The WFH Diaries - Emma Montgomery of Leo Burnett

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 23 July 2021
Emma Montgomery

AdNews last year launched the WFH Diaries during the depths of the fallout from the pandemic, a way of sharing how people managed their days.

This time, with lockdown running again, we're asking for a run down on how everyone likes to start their day working from home. Some dress to impress, others slip on the t-shirt. And everyone has their own way to carve the day into manageable chunks.

Emma Montgomery, the new CEO at Leo Burnett Australia, returned to Australian from Los Angeles where she was global co-chief strategy officer for TBWA/Worldwide. Before that she was president and chief strategy officer at Leo Burnett in Chicago.

She spent all of 2020 in the US in lockdown.

"I was working in LA but doing East Coast hours, so I started work at 6am," she says.

“Often I was on calls from six. I would be professional looking up top, less so down below. I always have my yoga pants on.

“Today I have shoes but normally I have ugg boots. But I got into the rhythm of almost rolling out of bed and starting work, which is not ideal. But I get my AeroPress going, so I have my coffee in the morning.

“Since we've been back, and I'm doing kind of normal hours, I get up and toss the ball around with my dog (Lainey, the Chocolate labrador) for a bit and let her have a bit of a run around.

“What I've found works is just really trying to work when I feel like I'm energised, and I think that works differently for everybody.

“We were talking about this on our staff call, I think the challenge is everybody's cadence is different. Some people are morning people, some are evening people, a lot are looking after kids and they've got other responsibilities.

“I look at a day and try and block out enough chunks of time to think, take a break, walk outside. I did a walking meeting yesterday with my dog with another colleague. She walked her dog, I walked my dog and we had a call. But it's whatever you need to do to make it work really. For me each day is slightly different.

"My feeling like I'm going to work is to always put makeup on. It makes me feel like I'm ready."

On streaming media, she has gone back to the series Succession, watching it again because it's about to go for the third season.

"So each night I'll watch one episode of Succession from the previous series just to... and that's kind of my wind down is to watch this crazy family."

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