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A Day in the Life of a Remote Worker, Meet Daisy from Shield GEO

Flexibility has always been a big part of the culture at Shield Geo. From the very beginning, our founders worked from all over the world, at home and in offices – wherever worked best for them at each stage. This is still true now for all employees of Shield Geo

Working co-located in office spaces doesn’t work for everyone, and equally working alone from home doesn’t work for everyone either. By accommodating these differences, we’ve promoted a happier, healthier and more productive team.

Each month we’ve been sharing the stories of our employees. We love how each of them has found a way to create a work-life balance that works for them and makes room for the things that are important to them.

This month we spoke with Daisy Daswani, one of our subject matter experts.

Meet Daisy

Daisy and her family

Daisy came onboard with Shield Geo almost a year ago. She has lived in Hong Kong with her husband and two sons for the last 9 years but is originally from Italy and has had stints living in the UK and Japan. Daisy uses her background in corporate tax and global mobility in her role as a Subject Matter Expert in our finance team. She also works closely with the implementation team to ensure that the first payroll for new assignees runs smoothly.

Daisy began working with Shield Geo after realising her corporate roles in global mobility were no longer as fulfilling after having children. She was looking for something that accommodated a better work-life balance and allowed her more time with her family.

“Once you have children your priorities change,” she says.

“I didn’t enjoy [my work] as much and, unfortunately, I would only see my kids a couple hours a day if I was lucky.”

A remote role means that Daisy can set her work hours around her family and even make time for her son’s school activities and after school football.

Daisy’s son, Zane

“I’ve never had to miss one match since I started with Shield,” she says.

“I say to my friends and family all the time, ‘I have finally found the perfect job and perfect balance.’”

Daisy starts her days with her sons. She drops them to the bus stop for school and then gets in a run before starting work at 8am. She’ll usually work in a big block until 4 pm when her sons get home from school. This way, she’s able to focus hard during work time and then be available for her sons while they’re at home.

The set-up is especially helpful as Daisy’s husband travels a lot for work.

“Before, he was travelling a lot [and] I was working a lot and [we couldn’t be there for the kids],” she says.

“At least this way one of us is [always] there to help at home.” 

Daisy’s son, Zayden

While working during school hours is her preference, Daisy does enjoy the flexibility to change things up when she needs to. Now, she can go to appointments, run errands and attend any school events that fall during school hours.

“If I have something in the middle of the day, I’ll let the team know that I’ll be gone for a couple of hours and then I’ll make up the time,” she says.

“Before I would have to pick and choose, [what school events I would go to]. I wouldn’t be able to go to all of them, and there were always questions asked.”

Last Summer, Daisy spent a month working from Okinawa, where her husband’s family live.

“The kids were busy and spending time with their grandparents, and I still managed to work.”

She switched up her hours during that time to a block in the morning and one in the evening. This meant she could spend more time with her family while they were all on holiday, while still maintaining a full workload.

“[In another role] I would have either had to take unpaid leave, or I would have to send my kids without me,” she says.

A Day in the Life of Daisy

6:10 I wake up and have my Nespresso espresso (Can’t start the day without it!)
6:20 The kids are up and I am frantically rushing around to ensure they get themselves ready for school.
7:00 I drop the kids to the bus stop. Once they are off, I go for a short run, stretch a little and back home to get ready for the day.
8:00 I get my second cup of coffee and something for breakfast and start my workday with a morning chat with my team over Skype. The chat continues the whole day for both work and non-work-related matters.
8:30 We’ll usually have a Subject Matter Expert meeting to go through anything that needs attention.
9:00 I go through the rest of my emails, prioritizing my work according to urgency and time zones. Most of my communications in the mornings are with our partners in Asia.
I’ll also try and fit in a healthy green juice!
11:30 I join the morning Zoom chat with the APAC team. We talk about anything and everything – Kids, food, weekend plans, our favorite Netflix shows and general happenings.
12:00 I’ll continue working on unfinished tasks from the morning and any new ones that have come in.
13:30 My tummy usually starts to rumble around now, and I will remember to have some lunch while working.
14:30 I might have a meeting with the Implementation team to discuss on where we are at with new onboards and how we can ensure a smooth first payroll.
15:00 This is when Europe usually comes online, so I spend the next hour or so on cases related to Europe and chatting to our European partners and colleagues.
16:00 I grab another coffee and complete any pending work before I finish for the day.
The kids come back home from school and off I go to their activities, help them with their homework or projects, give them dinner and tuck them into bed.
20:00 Once kids are settled, I might take a quick peek at my emails if there is anything specific/urgent I am expecting to come in. Otherwise I will relax, read a book, take a walk with my hubby or watch tv with a glass of wine

Tips for working from home

For the most part, the transition to remote work has made Daisy’s life a lot easier. She’s finally able to create a balance that works for her family, while also completing work that’s meaningful to her.

However, there was an adjustment period and some issues to overcome, especially at the beginning.

“I think it took time to get to those boundaries right,” Daisy says. “Switching off is difficult.”

For Daisy, having managers encourage her to finish on time helped.

“It’s the first time that I’ve had a manager say, ‘alright off you go now.’”

It was also important to set strong start and finish times.

“Even though your hours are of course still flexible, I definitely think it is important to have some sort of timing. Otherwise, you just don’t know when to stop.”

Even now, Daisy will occasionally find things get a bit quiet at home without having a co-worker sitting right next to her – to combat this, she recommends changing locations.

“I will go down to the coffee shop or sometimes even just move to my sofa,” she says. “That little move helps.”

She also finds having chats with her team online makes a big difference.

“You don’t feel like you’re missing out on office chats,” she says.

“Although we don’t get a happy hour – I do miss that!”

– Bree Caggiati, June 2019

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

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