Gerald ‘Spud’ Brittan
“If the pandemic taught us one thing, it’s that we can be working remotely and some of those roles can actually benefit from being remote.
In my post-military and 15-year-long FIFO life, I’ve seen too many people my age live to work too long, lose key relationships or fall into a unsatisfying space of commute-work-commute, same ol’menu of life’s ingredients, the whole time yearning for weekends, annual leave or retirement.
As I needed to dedicate some more time to looking after myself (physio, running repair surgeries, rehab, etc) and not wanting to be that unsatisfied individual, I took a chance on myself, made some choices and decided to change my life.
After some good chats with my Manager (Bobbie) I was given the opportunity to explore a remote style of contribution to Clough and its projects, reduced my workload to 20 hours a week, and modified my role to centre more around governance and assurance in the HSSE space.
So many aspects of my work life have changed. I don’t need a dedicated desk space now working remotely, I am able to avoid the daily commute, I’m available for my wife, children, and grandchildren (school drop offs) and am able to travel in my RV which allows me to be able to work from some amazing places whilst still being able to stay in touch with my colleagues, be in tune with our Projects contributing via Teams or mobile.
Over the last 5 months of working remotely, I have learnt that there are many more team members working remotely than I thought, and that I can achieve my expected outputs and engagements whilst I work in those same remote conditions. I have created tools to assist in creating the optimal working environment, such as working in ‘disciplined work windows’; checking email traffic, getting started on work earlier on inputs and planning my day around any Teams meetings. Later in the day I revisit traffic, return any missed calls, and continue with outputs, rounding out workload.
I have also been doing my part for sustainability, by setting myself up to work off-grid. I’ve bolstered my mobile WIFI capability to ensure connectivity whist we travel, generated more solar generation than consumption whilst maintaining creature comfort and I have even set up ergonomic sit down and stand-up outside work areas.
What I have gained has outweighed what I’ve sacrificed, hopefully extending my working life, improved my mental health, made me a more focussed individual so long as my contributions are valued and needed. In discussions with team members, I’m still a key contributor.
I encourage everyone who might be unsatisfied with the same ol’menu of life’s ingredients, yearning for something different, to take a chance on yourself, make a choice and decide to change your life. Who knows, you might find a renewed lease on life and can contribute in more ways than you imagined.”