A Lesson in Resiliency, Teamwork, and a Bright Future   

While some people worked from home before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a whole new ballgame for those who have not.  Engineers working from home that are normally in the field faced a unique experience full of challenges during the pandemic.   For many engineers working from home like me, it added responsibilities that I never anticipated such as taking care of aging parents while trying to balance work responsibilities, or patiently teaching them how to use a computer. Noise: Trying to focus in an otherwise quiet home that is now bustling with activity. Dialing into a video meeting while your toddler or your family or friends demand attention. Space: Sharing home office space with your spouse. Kids: Homeschooling your kids during lunch breaks.

A regular workday was not ’regular’ anymore because nothing about our lives during COVID-19 was ‘regular’.

At first, it was not easy to adapt to the fear and uncertainty that the pandemic brought, especially with loved ones living far from you. With things out of your control the only thing you can ask is for their well-being. I remember thinking to myself, “stay safe, be strong, remain focused on my goals, and keep the trust of those that have placed their trust in me.” 

Establishing Routine

To maintain motivation, I created a familiar routine and set schedules to remain efficient. This included setting an alarm as if I were going into the office, exercising, showering, dressing and eating breakfast before I started working each day. I would not let distractions at home interrupt me although it was not always easy to ignore the housework! With dedication and discipline I adapted to a less dynamic environment (missing the refinery field walkdowns inspections), and suddenly everything began to flow and became more manageable for me.  Connecting with my coworkers to follow up on projects, asking for feedback, offering support, and socializing via virtual lunches or coffee dates was helpful to maintain a sense of normalcy and try to maintain an appropriate work-life balance.

Future Forward

Our world is not the same now, but I feel optimistic about the future when I think of all the amazing people who give me reasons to keep working hard.  I have experienced an amazing community at Brindley Engineering, full of people willing to help and support their teams even in the most unexpected times. So yes, nothing is as it was and nothing will be the same after 2020, but I can say that together we are killing it at Brindley Engineering! During these tough times we remain resilient, and we continue doing our best for each other.  We continue to look for a better tomorrow full of hope and new challenges, ironically thanks to COVID-19.

— Cristian Grillo, Mechanical Engineer, Brindley Engineering

Read Part 1: My Journey Finding an Engineering Job During COVID-19