Mila Strokova
Apr 8, 2020

WFH diary: Trying to hide from my toddler and using my dressing table as a work desk

The business development manager, APAC at M&C Saatchi Performance has happily gone from running to work to haring after her 18-month-old son.

WFH diary: Trying to hide from my toddler and using my dressing table as a work desk

My WFH set up is a bedroom on the second floor of our house located in the East Coast of Singapore (the only place where I can hide from my 1.5-year-old son Leonardo). At home, I have had to transform my dressing table into my work station so I could get some privacy while my child is happily running all over the house with his nanny. I keep only necessary things at hand, but there are some elements that remind me about my office: the window, my laptop, my usual black notebook and flowers (it works magically to cheer me up during the day).

At the office, I usually share my space with other colleagues from the marketing, strategy, programmatic and operational departments. We call it a window island, because our desks are close to a huge window overlooking beautiful greenery. My desk is normally full of papers, two or three notebooks, pens and a fresh flower bouquet that I buy myself every week.

I am always surrounded by colleagues, we like to talk and laugh together, discussing, with the same enthusiasm, our weekend plans and the latest client updates. At home, it’s harder to keep this community spirit because I’m working alone in a smaller space, but it’s also quieter which allows me to focus more easily on projects that require my full attention.

At work, I also occasionally pop by the room of our managing director to update him on the latest news and check on his son’s achievement (our kids are almost the same age).

I usually start at 9.30am, open all messengers, check my emails, scroll my LinkedIn feed, read the news and get myself ready. This is when I plan for my day and list down everything I need to get my hands on. The day is usually full of calls with various teams located across Asia.

I have always worked remotely with my colleagues and clients from India, Indonesia, Australia, UK and US so this was not an issue for me. But in my first week working from home I felt a bit lonely. Luckily, my agency was very supportive. Everyone received a very clear WFH policy and we were encouraged to set up additional daily calls just to feel more engaged and motivated.

To find my balance again, at home, I decided to follow my usual office routine. I wake up and have breakfast at the same time. Instead of taking the bus or taxi and go to my office I take my son for a walk, I also consider it as my morning exercise since I have to run behind him every time he tries to chase another cat or dog.

When I’m back from the walk, I leave him with his nanny and go to my room to start my usual working day. Instead of flat white I prepare fresh ginger lemon tea to boost my energy and immune system and get on my first morning call.

These days my son and my husband (an architect who also knows everything about Indonesian unicorns, Indian biggest fintech start-ups and rising ecommerce stars in Vietnam) are my lunch buddies. After we have the best pasta cooked by my husband, I bring my son for his afternoon nap and go back to my work. At work, usually around noon, we go for lunch with my colleagues to spend some time together.

I really appreciate this little break because I know that when I am back at the office, I have a line-up of scheduled calls with the Indian team to go through their business pipeline.

Once the working day is over, I grab my son and we go outside again to run in the green field next to our house, chase more cats and dogs and collect every stone just as if it was the most treasured thing in the world.

No dog left unchased, no stone unturned


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