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.
Madison Schneider, Sid Lee (top photo)
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? Every morning I wake up and write a quarantine haiku for all 20 of my Instagram followers to enjoy. (Hi, mom!)
Then at noon I snap my fingers three times and click my heels to transform my apartment into a workout studio. I dance to Robyn and join hundreds of strangers in an online burn cycle class.
When the sun finally comes through my windows in the afternoon, I strategically move a disco ball around the room so I can absorb its wizardly powers.
In between these things actual work and productivity happen.
Any bad habits? What day is it? How many dinners is too many dinners? Have I always picked my nose this much?
Favourite quarantine meal? Bacon. A tasty snack and a low budget quarantine perfume.
Thing you miss most about the office… My daily overdose of cheese. But really, the people.
What books are you reading? Loving it? Hating it? Currently reading On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. It’s both heartbreaking and beautiful.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? Definitely would recommend Cheer.
But my newest obsession is Tiger King. Who doesn’t love mullets, murder, and big cats?
What song best represents your current state of mind? Or what is on your quarantine playlist? U Can’t Touch This — MC Hammer
Advice you’d give to yourself six months from now… Be grateful. Be present. Face time the fam!
Jon Packer, Idea Workshop
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? It took a few days but focusing on the essentials for the day. Also, finding time to switch off with music, walks and runs.
Any bad habits? Giving the dog too many treats.
Favourite quarantine meal? Not sure it counts as a meal, but tea and toast always seem to comfort. Probably the result of growing up in the U.K.
Piece of advertising that can always make you laugh… John Smiths, “Acrobatic Dog.”
Thing you miss most about the office… Slipping out for an Americano and chat at the local café.
What books are you reading? Loving it? Hating it? The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. A timely read on Winston Churchill and the power of leadership in times of crisis.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? Broadchurch. It’s an old one, but immersive and a great escape.
What song best represents your current state of mind? Or what is on your quarantine playlist?
- Squeeze, “Some Fantastic Place”
- Ezra Furman, “At the Bottom of the Ocean”
- The Blind Boys of Alabama, “Heard the Angels Moan”
- Talking Heads, “Road to Nowhere”
- Frankie Goes to Hollywood, “Two Tribes”
- Earth, Wind & Fire, “Getaway”
- Louis Prima, “I Ain’t Got Nobody”
- The Clash, “London Calling”
Advice you’d give yourself six months from now… This too shall pass.
Any technology challenges/triumphs? Teaching my 86 year-old mum how to use Zoom, just in time for her birthday.
Elijah Kamran, The Garden
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? As of right now, no.
Any bad habits? Yes, overindulging in snacks.
Favourite quarantine meal? Does cereal count? Nesquik is my go-to.
Piece of advertising that can always make you laugh… Don’t know if this counts, but every commercial I see with Captain Obvious from hotels.com is funny.
Thing you miss most about the office… Connecting with everyone and learning about them. Since I’m new I don’t know much about anyone. It’s easier to connect live than through a screen.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? Castlevania, best animated show on Netflix.
What song best represents your current state of mind? Or what is on your quarantine playlist? Tool, 7empest.
Advice you’d give yourself six months from now… Don’t take anything for granted. Even the smallest things like the privilege to go in an office and connecting with others live.
Jason Gingold, Sid Lee
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? I don’t think I have. I am learning how to light myself for Zoom calls a lot better than ever. So… there’s something.
Any bad habits? Too many. I am one of those people who struggle with making my home my office and my office my home. I’ve worked hard for many years to create a work/life balance that feels clean, clear, and in which one augments the other. Those aren’t really habits, though are they?
I guess my bad habits are: too many Zoom calls and not enough carving out and defending time to do work, and my personal struggle to put the foot on the accelerator when I do have an extended time to get work done.
Favourite quarantine meal? I wish there was something more clever to put down here. For a long time we resisted drinking to keep our immune systems up, but a few nights ago my wife and I made gin and tonics that tasted damn good.
Thing you miss most about the office… People. Undoubtedly it’s people. As I’m sure many people feel, there’s something electric and potent about sharing ideas while sharing energy that, while I appreciate the amazing digital tools we have available, are simply not a replacement for collaborating live and in person. For me.
What books are you reading? Loving it? Hating it? Well, I do try to balance my reading between fiction and nonfiction. I finally read Little Women. I’d never been assigned to it, nor had anybody thrust it into my hands. But I wanted to see the Greta Gerwig movie with my family and felt compelled to read the novel before doing so. Oh. My. God. I loved it. Cried openly out of joy and out of sadness. Beautiful book. I get it now.
I just started Twyla Tharp’s Keep It Moving. I loved her book, The Creative Habit and I’m excited to dig in to this new one. She is so badass and doesn’t shy away from telling it like it is. Especially for people in creative and artistic fields.
And lastly, I’m nearly finished with Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things To Me. This is one of many books that are long overdue in my education as a human being.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? We’re not the most up-to-date Netflix bingers in my house, but I will say we just finished Poldark and are forcing our teens to watch The West Wing from front to back. I forgot how much I missed that show. If only we lived under a Bartlet administration today.
Sean Marry, The Garden
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? I’ve learned to stretch more, which is a real eye opener, as it showed me how inflexible I really am. I’ve also started practicing guitar again. Aside from work, I appreciate these physical and mental challenges to keep me busy.
Any bad habits? I also downloaded the new Call of Duty, which isn’t exactly the beacon of productivity.
Favourite quarantine meal? Really enjoying cooking salmon, with chilli and garlic seasoning, putting it on some toast, with avocado (chilli salt mixed in) and scrambled egg.
Piece of advertising that can always make you laugh… Any of the Newcastle Brown Ale stuff. Love their attitude!
Thing you miss most about the office… Really missing the banter we have with each other throughout the day. Laughing a lot less in the last week.
What books are you reading? Loving it? Hating it? For bedtime reading, I’m currently reading a book called Soccernomics. It looks into the world of soccer through the lens of economics and empirical data. The soccer makes it easy enough to read, the economics helps put you to sleep. The perfect balance.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? In times like these I love me some escapism, so fantasy series like The Witcher or Game of Thrones are worth watching.
What song best represents your current state of mind? Or what is on your quarantine playlist? Heyday by Mic Cristopher. Listening to a lot of Irish music at the moment. Times like these make you miss home a bit more.
Advice you’d give yourself six months from now… Truly appreciate the small things in your normal day. Enjoy them as much as you can. We’ve seen recently how quickly life can change, and not for the better.
Any technology challenges/triumphs? Thankful for any video calling technology these days. Even though one may feel alone in isolation, everyone is just a video call away!