Stacey McEwan (pictured, right) works as an Executive Assistant at a London-based consumer goods company. She tells PA Life about navigating the pandemic as an Assistant, the biggest challenges she’s faced and slipping back into high heels…
I was temping and was contacted about a two-week placement. 14 years later I am still here. Initially, I had every intention of returning to my former industry but was kept busy, interested, and observed there were a number of retirement parties and even the young people had been there for some time. Everyone spoke so highly of the company, so when an opportunity arose for me to stay, I jumped at the chance.
What is the best thing about your job?
I love that I have a great degree of control and freedom/autonomy within my job and have always been given the opportunity (in fact, it is very much encouraged) to innovate. There is a genuine spirit of cooperation and shared goals. One of my initial surprises was, for such a large cooperation, it was extremely relaxed. I had worked in some aggressive environments, hence why I decided to temp, I’ve found my current employers are the antithesis of that.
How has lockdown been for you?
I’ve had an overall positive lockdown; cemented relationships, made new friends – believe it or not – and gained more time with my little one. It has, of course, had it challenges; a little mundane at times. Our world shrank as my only outing during the peak was the weekly expedition to the shop because online grocery shopping was impossible to secure. However, if that is as bad as it got for me, I’ll happily take it.
Did you work from home before lockdown?
I was lucky enough to be able to work from home one day a week.
Would you like to continue with flexible working options going forward?
Absolutely, and if the last 15 or so months have proved anything, it’s that employees are more than capable of working independently outside of the traditional office environment. And if this promotes a more balanced home and work-life, then everyone benefits.
What has been the most challenging part of your job during the pandemic?
Navigating the new ways of working. In many cases, this has been for the better and I know they will continue post pandemic. I have missed that interaction with colleagues which cannot be replicated over Teams/Zoom. And dressing up and make-up – or lack thereof – was a surprise contender on the list of what I missed. I will have to slowly ease myself back into heels…