a secondary career as a writer, I have been fortunate to pivot and adapt to the current situation. Some wonderful people and organisations have offered me the opportunity to ply my “other trade” and the ability to do this from home has been an asset. As Kirrily holds down a job that is very different from that of a pilot, the home office has allowed us to be present for our children. Although the transition wasn’t the easiest of processes.
At first, I could become “head down” and unaware of time, rushing down a sandwich when able. And while one can be in the seat for long periods on an international flight, I was tending to be seated for even longer and far less aware of my surroundings. I was very productive but losing the valuable “life balance”. The solution was quite simple, although easily overlooked. While I was scheduling multiple work tasks in my diary, I was overlooking any personal timings. Once I scheduled in an exercise routine, the rest followed easily. A balanced diet, quality sleep and relaxation all returned to a realistic balance.
With this now sorted, my family time increased in quantity and quality. I am still able to meet the deadlines and I’m working even more efficiently. In many ways, working from home is offering a simpler life. Personally, it has offered an insight into a more routine lifestyle and there have been many life benefits, even if accompanied by a fiscal penalty.
I have been flying for 40 years, so it is to be expected that I miss taking to the skies. However, I will fly again in the near future, even if not aboard an airliner – that option seems to be years away. It’s not ideal but it’s also not a situation of my making. There is no time to procrastinate and time wishing I was flying again is wasted. The reality is that I have land-based employment, operating out of my home and I am fortunate to have that option.
Even if I should return to flying, I will continue to pursue these tasks as they present new challenges, new people and new possibilities. Working from home has brought with it a healthy lifestyle and variety in different ways to that which the flight deck once offered. The journey continues.