What's been your biggest challenge working from home?
The biggest challenge about working from home has been home-schooling my five-year-old son named Xander. Being five he needs fairly constant support and guidance so trying to stay on track with where I’m up to in my work has been tough.
Rachel's son Xander has also had to adjust to schooling at home.
What has surprised you about working from home?
I am late to work! Without the requirement to leave the house in the mornings, coupled with my daily need for a real coffee, I find myself arriving 15 minutes late to my desk to begin the day.
How are you staying connected with Swinburne and your colleagues?
Microsoft Teams is amazing but being from a very practical course we have been able to continue on campus where required. Having an ‘outing’ to the simulated labs to run a class allows for great face-to-face catch ups at a distance!
How do you unwind/switch off from work?
I have some rules for myself: Once I switch my computer off for the day that’s it and I don’t check emails on the weekend. I have 2 young children, so we try to get out as much as possible for fresh air. They are also obsessed with puddle jumping!
Rachel and her children, Xander and Anneke try to get out for fresh air as often as possible.
What are your lockdown recommendations?
The Good Place on Neflix is a great show to watch without too much brain power required.
Staying active is also fun and great for mental health – PopSugar fitness on YouTube has amazing workouts for people who are time poor.
Have you stocked up on anything?
COFFEE! My little adult treat – a café coffee every day. It’s also very important to support local business right now!
Who do you share you home with?
Husband - Gary, 2 kids – 2-year-old - Anneke and 5-year-old - Alexander and a German Shepherd named Boris.
In addition to her family, a nursing mannequin has also made the transition to working from home with Rachel.
What is your best tip for juggling kids and work?
Not to put too much pressure on yourself. If the kids are having a needy day, I take them for a walk to use up some of their energy. If I have an important meeting that I need to focus for I let them watch TV.
Tell us a story: the funniest/trickiest/strangest thing that's happened with work and family, pets, housemates. kids at home
I was looking after a friend of my sons from school (6-year-old boy) last week so his parents could visit a dying family member. I was in a Teams chat with a staff member and I looked up from my computer to see them having a water fight inside. I may have yelled out “Is that water?” very loudly and exited the phone call very quickly.