One of our goals for The Message over the next few (very unusual) weeks is to try to turn social distancing into a shared experience across the entire industry. To that end we created the Quarantine Diaries.
We’ve been sending out questionnaires asking people to tell us everything from their best working from home habit (and their worst) as well as their go-to selections for books, music and TV.
We’ll be updating the list as long as the situation lasts, and we’ve also incorporated a Spotify playlist that we’re adding to with each submission (see below). Anyone interested in sharing their own diaries with us, contact either David Brown and Chris Powell.
Don Saynor, The Jack Russell Agency (pictured)
Have you developed any good habits about working from home?
Working on our family YouTube Channel: BasicDad. Spending days with my kids making stuff and filming it, then putting it out into the world and seeing what other Quarantiners think (Is Quarantiners a word? If not it should be).
Any bad habits? See above. The BasicDad venture is starting to impede on my ability to do any actual paying work.
Favourite quarantine meal? Popcorn. While watching moderately inappropriate ’80s and ’90s comedies with my kids.
Piece of advertising that can make you laugh? My current favourites are the WISH ads that appear in my Facebook Feed. Yesterday, I almost bought a pair of crotchless panties and a model battleship. Very funny stuff.
Thing you miss most about the office? My 11:30 a.m. consideration of which place to go for lunch.
What song best represents your current state of mind? Or what is on your quarantine playlist? Childish Gambino Sweatpants.
Any advice for yourself six months from now? Six months ago doctors and nurses were working around the clock, putting themselves in harm’s way to fight COVID, stop bitching that your Instagram post copy was not approved.
Ed Lee, Tribal Worldwide
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? A makeshift standing desk on top of an old dresser.
Any bad habits? You’ll see why soon, but snacking from the city’s best stocked pantry has been a big problem.
Favourite quarantine meal? My mother-in-law is a fantastic cook so we’ve been spoiled rotten the whole time, but there was one amazing prime rib roast.
Piece of advertising that can always make you laugh… With no live sports, I’m grateful for Reddit users posting old highlights and ads including this NFL/All Blacks Rugby mashup which I really enjoyed.
Thing you miss most about the office… The frisson of conversations off the side of your desk, and the law of unintended consequence. One of the podcasts I’ve been listening to talked about the importance of ideas needing to “have sex with each other,” which I thought was a lovely way to put it.
One of the things I’m interested in seeing is how the need for in-person interaction in ours, and many other industries, is married with the desire for more flexible working times and locations. Will the idea of “the office” become more nebulous—becoming more important yet less populated at the same time?
What books are you reading? Loving it? Hating it? I’ve gotten up to date on the Gray Man series (classic spy-action-escapism), but there are plenty in the hopper.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? In times like this, I turn to the old classics for some comfort, so if you haven’t already seen it, now is the perfect time to be introduced to The Wire. In my mind it’s the best TV series of the modern era. Not only does it have some inspirational advice about self-isolation, but it acts as a powerful commentary on the institutions we think are there to help us but which are manned by people out to help themselves.
What song best represents your current state of mind? Or what is on your quarantine playlist? The Wheels on the Bus (go round and round and round and round and round) is getting heavy rotation these days—which makes a good podcast on a long walk even more appreciated.
Advice you’d give yourself six months from now… It’s the same thing I always try to remember in this crazy business: don’t let the highs get you too high or the lows get you too low. Be resilient and strong for yourself and others.
Any technology challenges/triumphs? Getting Webex to call me rather than dialling in each time made me feel great, but FaceBeer, tea or Rioja with old friends has done the best for my state of mind.
Jennifer Fok, Horizon Media
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? I have developed a good habit of drinking water… lots and lots of water. I also realized I have developed an ability to focus for longer periods of time even when there are distractions (like family members and my phone). Working from home has also helped me to get into a nice ritual/routine every day.
Any bad habits? I eat way too much of my quarantine snacks, and UberEats/SkipTheDishes has become my most used apps (that’s a little embarrassing!).
Piece of advertising that can always make you laugh… Here are a couple of my favourites TV ads:
Thing you miss most about the office… I miss my colleagues, co-workers, friends, my view from the forty-second floor… and my succulent, Georgie.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? I would recommend The Office (of course!), The Mindy Project, Friends and Kim’s Convenience on Netflix.
Teresa Myers, Horizon Media
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? Making sure I keep my regular schedule as if I was going into the office.
Any bad habits? Not showering every day.
Piece of advertising that can always make you laugh…
Thing you miss most about the office… The staff, the laughter and camaraderie that exists when you still have a relatively small team. We did a virtual happy hour conference call today, so that we could all have some time to connect.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? Gearing up for season three of Ozark. Yay!!
Jamie Morren, The Garden
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? I learned a while ago to treat it like any other day. Get up on time. Shower. Make breakfast. Watch the news or SportsCentre and then head to work. However, now my commute is from the couch to my desk or kitchen table and not across town. Remember to take breaks and don’t get sucked into all the comforts of home. Inevitably, without all the distractions of an office or other people for that matter, you are going to finish your work earlier.
If you are sitting there thinking its only 3 p.m. now what do I do, that’s okay. Keep yourself available for any last-minute changes or emergencies, but enjoy that extra time you have for yourself. Start prepping dinner, read a chapter of your book, do a quick workout. Finding the balance of working from home is the trickiest part, but you will settle in to a rhythm.
Any bad habits? Do I really have to shave?
Favourite quarantine meal? Anything I can put in my slow cooker. Prep dinner after checking my morning emails and letting that bad boy rip all day. Bonus is having leftovers for a couple days to stretch out my self isolation meals.
Thing you miss most about the office… People. I am currently isolated by myself. Facetime and Google Hangouts help, but it’s not the same.
What books are you reading? Loving it? Hating it? The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith. Enjoyable so far. On Deck: Our Wild Calling by Richard Louv. I listened to the author on a podcast called “The Wild,” and was intrigued.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations?
- Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts (Netflix)
- Spiderman Into the Spiderverse (Netflix)
- Red Oaks (Prime)
- Castlevania (Netflix)
- I Am Not Okay With This (Netflix)
- Final Space (Netflix)
- The Witcher (Netflix)
- Working Moms (Netflix)
- Schitt’s Creek (Netflix)
- Better Call Saul (Netflix)
- Troll Hunters (Netflix)
What song best represents your current state of mind? Or what is on your quarantine playlist?
“Love It If We Made It” by The 1975. A song about the messed up state of the world and just hoping that we make it seems pretty appropriate right now lol.
Playlist: lofi hip hop radio—beats to relax/study to, by Chilled Cow. A pirate radio station on YouTube streaming lo-fi beats 24/7.
With all the noise in the media and general chaos, I have really been enjoying instrumental music to drive my day. Even if it’s just low and in the background I don’t have to pay attention to lyrics and have room for my own thoughts.
Advice you’d give yourself six months from now… Don’t take anything for granted. Appreciate all the normal interactions we used to share on a day to day basis.
Any technology challenges/triumphs? I’m just glad the internet hasn’t crashed with the increased bandwidth while we all work remotely.