The WFH Diaries - Mark Randall at WP Engine

By AdNews | 2 June 2020

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

Mark Randall is country manager ANZ at WP Engine.

How are you dealing with the silence?
Lucky for me, there is never really a silent moment in the Randall household. In fact, it has been somewhat louder than usual now that the whole family is spending so much time at home. I actually find that seeking silence is the trickiest part of working from home and find myself working from our front courtyard to avoid the distractions inside the house.

What’s the upside?
The global lockdown forced the world into a giant work from home experiment and after a month now, even the sceptics are realising that there are many upsides to it. For me, I have loved spending more quality time with my family and no loss of time commuting, attending in-person meetings or traveling for business. For WP Engine, the morning and afternoon huddles we introduced seem to have drawn the team closer together. We’ve had Virtual Quizzes and Karaoke sessions, which have all been great fun and not something we’d have introduced outside current circumstances.

The downside?
The biggest challenge is the impact the pandemic is having on many of our clients. We’re lucky to say that our business has been relatively unaffected and in many cases, organisations are accelerating their digital projects with us. However, do we see clients in different sectors really struggling. We’re working hard to support them while also working on our broader community giveback initiatives. It is really challenging to not be able to set up face-to-face meetings with these clients, or visit their business to help us better understand and support them.

How are you using the commuting time saved?
In the mornings my son and I go out and practice football in the local park. This is hugely helpful for both of us from a mental health point of view, ensures we exercise, get fresh air and make the most of spending quality time together. This is definitely not something we’re taking for granted and making the most of it while we can. It’s been great to be able to invest this time into my family while my kids are young.

I am looking forward to being back in the office because...
Virtual connections still aren’t the same as real ones, are they? The background chit chat and noise in the office, the unplanned conversations, the team lunches and the customer meetings are all an enriching part of the business day that I’m keen to get back.

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