The WFH Diaries - Rhys Williams at Google Australia

21 May 2020
Rhys Williams

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

Rhys Williams, Google Australia director of specialist sales.

How do you deal with the silence?
With most days being back-to-back meetings over video, there’s not much time leftover for silence. And with renovations going on next door there’s also the sound of an electric saw to keep me entertained. But for those rare moments in between, I’m actually enjoying a bit of silence!

The good of working from home?
I’ve gotten to learn two things much better about ‘Googlers’: The first is that they are unmatched when it comes to fancy dress. I’ve been super impressed with some of the costumes I’ve seen in our weekly themed team all hands meetings - the bar just keeps getting higher! The second is getting to know my colleagues’ families and kids even better than I did before - some of whom have even made unexpected cameo appearances in our team meetings.

The bad?
I know it sounds cliched, but I am missing the face-to-face contact with my team, colleagues and our customers. I thrive on ideas, banter, discussion, and while it's OK doing this over video conferencing, there’s no substitute to talking in person.

Tips for making WFH work?
For me, it's about making sure that work and home stay seperate, and that work doesn’t blend into family time. Of course, it's hard enough to do this during normal times - but in my own ‘WFH’ situation I’m finding that having clear boundaries around the physical space I work in, and blocking time in my calendar is helping. Of course, there’s loads of other great tips like these.

I am looking forward to getting back to the office because …
It will be a sign that things are getting back to normal and businesses are getting on the road to recovery. And while it's clear that not everything will be the same, this new “normal” will also bring some new opportunities. I know from conversations we’re already having with customers that businesses are looking ahead to the second half of 2020 and beyond - and what they need to do now so they’re ready for that. Getting things like robust measurement and analytics in place, building strategies and technology for ecommerce and ‘mobile first’ sales, planning around how to build their brand when demand does return, and what creative considerations they need to think about, have all been top of mind topics.

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