AdNews brings the stories of those working from home (WFH) in the advertising and media industry during the coronavirus crisis.
Adele Wieser is regional managing director, APAC, at Index Exchange:
How are you dealing with the silence?
To be honest, there hasn’t been much silence in this household for the last 4 years. We have a 1 year old (Emily) and a 3 year old (Oliver) with us so what we thought was chaotic before, has heightened for us in this new working from home world. The kids are slowing starting to understand the concept of working from home and Oli has been quick to remind me that I need to be quiet when he's on calls to his bosses - on a number of occasions.
What’s the upside?
It’s definitely being able to spend more time with the kids and enjoying this phase of their growth, as a family with two full time working parents it’s hard sending them off to daycare so it’s really helped us focus on more family time.
Prior to this current work from home corporate environment, Index Exchange had an incredibly flexible WFH policy which made the transition to this new temporary norm of juggling careers with full time child care so much easier. In addition to providing this flexibility and support, there’s been other initiatives to further include and engage our global families like the recent “Work With Your Kids” Day which I was lucky enough to MC for the APAC region. We spent the morning colouring, doing quizzes, video challenges and interviewed the kids themselves. The highlights for our household were the kids yoga session and the drawing tutorial, because anything with pens and pencils is Emily’s favourite activity at the moment.
The juggle is a struggle with a husband that is also working full time and 2 small children popping into the background when I'm in meetings. While it can be difficult at times for me or the person on the other end of the call, I am trying to enjoy all of these little interactions (from showing off their lego masterpieces to batches of cauliflower rice), as they will at some point disappear when the kids go back to daycare. Alone time is also something that gets eaten into, it was rare before but it’s even more rare now, and it’s really easy to find yourself sitting at the computer late at night instead of taking the evening time to unwind. We’ve definitely made weekends a priority and use this time to completely switch off and spend time as a family.
How are you using the commuting time saved?
It’s a double-edged sword, I must admit that trying to get a family of 4 out the door before 8am each morning to make the commute to work was a challenge but, we’ve now flipped this to “no process at all” and take each day as it comes. I’ve found that, with the additional time I have in the morning, there are more opportunities to connect and collaborate with colleagues based in other countries - as Index is a global business, this is really important for us.
Tips for making WFH work?
Try and find a dedicated space for working: we have a spare room that we’ve converted into an office which has been a godsend.
Be more structured with your days: block out every hour of the day.
Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise.
Educate your kids: help them understand what Work From Home means.
I am looking forward to being back in the office because …
I’m looking forward to a sense of normality and daily routine. In such a fast-paced and ever changing space, the simplicity of a “normal day” routine is calming. In addition to that, I’m in the same boat as a lot of other of these contributors - I also genuinely miss my team and our tight knit industry. While some of the in-office antics and banter has thankfully stayed with us with the help of tools like Slack and Bluejeans, they haven’t completely replaced throwing around some banter in person or laughing at a silly Gif together! Virtual coffees have been a great forum to keep in contact with our partners, but they really just aren’t the same as sitting down and having an honest and thought provoking conversation.
Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org