The WFH Diaries - James Gilbert at HubSpot

By AdNews | 29 July 2020

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

James Gilbert is senior director, strategic partnerships at HubSpot


How do you deal with working from home?

I’m trying to make the most of its advantages and minimise the challenges and downsides. Overall I like it, and if I had to choose between working in an office and working from home I’d choose working in an office, but I think a hybrid is the best of both worlds.

The perks of working from home include …

I am lucky that I’m in a role which unlocks the greatest perk of WFH — which is control over your time. There are some roles that still require you to align your working hours with normal business hours, which gives you less room with how you arrange your day.

In my role this flexibility means I can get to my desk pretty early, get in a good amount of work, take a couple of hours’ out in the late afternoon to go surfing before coming back after dinner for a couple of hours to finish the day. This also works well to connect with colleagues in Singapore, where I’m normally based, and in the US and EMEA.

The downsides include …

I am a pretty self assured person, and while I’m making WFH life work for me and am making the most of a flexible schedule, I still feel a little guilty if I’m not at my desk during those normal business hours.

I think that there are some healthy daily routines linked to being in the office, like walking to work or ducking out for a lunchtime workout, that a lot of people are missing right now. The biggest downside that I’m feeling has to be the lack of comradery and the social aspect of being in the office with the team. No matter what people say, video conferencing will never fully replace face 2 face interactions.

The upsides include …

Having control over your time and arranging your day to align with how you work best, or planning your work to when you’re most productive. My dress code is definitely a lot more casual, particularly as one unexpected impact of COVID-19 has meant that I’m currently working from Australia instead of Singapore, where I usually live. Like most, I’m also saving time on my commute — it’s a very efficient trip to the home office.

How are you using the commuting time saved?

2020 has really tested people’s resilience. It definitely wasn’t part of the plan to be stuck in Australia for what looks like the near future, but I’m making the most of being closer to family and friends. One added bonus has been more time to kitesurf, a hobby that I took up a few years back and am able to spend more time doing now that I’m in Australia.

I am looking forward to being back in the office because…

To be around people. Life is more fun with great company.

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