Coping with the lock-down: 5 questions with Chandinie Gamage

We are now several weeks into the lockdown and stay-at-home orders in many countries around the world. It has been a challenging time for all of us and we spoke to a few people to see how they are coping with the current situation.

First in our series of articles entitled ‘Coping with the lock-down: 5 Questions’, we talk to Chadinie Gamage, an accountant based in Dublin, Ireland.

Read on to see what she has to say about working from home and what she’s looking forward to most once the restrictions are lifted. Also stay tuned for other articles in this series in the coming days!

Please tell us a bit about yourself. 

I am a Sri Lankan living and working in Dublin, Ireland. An accountant by profession who never worked as a mainstream accountant. At the moment I’m into Risk Management at US Bank by the day and being a volunteer to shape Ireland’s youth with Foróige as well as helping professionals around the world via LinkedIn providing personalised career advice by the night. Also, I am a content editor at “Miss Independent Blog” where I provide career advice to many ambitious professionals. When I get a moment from all that, working on a creative writing project I am so passionate about.

How are you coping with the current stay-at-home situation? 

If I say current stay-at-home situation is one of the most difficult situations ever, it’s true. I am neither a big fan of being confined indoors nor working from home. I enjoy being with people (too much!) and my productivity is at optimum level when I am working with my team. But the “life as we know it” is not normal anymore so I am trying to adopt to the situation. They say “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”! I have been trying many things to keep me sane and focus on work and other projects I am working on.

Chandinie Gamage

What things have you done differently during the lock-down? 

As much as the lockdown is very hard to deal with, I am trying to remind myself, this is time to prove that I can adopt to different situations quickly. I have been taking time to practice meditation and long distance running to calm myself down.

As it’s natural that anxiety sets in during difficult and uncertain times like these, It’s very important to take care of mental well-being. I love reading and I finished 5 books in different genres since the beginning of the lock-down. Also, learning to bake because I love food!

As much as I don’t enjoy working from home, I managed to make it a little more interesting by being connected with my team via video/audio conferencing. My team and I have been in contact on daily basis. Those audio/video conferences are not related to work always. We have virtual coffee meeting once a week where we enjoy a quiz, photo competition, book club etc. (whatever we’d like to talk about but work related topics). It’s very important to keep our team dynamics intact even if we can’t be together at one place!

I enjoy socialising and stay-at-home had a detrimental impact on my social life. However, I try to be connected with my family and friends more often than before via various platforms. I took time to rekindle with some of my friends I haven’t had contacted for a while. My friends and I have “virtual movie night” every weekend.

What are you looking forward to most after the restrictions are lifted? 

Going home to see my parents is top of the list. I was supposed to go home in April for Sri Lankan New Year! Also, I miss travelling so much. As foreign travel may not be possible for a while, I am looking forward to take a couple of road trips in Ireland when the restrictions are lifted.

In your opinion, what impact will this pandemic have on the way we work and deal with life? 

I think, the pandemic has profoundly changed the way we work:

How we manage teams – Managers should have realised that micro managing is an out dated technique. If you are still a micro manager, this pandemic is teaching you to build trust among the team and to adopt macro managing techniques instead to achieve your day-to-day goals.

How we communicate – I found it those who were used to send emails (even if the recipient were sitting next to them), realised that calling someone and have a conversation could make all the difference!

Also, How we deal with life has changed in many ways. Most importantly, humans have realised that we are interdependent on each other more than ever! I suppose we care more about people around us – family, friends, neighbours, co-workers etc. Fingers crossed, everyone will continue the good deed!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article belong to the individual interviewed and should not be attributed to any organisations that they are associated with.

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