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by Gillian Martin
22 May 2020
Working from home: Gillian Martin

Working from home: Gillian Martin

The SNP MSP on working from home

Describe the view and what it means to you:

So the story of where I’m working is a bit complicated. Ordinarily I’d have been working in this area of my house as I always did before I got elected and was running my business from home. It’s the kitchen extension. But because of a number of things for the past 2 weeks I’ve been working from my son’s old bedroom, mainly from the bed as I’ve had symptoms of the virus and have been holed up there with my laptop. When he lived there it was affectionately known as “The Cradle of Filth” and although the filth element of the room has been eradicated it’s still very much the bedroom of a teenage lad! One other reason is that my daughter has been using the extension space to get her coursework ready and handed in to be marked so she can get her Higher results. The third reason is that in the adjoining “room” (it’s actually open plan) my Depute Head teacher husband has been on a constant (noisy) conference call with his colleagues sorting out Turriff Academy’s situation. Coursework done, virus abating and school Hub now open means I’ll be in my favourite homeworking spot once more from next week with a view of our wee garden.

Tell me about a few things that you have in the study/work area/corner of the kitchen table that are important/essential to you working in there?

All animal related. My wee dog Lucy is a treat of a working companion- she lies at my feet under the table and lets me get on with it. The table looks onto a view of the garden bird table which has always been good for de-stressing. I am a massive Goldfinch fan- those wee guys do drama and are a great distraction from the inbox when you need it. I’m meticulous about keeping the bird seed topped up.

What’s you top tip for working from home?

Know when to close for the night. In the first week of lockdown I forgot that. I was ill and still answering emails at midnight. You can’t sustain that, and you need to be able to try and switch off.

How do you avoid distractions and what is the biggest one?

I don’t! My daughter is distracting me right now by telling me about her crazy lockdown dreams! You need distractions just now, they’re ok and I quite like the fact we’ve Meldrum Academy in one room, Turriff Academy in the other and Aberdeenshire East constituency office in the other just now. We’re keeping each other going.

What do you miss most when you are working from home rather than from the office?

I really miss my closest MSP pals, Ruth Maguire and Ash Denham, and James Dornan’s banter.

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