• Question: Do you work very hard for your job or is it relaxed?

    Asked by akinashi on 26 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 26 Jun 2019:

      Important question – well this really depends on what experiments are running, how my cells are doing, whether I have deadlines looming… I thinks it’s fair to say that most of the time I have to work pretty hard, so I make sure I get some ‘down time’ every day; whether this is a trip to the gym, or just reading a book before bed, it’s really important for me to let my brain calm down before I try to sleep – otherwise sleeping gets pretty challenging! We do also have lots of seminars we can go to, and plenty of social things organised at work to help us relax – there are happy hours, yoga classes, and even ‘seated massages’ at our institute. I’m very lucky to work somewhere where everyone takes mental wellbeing seriously – we have to, otherwise our work suffers and the science we do may be compromised. One reason that I appreciate working in the lab is that I can manage my own time and work to my own natural body clock – which is set quite late compared to most people. If you are forever fighting your internal rhythm, you will feel constantly tired and not get the best out of your brain!

    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 27 Jun 2019:

      As Nina said this can vary quite dramatically. Sometimes I’m just waiting for cells to reach a certain age before I can use them, so all I have to do is feed them 3 times a week. During times like this I’ll catch up on reading research papers, plan new experiments or do other experiments that don’t need the cells. But other times it can be a lot busier. A great thing about being a scientist is that we have a lot of flexibility over how we use our time and plan our days. It’s all mostly work I find enjoyable so, and I know it sounds cheesy, but I don’t really feel like I’m ‘working’.

    • Photo: James Streetley

      James Streetley answered on 27 Jun 2019:

      Both! I can be working very hard to meet deadlines or for a complex experiment that requires a lot of thought and labour. I have great colleagues, so for the most part even when we are busy we still have a relaxed and chatty environment. One thing that really helps is being in charge of your own schedule, so when I need to make more time for relaxing and catching up on my thoughts, I can clear my schedule a little, and sometimes work from home.

    • Photo: David Wilson

      David Wilson answered on 27 Jun 2019:

      A bit of both really, everyday I try to make the most of the time i’m at work, not waste a moment and be productive. But I enjoy what I do so it doesn’t feel like hard work.
      I think it’s very important to have balance in your life so I do pay attention to how i feel and try to actively relax in the evening after work and at weekends.

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 27 Jun 2019:

      So its hard to exactly describe.. but I work hard and at the same time stay relaxed….

      Our work is hard and demanding (as is any work) but whilst doing it it’s also fun and with some great people. So whilst your working hard, you can be relatively relaxed and not stress too much.

      That being said, when there are a lot of deadlines, it does become a little bit less relaxed but still not too bad 👍😊

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 27 Jun 2019:

      Studying for a PhD, there are times which I have felt are very busy, and I need to work really hard, and other times when it is more relaxing. I do work pretty hard in my job, however I have been learning to relax into my work more, by prioritising my tasks, and tackling these one by one. It has been really important for me when I feel work is getting very busy, to make time to do things that are fun and find time to relax. Whenever I do this, I feel refreshed and am able to work smarter. I do enjoy my work a lot and this is probably why I work hard a lot of the time!

    • Photo: Thiloka Ratnaike

      Thiloka Ratnaike answered on 27 Jun 2019:

      Its a mixture like the others said. I would say even as a junior doctor in Paediatrics there are days when it fairly relaxed (these are quite rare and usually if you are working in a smaller hospital), but the majority of the time you are rushed off your feet doing all kinds of jobs. It doesn’t feel hard to me because I enjoy it. In research the deadlines can feel tough- like if you need to get a publication out and have to do the analyses quickly; however the rest of the time you have to plan your working life quite independently. I like the variety of working patterns, I think I would be bored if I had to do the same pattern of working every day (this is also a reason why I probably take on too much)!

    • Photo: Deepak Chandrasekharan

      Deepak Chandrasekharan answered on 27 Jun 2019:

      I try work hard as I want to do the best job I can and do nice experiments and good surgery! It’s fun to do this with nice colleagues and friends!

      I make sure I relax too though with stuff outside of work – this is really important so I don’t end up not enjoying work when actually it’s really great!

    • Photo: Lorena Boquete Vilarino

      Lorena Boquete Vilarino answered on 28 Jun 2019:

      It depends a lot on the day! Some days I work really really hard, sometimes for very long. Some other days I can be more relaxed, having a coffee while I do some data analysis. The hard working is usually either due to stress and having to multitask a lot, or due to doing some very repetitive for very long.
      I think it’s very much a matter of perspective… My mum used to work as a cleaner and my dad worked as a builder, a baker, an electrician, and repairing trucks in a petrol station. I would say their jobs were a lot harder than mine!