Working From Home with Dr Catherine Duggan

Working From Home with Dr Catherine Duggan
May 7, 2020 Marie

What does your average day look like?

My day has changed hugely since working from home. I work in a global organisation and we work across all time zones and with pharmacy colleagues in all areas of the world. So I now have more virtual meetings at either end of the day. My average day starts with a little bit of exercise and breakfast before I start my meetings and jobs. Then, I take my calls and either stop for lunch or eat a snack while on calls. At around 5 or 6, I stop and take my designated long walk and call my parents and family, trying to double task! I then have supper and either stop for the evening or take further calls with colleagues.

What are the biggest challenges you are facing right now?

Professionally, my organisation is global health-focussed on all things pharmacy. We run many events and congresses in partnership with our member organisations and you can understand we have had to postpone and cancel many events. This has a big impact on our business model, but also our engagement, so I am working across all areas of our organisation to develop online provision as well as essential guidance for our members. We have developed a COVID programme to showcase their innovations and amazing work in community, hospital and clinical biology. We’re also testing new ways to provide support and development virtually.

What are you doing to stay sane?

It’s super busy work wise, but also an exciting time as we’re seeing such great professionalism across our countries and member organisations, plus from my team who are now working from home in several countries. To stay sane in these times, I think it’s essential to be kind and generous with yourself- we have to adapt and understand what we would normally fit into our schedule is super tricky. So, we all need to exercise daily – even a little bit (and celebrate what we do rather than what we don’t do), making space for some relaxation and self-care too. And get rest- which we all need so much more of at the moment. We need to recharge our batteries and our own internal wifi!

How do you stay motivated?

It’s easy for me to stay motivated as a leader in healthcare and working globally. I am inspired everyday by the selfless care given by my profession (and all healthcare professionals to be honest)….this keeps me motivated to do the best for my profession at this time! But the high levels of motivation can leave you very tired I must say!

Do you still dress ‘for work’?

My goodness, this is has been hit and miss. I have tried the no make up / casual relaxing clothes look and that has failed drastically! So now, what is working for me, right now, is a habit to get up and directly change into gym kit for my first exercise, then shower and change into business-like clothes – a nice top or blouse or shirt and some casual joggers or trousers for business meetings. Then, change into gym kit again for my evening walk and talk time. Home for a little shower and pjs for the sofa time.

Having this schedule for outfits has helped me to compartmentalise the day and to really separate the work from the exercise from the play. Shoes? Hm very rarely at the present time I must say, but I have a very formal fortnight of meetings coming up so I will need to feel pulled together and ‘on it’!

Finally, do you have any recent ’small acts of kindness’ you would like to share?

The Thursday evening celebrations of our amazing NHS, and all key workers have brought a glow and a tear or two. The NHS volunteers and stories of generosity of heart is another. But the one I really love is from friends of mine who leave items from their garden at the bottom of their drive for neighbours and passersby to pick up and take. They have been leaving gifts and messages and provisions of their own….as my friend said to me ‘now *this* is something I could live with post COVID-19’.

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