Today I would like to introduce Muneera Williams who is joining the Voxel Hub Advisory Board. Muneera has this fantastic gravity and power of presence which – I am certain – will hold the Voxel Hub on the right track in the future. She is kind, fun and generous. She is honest and courageous. It is a privilege to have her on board.
Please tell us a little bit about you – what do you do for a living, and what is your current professional focus?
So I have a mix of a Multi-Hyphenate and portfolio career. I do multiple things, some of which are ongoing, some are reoccurring, and some are one-off or on more ad-hoc bases. I am formally employed by Off the Record as a Women’s Development Worker, and I am currently managing my team for a short period. I am also a Community Researcher for In Between Time which is a 3-year project, these roles are ongoing with a fixed long term contract. I regularly write and broadcast for BBC Radio 2 which is recurring, but at any point, we could walk away from the agreement with no further consequences despite having done it for 3 years, this is reoccurring. I also have a career as a cultural producer and poet. I work on commissions, and performances several times a month, and then there are time-limited projects like the play I am working on, though these may be longer, they are one-off things.
How important are digital technologies for your business?
Although I am aware of the fact that I have not really acknowledged the scope of it, digital technologies are vital in what I do. They help me to share my work, advertise my work, network, and a lot of the organisation tools I used are online. I am still very much an analogue girl, but I could not survive without digital technologies, and it is my firm belief that once I embrace this more, my business will grow.
What are your hobbies, activities beyond paid professional work?
Ummm a lot of what I am into professionally both in my freelance work and formal employment are the things that I engage with outside of work. Poetry, cultural production, particularly around words and audio like podcast etc. and I like reading essays and articles that consider cultural context and how that impact in the world that we live in.
Beer or wine? Milkshake or a smoothie? A good steak or a superfood salad?
If it is homemade ginger beer, then beer all the time. I have only eaten steak a few times in my life, and I eat a lot of salads, but 50 per cent of the time that I am eating salads I wish it was a stake.
Are you a cat or a dog person?
I like them both I can’t choose one, although when I had a cat, whenever he saw me in public, he just walked by like he did not know me.
How do you manage work/life balance?
With great difficulty, slowly, I am starting to find new hobbies which are disconnected to my passion and work-life as they seem to roll into one. It has improved as I get older and as I make time for the women in my life who remind me of the necessity to stay well and fill my watering hole in order to draw water for others, but this is still a challenge for me.
How, in your professional opinion, are digital technologies impacting your life today? What is their impact on your wellbeing?
This is a really new journey for me, and I am still at the beginning of exploring in this respect, but what I have realised is sometimes digital technologies get a bad wrap when it is not the technologies themselves that are negative, but the capitalist mentalities that sit alongside it. Too much of anything can be bad, but the way in which digital technologies has empowered communities is undeniable, I guess now it is about tackling the powers that wish to exploit technology and people as a means of making a profit, and exploring the habit of overconsumption as well as being intentional with finding ways as using technology for good and seeing it as a wellbeing apparatus.
You are joining the Advisory Board of Voxel Hub at a time when most people embrace the remote work and digital technologies with astonishing speed. What trends and patterns do you see in our collective digital wellbeing at the moment?
The biggest trend is the conversation around wellbeing and technology, even a year ago I rarely saw the words together, and now multiple times a day the words technology and wellbeing appear in emails, feeds and articles couple together like long lost companions who have recently been united.
How are you taking care of yourself in those challenging times?
I am meeting with the women who hold me together, spending time with family, cooking my favourite foods and in contras fasting, taking time to rub my skin a little longer, learning Arabic, writing and listening to podcasts.
What would be your top digital wellbeing tip at the moment for our blog readers?
If it has to be one, awareness is the key. Before making changes and suggesting things that may be right for me but totally not work for someone else, having awareness and analysing self would be my first suggestion. When do you work best, when do you fill drained, how long can you work comfortably for?