Life under Lockdown: Mahalath Halperin

Mahalath Halperin, architect and environmental consultant, discusses the work/life balance of the COVID-19 lockdown.

According to architect and Sustainability Awards judge Mahalath Halperin, not very much has yet changed due to the lockdown, other than of course, “not going to see clients at their homes or having them come here, but don’t have any new clients anyhow, as we are still recovering from drought and bushfire.”

“The only difference is so far is no hugs with the clients when we meet,” she says, adding that, “the way I work from day-to-day is pretty much the same.”

“I have worked from home for ages, so I am already well-disciplined to get dressed for work, stick to work hours, not get distracted – that said, I have also always allowed myself flexibility to go and water the garden, feed the chooks, hang up the washing, sit on the deck with a coffee and work on my book, knowing I have other times outside working hours up my sleeve to make up for it.”

Mahalath Haletrin’s garden. / Supplied

“I have always tried to leave the house at least once a day – most often just for a coffee – though that is now restricted to take away only. But I still leave for site visit – only every 2-3 weeks at moment, plus there are trips to the Blood Bank, groceries etc.”

“And while I have been doing online meetings for years with state, national and international boards, it seems to be a lot more all of a sudden with local committees too – which can be frustrating with other members who are struggling with the format.”

One thing Haplerin says she has noticed “is a plethora of online CPD all of a sudden – most of it free when it used to be quite costly – so that is also taking up more time in order to take advantage of the opportunity.”

“We have the best NBN in Australia – Armidale was one of the first to be hooked up – with fibre to the house, so there is usually no issues though I have noticed the occasional slow down, but that is pretty rare.”

As for something positive from this lockdown working arrangement, Halperin says that “as we finally had some rain, our garden looks magnificent so happy to be stuck here every day.”


Article originally appeared on Architecture and Design.