Martina Antalova, Design Lead
Tell us what are you working on at the moment, and explain how the lockdown has affected the way you carry out your work?
I am currently working from home, leading a design commission to remodel an existing fallow area into a new medical devices manufacturing facility. At home, we have a spare room upstairs, where I’ve set up my home office; unfortunately, it is also our ironing room. So, I am constantly watching the pile of clothes I will need to eventually deal with; for whatever reason, it never gets smaller.
I have two young children, Sami, who is 3 and Maya, 5. Maya normally goes to the reception, so there is this added pressure of ensuring that she does not forget everything she has learnt to this point. Being a mum of two young children during lockdown means that in addition to being a design engineer, I am also a teacher / cook / cleaner / entertainer. It is challenging, however surprisingly manageable.
As the weeks have gone by, we managed to fall into a routine. I got used to the fact that my Skype calls are being hijacked by the kids fully excited to see my manager. They call him BOSS. From pulled keyboard buttons to pressing the laptop sleep button, the kids continue to find their way. I learnt to do the most challenging tasks in the evenings, when I can fully concentrate, uninterrupted.
My current work days are not a standard 8 to 4 working days…they are more like 16 hour long days, with working tasks arranged at different times.
How are you coping with lockdown?
I am trying to pay attention and to be in the present moment. Everything seems to be easier this way, but a complete opposite to multitasking which I used to practise in the office. If I dedicate my full self to the roles I set above at different times of the day, somehow I manage them in much shorter time and more effectively. So perhaps the lockdown has given me the opportunity to revaluate my working patterns and find ways of how to do it better and more efficiently. I pay attention and I listen; everyone, particularly the kids seem happier.
Mentally though….it is harder, I do miss the social side of being at work, so I am trying to keep in touch with my colleagues, using digital technology. I also try to be consistent with my yoga practice, combining it with my daily run. I put effort to accommodate time for self-care daily.
What do you do in your spare time - maybe you picked up a new hobby?
I started painting again, experimenting with oil paints. I have also built an outdoor seater and an outdoor shoe storage box from scrap wood.
When my daughter asked me how I know how to do it, I just proudly said…’well Maya, your mum is an engineer!’ To be honest, they might not last very long, and not be as pretty, but I am very proud of my work.