Each day we speak to a journalist about their new normal, today we hear from Sophie Lam.
Sophie Lam is Travel Editor of The i Paper.
Where are you working from right now?
My bedroom, to get some peace and quiet away from my children. Laptop very un-ergonomically perched on a chest of drawers. I alternate between here and the dining table, where the children tend to be at my feet wanting to play or snacks.
What’s your new morning routine?
Get up with the children, catch up on emails, feed and dress children, then go out for a run or a bike ride. Back for a shower and breakfast, then go through the daily SEO list and fire out emails for the day’s story, then look through print pages and liaise with relevant departments. iweekend team Google Hangout at 11 for around half an hour, then take over with the kids to do their lunch at 12. Ideally I’ll get the youngest down for a nap at 12.30 and put the older one in front of some painting / drawing / TV so I can do a bit of work until lunchtime.
What is your workwear looking like?
Jeans, a top – and slippers
How has your working week changed since Covid-19 hit?
Trying to figure out how to do my job and fit in childcare with my husband, who manages an SME. It means that I’m usually back on my laptop once the children are in bed, working until around 10.30. There’s no real timetable.
What are the current plans for filling your pages?
Upbeat escapism – a bit of armchair travel, quizzes, reading/podcasts/film lists etc, bolstererd by topical consumer advice. Trying to keep it unformulaic and unrestrictive in response to our audience’s lives being so restricted. But also realistic. So I’m not running many destination or ‘book now’ features until FCO and govt restrictions are eased.
What does a work lunch look like these days?
Pretty civilised. Toddler napping and salad with my husband and three-year old in the garden.
What’s the biggest challenge for your desk/publication right now?
Resourcing. It’s a daily miracle that newspapers are being produced from bedrooms / sheds / attics in 100s of locations. Behind the scenes, there are crashes and glitches galore. And i has just been taken over by DMGT formally, so there are new systems coming into play. But of course the biggest challenge is advertising. Our jobs depend on it.
Has anything positive come out of this?
We’ve become a lot more creative and resourceful. Lots of new ideas and thinking beyond formulas. Access has become a lot easier so we’re getting more interesting content too.
What’s your top tip for PRs right now?
Don’t be afraid to pitch ideas, or just to check in and say hi. Keeping the conversations going, and collaborating, will mean we are in a better position to relaunch when the time comes.
What’s your comeback plan?
I don’t have one! But ultimately, it will be to help the travel industry back to its feet, I hope stronger and better than before, ironing out inequalities and negative impacts. A chance to re-set.
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