We might all be working from home now. Meeting virtually. Toasting each other onscreen on Fizzy Fridays. But there is your other life that is also now demanding your attention. Family, friends and pets, large and small. Is anyone bombing your zoom calls? Or are you not at home, and volunteering?
Will you share your stories and pictures so we can enjoy them too and get to know you a little better. Please send your picture, story, name and agency to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"In addition to my role as the President of the IPA, my ‘day job’ is being the CEO of Publicis Sapient, a company focused on Digital Business Transformation (DBT), so I find myself busier than ever. To me, DBT is not anything but transformation in a world that is now almost entirely digital. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, digital is even more important than ever – to both reach consumers and to help clients with financial viability, whether it be to reduce costs or set the foundations for growth.
My days now seem to be a never-ending string of video calls. While I tested taking calls from different spots in our flat, I ultimately settled into working from the office. This led to my bookshelf being the focus of several questions during a recent global town hall I hosted for Publicis Sapient and it also featured in a CNBC interview I did this morning."
Working from home has opened a new window into people’s lives – from the books they are reading to kids and pets joining calls, even though we are working farther apart, I do feel like it’s bringing us closer together in some ways.
And for me personally, I think this is the longest contiguous time I've actually been in a single city with my family. It allows me to enjoy some of the little moments that I often miss because I've travelled so much over the course of my career. While I am ready to get through this and get to our ‘new normal’, I am also trying to focus on the positives that are bringing out the best in our people.
Mia and I are in Cornwall with most of our crew - Miles, his girlfriend Naomi, Katie and Tilly. Miles and Naomi both work in agencies, so we’re all busy all day at our various mini offices around the house. The only one missing is our eldest Will, who is in London with his girlfriend Sophie, as they prepare for the arrival of their first child (and our first grandchild) in June. He’s just been furloughed from a TV production role, so as a family we’re very grateful for this scheme, which brings it home as I am spending a lot of the day talking about this and other initiatives to help businesses and people through the crisis. Trade bodies like the IPA and the AA are working flat-out on behalf of their members and there’s been nothing anything like as challenging as this crisis, so the days are spent on video calls with members, colleagues and people from Government. Our day normally starts walking our dogs and ends for me with a 5k run (some evenings) or more often an XL G&T.
Mia and our children are all excellent cooks (I am not, but am a solid washer-upper) so we’re eating well and unlike London, the shops are pretty well-stocked. People and businesses here are being as rigourous as everywhere else about following the social distancing rules, as there has been relatively few Covid-19 cases in Cornwall and we all want to keep it that way. It feels wrong somehow to say I am enjoying this, but I love being with the family down here.
Paradoxically, though we’re all working from home, we’re feeling very close as a team at the AA, with lots of contact and team and member meetings and some great online social events – tonight is ‘Guess the workstation’ as we’re all used to seeing what’s behind each other’s heads, but not what’s in front of them. Here’s my entry – that’s Jack, our Labrador/waste disposal unit, who on this morning’s walk seemed to ingest his weight in sheep poo. Looking forward to seeing that work its way through…
Glasses of wine consumed - daily 2
Daily biscuit eaten count - 2
Cakes baked - 4 (in the past week)
Daily cups of tea/coffee log: 4
Chocolate consumption - too much to measure 😂
"I’m at home with the boys and thankful to have a house and a garden meaning we can spread out and have some space.
"As for me I’m enjoying the gift of time (something we so rarely have) and feeling fine, reading quite a bit, looking at different online courses or angles I might take for my next adventure. I'm trying to stay positive and not worry too much that my chances of getting a job any time in the next six months are very limited, and remember how fortunate I am compared to so many people who are worrying about how they are going to pay the rent. But, still I feel a bit useless as everyone is rushing around on work calls and I’m not, but I have volunteered locally and for the NHS so I'm hoping that something comes of that.
"Otherwise, I'm cuddling and walking Digby the dog as much as I can and doing a bit of advisory stuff to female start ups - which I love. I did a two hour Zoom call today of a business I am going to Chair and it really got my brain going and made me want to get back to work.
"Cooking for the boys (who are loving eating so well!), baking and trying to do some exercise - yesterday I went for a run and then dusted off the Wii fit, and was feeling quite pleased with myself until it told me my Wii fit age was eight years older than I am 😱😱😱 Outrageous! It’s going back in the cupboard for another ten years!"
"Over a week ago I emptied my cupboards and threw some things into my car (I must confess I hadn’t really thought it through … my active imagination was running riot and I was convinced they would stop people leaving London) and drove to my place in Cornwall. I was soon joined by my son, his girlfriend and my lodger Meg. We have now been holed up together for over a week. Everyone is working really hard on their computers in different rooms but getting out at lunchtime. We can walk to a beautiful beach and the weather is amazing.
"I have a bit of work to do, but have a nice routine. Firstly, checking if there any border terrier puppies coming up for sale, followed by a seven-minute workout. Then I do some Italian homework for my one hour lesson on Fridays. At some stage I will walk to the beach which takes about an hour, then I have a garden that needs weeding, a lawn that needs mowing, a pond that needs clearing and windows that need painting ... so there is always something to do. I have also been sculpting and have quite a few plans on that front. I have been watching old classic films - Jaws (still amazing) and then ... Jagged Edge last night. We play board games some nights and take it in turns to invent supper while we work our way through the store cupboard. I’m reading too. And I’ve volunteered to help locally and with the NHS. So far I’m enjoying it in a weird way."
Just like everyone else I’m trying to stay at home and save lives. Also like everyone else, our house is full of people making video calls. Two of our grown up children, Ted and Phoebe have decamped from London as they have worked out that WFH in the Wiltshire countryside is a little less stressful than in their shared London houses. We are lucky to live in a rural idyll. Even before social distancing became a thing, going out for a walk around here did not involve seeing anyone apart from the odd rambler carrying a laminated OS map. Which is why we were surprised to see this new poster campaign just outside our house courtesy of the fast acting Wiltshire Constabulary. With so many of the family around day after day, Dulcie, our dog, has never been happier but she still hasn’t come to terms with physical distancing. Playing the guitar is my project for lockdown. Have so far managed to learn the riff from Born in the USA. My popularity at home, however, is on the wane.
“Day 3 of the kids’ school being closed due to coronavirus. One of them has work assigned and should be doing it, the other is feeling ‘crushed’ as he was working hard towards his A-Level examinations and is now feels he has ‘no purpose’. I look up from my laptop and see Kid A washing the car. A few minutes later Kid B joins him. They have never, ever washed the car before. They have not been asked to wash the car. They seem to be enjoying washing the car. These are strange days indeed.”
"I’m finding it pretty exhausting working from home to be honest, which is surprising given the lack of commute but I think it’s a combination of sheer volume of work on rescheduling, having to sort out lunch and supper for four people every day, eating all my emergency supply of chocolate in the first couple of days, shaping close quarters with hormonal and frustrated teens, and general stress of the unknown...walking my dog Snowy and cuddling him at tea break time is a nice interlude though..."Please send us your pictures and comments