The Quarantine Diaries are an attempt to turn social distancing into a shared experience.
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’ve been publishing new volumes every few days, and we’ve incorporated an incredibly eclectic Spotify playlist that we’re updating with each submission (see below).
Jess Hunichen, Shine Influencers (above)
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? My productivity is definitely higher, fewer distractions. And I’ve gotten into the habit of having flowers delivered each week: instant mood booster and something I will be continuing post quarantine!
Any bad habits? I almost exclusively wear sweatpants now. I don’t know if my body will be able to readjust to regular clothes once this is over.
Favourite quarantine meal? I’ve eaten an alarming amount of guacamole.
Thing you miss most about the office… The team, for sure. Forcing them to do a big group hug when we’re back. And not exactly the office, but I miss travelling. I’m typically in our L.A. office for half the month, so that is definitely the most significant change to my lifestyle.
What books are you reading? Loving it? Hating it? Currently reading Circe by Madeline Miller. Super into it.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? The classics: The Office, Friends, Sex and the City, repeat.
What song best represents your current state of mind? Or what is on your quarantine playlist? It’s a mixed bag, a lot of throwbacks, and anything the cool kids are doing TikTok dances to.
Advice you’d give yourself six months from now… You got this!
Any technology challenges/triumphs? No question that the biggest challenge is connection. We already did so much of what we do digitally, but taking away human contact all together has been tough. Our team has been chatting every morning on Zoom, and that face time together has been a game changer for me.
Laura Pearce, Twitter
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? I think something that we always try to do, but has been more important as we are all working remotely dealing with this crisis, is to start a meeting with a genuine check-in on how people are doing before jumping into the business at hand. One of the best Tweets I have seen recently said “We’re not working from home. We are at home during a crisis trying to work.”
Any bad habits? So. Many. Treats.
Favourite quarantine meal? Peanut butter sandwiches. Comfort food from my childhood.
Piece of advertising that can always make you laugh… Ryan Reynolds has been on fire on Twitter—from Aviation Gin to MintMobile to just general banter, he’s definitely worth a follow.
Thing you miss most about the office… Definitely the social aspect of just stopping by someone’s desk and having a chat, or overhearing something funny happening on the other side of the office and heading over to join in the fun.
What books are you reading? Loving it? Hating it? I love to read so I am really enjoying the extra time and the permission to just sit inside with a good book. I just finished reading There There, by Tommy Orange, which is a really raw and piercing look at an Indigenous community in Oakland—the parallels to the Canadian experience cannot be ignored.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? It’s a bit overdone by now, but I am watching—and tweeting about—Tiger King. It’s the show that makes you feel normal during these crazy times.
What song best represents your current state of mind? Or what is on your quarantine playlist? The Weeknd’s new album, After Hours, is on repeat at our house. I love it and so do the kids (radio versions!). Favourite song: “Save Your Tears.”
Advice you’d give yourself six months from now… Expect the unexpected—even more than you already do.
Any technology challenges/triumphs? My kids have “remote school” with Hangouts and Zoom calls every morning at 8:45 a.m. Making all that happen and getting on my own meetings on time is a triumph, believe me.
Dic Dickerson, The Garden
Have you developed any good habits about working from home?
Luckily for me, all of my good habits were already in place before this started. Since The Garden has had a flexible “work from anywhere” (not just home) policy since inception, it just meant continuing to approach things as I normally would.
Certainly some of the best habits overall are:
- Wake up when you normally would—resist the urge to snooze!
- Shower, get dressed, and prep just like if you were going to the office—it does wonders for you work state of mind to get out of your PJs
Still find time to take breaks, get up and stretch.
Any bad habits? Not necessarily bad, but I certainly get distracted by my dog more now than in an average work day.
Favourite quarantine meal? Pizza at all times. Quarantine or not.
Piece of advertising that can always make you laugh… I don’t care how long it stays in use, the IKEA “Start the car!” spot will always be hilarious to me.
Thing you miss most about the office… The people, hands down. I feel very fortunate to say that I feel that I have best team in the industry. We have no trouble working together remotely, but it’s just not the same when I can’t directly interact with them day-to-day.
What books are you reading? Loving it? Hating it? Just finished Creativity Inc. In my opinion it’s one of the best creative management books ever written. In stark contrast I’m now diving into Recursion by Blake Crouch. Only 20 pages in, and I’m hooked!!
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? Just stumbled upon 100 Humans, super fun experimental series into what makes us all tick.
What song best represents your current state of mind? Or what is on your quarantine playlist? No set playlist, anything with a sold beat to keep the energy up. Currently Post Malone as I type this.
Advice you’d give yourself six months from now… “See, aren’t you glad you didn’t actually grow a beard in that time?”
Umar Ghumman, Wunderman Thompson
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? I have maintained a routine. Getting up at the same time, getting dressed, having a dedicated “office” space and working till a specified time.
A good habit: actively checking-in and connecting with people who I forget to connect with. Taking care of my mental health, even more now.
Any bad habits? Screen time has gone up significantly.
Favourite quarantine meal? Brussel sprouts, lots of them.
Thing you miss most about the office… Hallway chats, sounds of laughter and Whiteboards.
What books are you reading? Loving it? Hating it? Profit over People, by Noam Chomsky. Love it because it’s true. Hate it because it’s true. Rumi: Mystic and Poet, Reynold Nicholson. Love it. I learn something new every time I open this book. Factfulness, Hans Rosling. Love it. You can make numbers tell whatever story you want to tell.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? Succession, Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (start with the U.K. version).
What song best represents your current state of mind? Or what is on your quarantine playlist? “Mad World,” Gary Jules.
Advice you’d give yourself six months from now… Maintain effective routines. Sh*t is going to happen, focus on the things you can control. Be grateful.
Jani Yates, ASC
Have you developed any good habits about working from home? Morning yoga with an instructor who makes us keep our video on so she can see if we are really doing it rather than drinking coffee!
Any bad habits? Forgetting to change out of my PJs on video calls.
Favourite quarantine meal? Turns out cooking is not passed on through family genes. This (right) was my daughter’s attempt to cook pizza. That is a cutting board that melted…
Thing you miss most about the office… Sitting together in the office kitchen, having lunch together and chatting about everything and nothing.
What books are you reading? Loving it? Hating it? The Body by Bill Bryson. I figured I should know what COVID is doing to our bodies! Jess Hirsh’s Metaviews to make sure I am up to date on his latest conspiracy theory which turns out to be true.
Any TV, Netflix or streaming recommendations? Hallmark Spring Fling movies. It is the best way to clear the room of family, then I can watch whatever I want in serenity. I want season 3 of Big Little Lies!
What song best represents your current state of mind? Or what is on your quarantine playlist? Been loudly listening to Tragically Hip and “In a World Possessed by the Human Mind” is strangely prescient. That and dancing to Sia Furler to torture the rest of my family.
Advice you’d give yourself six months from now…The new norm includes the kindness and humour we’re currently sharing.
Any technology challenges/triumphs? Getting someone with a flip phone to use Zoom successfully!