Remote working is certainly an interesting concept when operating within the rail industry. In our series of Working From Home (WFH) Profiles, our YRP members describe how they are embracing this concept and adapting their collaborative methods to ensure that they deliver to their respective roles. This week, our WFH Profile has been submitted by our YRP Chair, George Chilcott.
George Chilcott – Euston Station Sponsor – High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd.
YRP National Chair
Taking over as Chairman of YRP during the lockdown has made it a very different experience to the one I was expecting. In place of meeting my new committees, visiting corporate members and establishing face-to-face contacts with industry leaders, I have had to rely on email, conferences and phone calls. My story, I suspect, is very similar to many readers’, and involves a new type of adjustment of work-life balance- one almost entirely driven by discipline and self-judgement.
YRP, in addition to my demanding day job as Euston Station Sponsor at HS2, has resulted in me spending long periods of time at my computer every day. Without the excuse to replace work and YRP with social events and extra-curricular activities, it’s all too easy to work into the evenings and weekends, and forget that we all need time off- even if it feels unproductive. Taking breaks for lunch and tea takes serious discipline, despite my management at HS2 being very encouraging with maintaining a healthy balance and working with me to protect regular breaks. As YRP Chairman I am my own boss, and in some ways that makes pushing back and setting longer timescales even harder.
I have found that exercise in the mornings before work has set me up for the day and broken up the monotony of eat-sleep-work-repeat. It also means I feel less guilty about the extravagant meals I have been making for fun, and the catalogue of whiskies I have been tasting in the evenings! I know that I am driven by longer-term goals, and so I have set myself the impossible task of learning bluegrass banjo- and trust me that is a very long-term (and painful) goal- and I use 15 minute breaks to play it and get away from the laptop.
I am lucky, and I live with one of my best friends- when I’m really busy he helps out round the house, and when I’m free we easily entertain ourselves and forget our isolation. Not everyone is so lucky, and so it’s also really important to remember that everyone is experiencing this pandemic in different circumstances. YRP is an incredible community of caring individuals- I invite anyone reading this post feeling isolated to get involved with your regional committee and engage with the events YRP is maintaining throughout the lockdown.
Thanks for reading, and I look forward to finally meeting many of you in the near future. For now, take care, look after each other, and keep up the good work.