July 19, 2019

A day in the life of…

Gill Nowell, DSO Lead, Transformation team

I operate in one of three modes – Mum Mode, Work Mode or Run Mode. There are days when I switch between all three and on occasion I even find myself multi-moding; for example, when I’m running I’m prone to having some of my best work-related ideas. I’ll caveat this by acknowledging that these only remain ‘best’ if I remember them by the time I reach home.

I live just outside Chester in the north-west and have had the luxury in recent years of a six mile commute to the office. Moving jobs in June 2018 to work as Distribution System Operator (DSO) Lead for ElectraLink meant a slight change in logistics; my weekly commute is now 226 miles. I spend two days every week in the London office and three days working from home or out visiting stakeholders. A typical day in the office for me starts with full Mum Mode as I usher my children through the motions of the early morning routine, which culminates in us all leaving the house in some semblance of reasonable time. The drop off at breakfast club then sees me switch into Work Mode. I work well on the train and find the quiet coach ideal for focusing on an item of work that requires concentration.

On arrival in London Euston I head straight to ElectraLink’s Holborn office on the tube. It’s a welcoming place to be; the people, the environment, the amazing coffee machine and incredible array of fruit and biscuits. The afternoon is inevitably a mix of client and internal meetings. I like to make the most of being in real, as opposed to virtual, contact with colleagues when I’m in the office. Like it or not, access to industry and government stakeholders is far more straightforward being based in London. I tend to spend a fair proportion of my city-based time out and about engaging with innovators, with electric vehicle data-related activity being high on my priority list at the moment.

I can liken the working ethos at ElectraLink to our shifting energy landscape as our electricity networks transition to a smarter, whole energy system. ElectraLink’s dataset, products and services under the Energy Market Data Hub (EMDH) sit at the heart of this transition. The EMDH is a digital innovation platform, analogous to the ElectraLink team. With a little innovation and plenty of flexibility, we operate at our smartest, to the maximum benefit of not only the business but to our customer base as a whole; just as with a little open data innovation we are supporting the network operators in their move towards a smarter, more flexible energy system.

I’m yet to try Run Mode when in London. That’s next on my list.

And a quick mention of my passion project: EVclicks is an online, crowdsourced library of electric vehicle images for schools, community groups and projects to use. Feel free to browse and use any of the images. You can even donate your own EV images. Simply tweet your photo and tag @EVclicks.

Gill’s blog post was first published on LinkedIn.