The WFH Diaries - Dorothee Gomez at OMD Sydney

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 13 October 2021
Dorothee Gomez at home.

AdNews last year launched the WFH Diaries during the depths of the fallout from the pandemic, a way of sharing how people managed their days.

This time, with lockdown running again, we're asking for a run down on how everyone likes to start their day working from home. Some dress to impress, others slip on the t-shirt. And everyone has their own way to carve the day into manageable chunks.

Dorothee Gomez, Business Director, OMD Sydney

Lockdown hasn’t changed anything for me when it comes to the morning rush! Mornings were crazy before and they are still crazy now. With the exception of Mondays when my husband is at home, I am a single mum in the mornings (my husband is a baker and starts work at 5am). So despite a military routine, it is always a mad rush to get my two kids (2 years and 5 years) off to school and day care on time.

Once I am back home, I finally sit at my desk with a hot cup of strong English Breakfast tea (bliss), two homemade cookies, four deep relaxing breaths and I am ready to tackle the day. I have definitely adopted a more casual dress style since working from home and my Ugg boots are getting a good workout! I’m not sure I will know how to walk in high heels by the end of lockdown!

This year has been my first lockdown whilst working as I was on parental leave when COVID hit in 2020. It took me a while to find my rhythm and I fell into all the imaginable pitfalls. At the beginning I wasn’t leaving the house for the whole week (except to drop the kids off in the morning), I often forgot to have lunch, I was working late in the night and on Sundays, and my professional and personal lives completely morphed into each other. Of course, this was very unhealthy both mentally and physically, and I very quickly realised I needed to set some boundaries.

Even though I still haven’t mastered my routine, I am slowly getting better at it. The advantage of working from home is that I can adapt activities and focus based on my mood and energy levels. If I’m highly energised and feeling inspired then I will tackle a difficult presentation or task, but if I’ve hit rock bottom then I just stop working for a little while and do something completely different (going for a walk, cooking, baking, re-organising my wardrobe or the kids playroom) and I get back to my desk once I feel better. I wouldn’t be able to do this in the office so it is definitely an upside I’ve tried to capitalise on.

During the day, there are so many unsolicited distractions… “Mum, I need this….”, “Mum, can you put the Minecraft background on for this meeting?”, “Mum, Liv is eating my Lego!”, “Mum, can I drop a water bomb on your head?”… Needless to say when the kids are home it can be challenging to have uninterrupted time and I have to organise my day to fit in with their routine.

With regards to distractions which I have purposely chosen, my favourite relaxing past time is watching movies. I really miss going to the cinema and I have over-compensated at home by watching A LOT of movies. I am a big Marvel fan so lately I’ve been watching them all again.

Upside: by working from home every day, I get to see the kids more often. It is great to be able to have dinner with them every night and be able to put them to bed every night. My relationship with both of them has grown massively over the last two months and I would not trade this for anything in the whole world. It actually made me realised how much quality time with them I was missing prior to lockdown.

Downside: I really miss seeing my family (both in France and in Australia). Not being able to plan any travel, see anyone or go to my in-laws’ farm has been a lot harder than I anticipated. I can’t wait to pack my luggage, hop in a car and go somewhere. I also really underestimated the emotional impact lockdown would have on my son and how much energy and planning is required to manage his mental health.

But overall, I tend to be a glass half full person, so I’m taking this experience as a learning curve and thinking about all the positives this brought to me, no matter how small. I keep reminding myself I am not a super hero and I am doing the best I can in the circumstances dealt to me.


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