The WFH Diaries - Chris Russell at Tealium

By AdNews | 18 June 2020

AdNews brings the stories of those working from home (WFH) in the advertising and media industry during the coronavirus crisis.

Chris Russell is managing director at Tealium, Australia and New Zealand. 

How are you dealing with the silence?
Silence…what silence? I’m in a three bedroom apartment with my partner and two kids – my partner works in one room, I’m in the other and we’ve both had to take turns homeschooling the kids while managing back-to-back Zoom calls. Like many parents, it’s definitely been a juggling act. If I need silence, I hang with the cockatoos and lorikeets on our balcony and listen to music or sneak to the bedroom for some me time while the kids are entertaining themselves in the playroom.

What is the upside?
Productivity and more human contact. I have had more time to connect with people, both personally and professionally, and even reconnected with people from my past. I’ve also seen a whole new creative side to my team, experimenting with virtual lunch and learns, vodcasts and so on – we even sent a gourmet cheese platter and a bottle of wine to some of our key clients the other week and we all bonded over discussion regarding business and the industry one night. I’m also loving the extra time with my kids. Some days we head to the park to have lunch or do a P.E. class.

The downside?
Zoom calls, too much screen time and less interpersonal contact. Over the last week, I’ve been going into the office once in a while, and even though maybe only one or two colleagues are there, I’ve realised how much I’ve missed going for a quick coffee or chatting about our weekends. Also being able to call out to a colleague in the room to ask a question rather than having to call them has saved a lot of time.

How are you using the commuting time saved?
Fitness in the morning (I love a yoga session), personal time like playing my guitar in the evenings and having extra time with the family. I’ve also got into my home cooking. I’ve had the time to get the cook book out and experiment with different dishes for the kids.

I am looking forward to being back in the office because…
I get to see the beautiful faces of my team. It brings a different dynamic, when you’re able to sit down, see their expressions and their body language and just being able to have more adhoc conversations around business and the deals we’re making with our customers. Also the food variety. I miss trying different foods at the restaurants and food courts around our office.

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