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A Day in the Life of a New Remote Worker: Meet Sehrish from Shield GEO

We love our team and believe every single person contributes significantly to the overall success of Shield. To help you get to know our team members a little better, we’re profiling our people in this ongoing series  — A Day in the Life. 

Through the series, we’ve learned how our team utilizes the flexible work policy and structure their days around family, hobbies, travel, and side hustles.  We’ve seen early risers and late workers, those who love working from home, and others who prefer coworking spaces or local cafes. But mostly, we’ve come to understand some of the stories that make our team great. 

This month we’re profiling Sehrish Riaz Ahmed, our Operations Administrator. Sehrish is from Pakistan and is now living in Malaysia with her mother and four sisters. 

Meet Sehrish 

Meet Sehrish!

Sehrish joined Shield in 2020 after losing her previous job due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

She found out about the position through Open Door Policy (ODP), an organization that believes remote work can be an opportunity for disadvantaged groups to improve their livelihoods. They deliver online skills training programs to communities such as refugees to increase their remote skills and help them get hired remotely. 

“I come from Pakistan, and I came to Malaysia in 2016,” Sehrish says. “When I landed here, I didn’t know how things would work.”

She had just completed her Masters in Literature and wanted to do something in that field but quickly found it wasn’t easy to find suitable positions. 

“I started a teaching job in a school, and I did work for one year. But after that, it was enough,” she says. “I tried to continue, but it wasn’t working.”

She then transitioned into a more business-oriented space and worked in customer support until the company reduced its staff in 2020 due to COVID. 

“All the refugees living in Malaysia don’t have the easy access to find jobs here because they prefer Malaysians only, even if you are educated or have very good skills,” Sehrish says. 

“ODP realized this, and then they wanted us to get remote jobs. Because in remote jobs, people don’t have issues like, where you stay or who you are because all you need is your laptop, your skills and then you can start working.”

Enjoying the cherry blossoms last Chinese New Year

Sehrish trained with ODP for three months before applying for her current role with Shield. 

“Of course, I can’t learn what people are learning in two years or three years of MBA, but I did try to explore as many things [as possible],” she says. 

“They polished us up, explaining the basic remote skills —  you should know this or how things will come up. Some of the things you will learn in the companies. But they did try their best to give us an awareness of how things work.”

Sehrish joined our Operations team and, like all new recruits, has continued training on the job.

“I will always keep on asking during training. How did you manage to do this? So I like to ask my manager Abhijit lots of questions,” she says. 

“Even if after the training session I feel like there’s something I can’t do, I’m always typing — ‘Okay, Abhijit, I’m having a problem here.’ So he is very supportive. He will answer me back as soon as he sees a message.”

A Day in the Life of Sehrish

6:30 am

Wake up, start with my morning prayers, and then go back to sleep.

8:00 am

Wake up again, prepare breakfast with my sisters. Make my “Chai”, which is also known as milk tea. I usually love to enjoy my tea every day. I like to drink strong tea so I can function well for the rest of the day. 

8:30 am

Have breakfast with my siblings with some morning chit-chats.

9:00 am

Clean kitchen and rooms, play games on my phone, scroll Instagram for no reason.

10:00 am

I start around ten almost every day.  First thing, I check all my emails and notifications.

11:00 to 12:30 pm

I try to finish all the tasks which might have come overnight and take a quick break and do some simple exercise.

12:30 to 1:00 pm

I am a foody and usually feel hungry within 2 to 3 hours. (but I won’t eat too much).

2:00 to 3:00 pm

After my lunch, I’ll go for a shower and finish my afternoon prayers. I keep checkg skype, slack, and my emails for anything new coming up. I grab a book and read some pages.

4:30 to 5:30 pm

Every Tuesday and Thursday, we have team meetings. I enjoy them. We discuss our weekly tasks or issues and amuse each other with light humor.

5:30 pm

I check my notifications from SF, double-check if I have missed something before I go offline.

6:00 pm

After I have finished my routine tasks, I make some noodles or spaghetti for me or maybe a toast with coffee (I don’t drink coffee every day, especially during evenings, or else I won’t sleep on time.)

7:00 to 8:00 pm

As soon as I finish, I go to my window and check traffic on the highway ( I have adopted this weird habit during Covid lockdowns), enjoy the sunset, pray and start preparing dinner. I like to try different things for dinner, and I save videos to try on weekends.

8:00 to 10:00 pm

I spend more time with my family. We talk about everything. We talk about food, traveling, people, society, boring teachers, old friends, cunning relatives😉 , anything.

11:30 pm

Get to my bed, scroll my phone and fall asleep.

 

Adapting to remote work

Working with Shield is Sehrish’s first time experiencing remote work, and while it’s only been a few months, she’s adamant the style of work is something she wants to do long term. 

“I’m loving it. I get a lot of time to spend with my family, which I wasn’t getting at my last jobs,” she says. 

Sehrish and her family bearing the cold while visiting a hill station

“I remember my younger sister would always say, ‘I only see you at breakfast and dinner.’ But now she can see me the whole day! This is the best thing that has happened during COVID. Even though I lost my job, I did get a job. And it’s a better version!”

Being home has also meant more time for her hobbies, like cooking. 

“If I’m watching a video on youtube or Instagram, I’m always thinking, ‘ok, I can find all of this stuff and make this on the weekend,” she says. 

“I’ll go to the kitchen, and I’ll open the fridge door thinking, ‘What can I eat?’ I do this every day. I don’t even know how many times a day. Even when I’m eating my lunch, I’ll be thinking, ‘What can I make for dinner tonight?’”

It’s something her whole family has in common and something they often do together. 

“If I’m eating and I didn’t cook for my sisters, they’ll bring their spoons and dig it into my bowl, so I always cook for them as well!” she says. 

“My mum always uses a local saying. It means a family who eats together when the mum is cooking, has more love, and will stay together for longer. She always says that.”  

She’s also hoping to incorporate reading into her routine a bit more now that she has more time. 

“During our retreat last month, I did mention that I have a target set for reading 50 books this year, but this is the third month, and I’m reading only the third book,” she admits. 

“When I mentioned that to Tim, he asked, ‘how many books did you read last year?’ I said  I ‘eight’, and then he said, ‘why didn’t you just double it up or make it to 20?’ I don’t know why! I want to achieve something big. But let’s see, if I crossed 20, that will also be good.”

But of all the adjustments and benefits, for Sehrish, spending more time with family is the most significant. 

“I missed that part for a long time, and then I got it back because of Shield and this remote job.”

— Bree Caggiati

Want to know more about Sehrish? Visit her profile on Our Team page!

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