People have asked why I selected my PhD research topic. My simple answer is that I feel that it’s time for me to give something back and in some small way contribute to solving one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. The scale of the challenge, providing energy to a growing global population while dealing with the climate change emergency and the impact of Covid-19, requires a whole new level of human innovation, collaboration and creativity.
I’m not an engineer or inventor so I can’t contribute to the amazing technological breakthroughs that are required. My professional career has always focused on people and I hope that my research project, examining the experience of working from home during Covid-19 and how that impacts well-being, will inform exciting new approaches to working practices.
I believe we need to find creative solutions that allows us to flourish in this hybrid working environment. There are many benefits to working from home and we have a chance to unlock greater efficiencies and take some vital first steps towards reducing our impact on the environment, kick starting a return to a greener way of life. However, there are also many challenges to working in isolation. I want to explore this topic thoroughly so we can develop a viable way of working that brings us more time for our loved ones and ourselves while developing a more sustainable long-term energy industry.
The other question people ask me is why I’m giving up a great job to commit full time to the research project. My answer again is a simple one. Time! I started the PhD part-time 2 years ago and it will take another 4 years to complete it if I continue in this mode. By then the findings will be obsolete and I will have missed my opportunity to help. The world is changing quickly, and I hope that by accelerating the project I can offer robust findings that will support, develop, motivate and realise the full potential of people working across the UK.
It’s not too late for you to contribute to the research. So if you work in support of the UK energy industry (directly, indirectly, supply chain, academia etc) and were office based before Covid-19 and home based since, click here to complete the survey (takes 10 minutes).. The closing date for the survey is Friday 11th December. You can also find out more about the research project here