The first fresh taste of work from home can seem like a rare treat
Though after several days of it you might feel less upbeat.
They say that Shakespeare’s strongest plays were written in seclusion
But modern tech will interrupt and add to the confusion.
There’s email floods, and video calls, and endless online chats –
Plus news updates and stock reports (and videos of cats).
So (if you can) do step away and make some time to brood
For finding inspiration needs real solitude
Mara Dettmann, editor, Bartle Bogle Hegarty London
When sat at home on my own
Feeling ever more slightly alone
Trying to ignore constant pings from my phone
I loosen up and let me head roam
I look for adventure in the mundane
Till the bathroom tap drip becomes rain
On the leaves of my little pot plant
Grown into a forest of enchant
With branches reaching up to my light
Which transforms into sunshine so bright
And despite the cold March sleet
I feel warmth in this tropical heat
My eyes turn to the curve of my dull wood floor
Which glitters like a far-away golden sea shore
The grey London pigeons on my grey garden wall
Now make a sound like a seagull’s call
Whilst the coming and going of cars
Is nothing but the foam of waves as they pass
I scrunch up my eyes just to take it all in
As the mixture of sounds in my head start to ring
The walls of this paradise take over my body
As I realise I might have overdone it on the coffee
Olivia Furniss-Roe, media planner and buyer, Mediahub
Go with your gut, what do you think?
Working as one, you’re always in sync.
Trust in yourself, make your own calls,
Stick what you want on any old walls.
There’s plenty of space for your mind to unwind,
This is your break from the dirty daily grind.
No one can say no, nay one can naysay,
See what you create, let your imagination run away.
WFH, no face to be seen.
There’s no "I" in team,
But there is in quarantine.
Sarah Varda, creative, Ogilvy
Hey, hey any ideas?
I’ll send you a Whatsapp, I’m sitting over here.
Hey, hey, the client wants more.
Slide me the brief under my door.
Hey, hey, what about this?
This is amazing I’ll forward to Chris.
Hey, hey, this could be big.
I got your Google doc and had a rejig.
Hey, hey, FaceTime powwow?
FYI – I dress from the waist up now.
Hey, hey, I’ve written that script…
Lucky I installed Wi-Fi in my underground crypt.
Sarah Varda, creative, Ogilvy
Creativity thrives when we move around,
You can pace and meander on any old ground.
Creativity thrives with divergent thinking,
Different approaches stop big ideas shrinking.
Creativity thrives in different ways for some,
Some look at pictures, some loudly hum.
Creativity thrives when we change up the rules,
You can do that at home, you just need the right tools.
There’s lots we can do to keep juices flowing,
But this final tip is really worth knowing.
Creativity thrives, creativity thrives,
Creative thrives when we still have our lives.
Sarah Varda, creative, Ogilvy
Sitting amongst stockpiled toilet paper,
Baked beans for lunch, and more for later.
No more pub lunches, pitch-win high fives,
Now corona’s changing all of our lives.
News alerts a plenty, everything distracts
Netflix! The washing! Internet cats!
Reality sets in, WFH isn’t the dream.
It’s all kinda lonely, sat here without your team.
But inspiration lies in the memes, the bantz
And the thrill of Skype meetings in your pants.
Dip Mistry, associate creative director, Brave; Heather Keywood-Mistry, senior copywriter, M&C Saatchi
Five days at home, who knows how many more
Virtual meetings taking over the world; I wore
PJs for the first one, not realising the fucking video was on
Now it's normal. The settling in bit is gone
and there's something productive about the silence
Something motivational in London's defiance
I almost want to hear voices, laughter – just not a cough
Ironic that I usually want everyone to fuck off
Fran Griffin, senior strategist, MullenLowe Open
Take up arms and a weapon of choice
Your mind starts searching for its newfound voice
Time is rarely the enemy of the self-doubting soul’s greatness
Grasp it. Build our world something new; something courageous
Devour encyclopaedias of the digital spheres
Immerse yourself in what you know already calms mankind’s fears
Join up the dots between the pages of time and space
Link it all together to capture answers we have always chased
The time is now: find yourself and your humanitarian call
Alone we are together, and together overcomes it all.
Charlotte Robins, creative, MullenLowe Open
Looking at freedom, hidden behind glass
Striving for reason, time passing fast
A call from a friend, some lines from a book
A meal with your partner, that's all that it took
We walk towards the future, hand 'twined in hand
Ahead there is brightness, no matter the end
Kevin Jacob, senior marketing science analyst, Analytic Partners
The country’s on lockdown and I’m stuck at home,
Working my butt off, But I’m not here alone.
Toddler is crying, teenager is too
Distractions galore how will I get through?
We’re closed off to the world in total isolation,
Trying to juggle the day job with perfect inspiration.
Home-schooling, no loo roll, who would have believed
This bonkers scenario would make us relieved
To spend time with our loved ones and take time for reflection,
On the importance of championing a human connection.
Tamara Littleton, chief executive, The Social Element
If hell is other people as Sartre once said,
All the more reason to leap out of bed.
With no more commute, your mic set to mute,
It’s time to find solace, whilst learning the flute.
Working from home is nothing to fear,
When Shakespeare got stuck, he banged out King Lear.
Whilst that was the plague and the storyline’s shitty,
With Covid-19 thank God for Chris Whitty.
Chris Pearce, chief executive, MRM McCann
Calling in for hours on Teams
I’ve seen my colleague’s décor themes
All those different shades of grey
Are the back-drop for my day
Group chats and screens are being shared
Whilst this virus has us running scared
Matt Conner, managing director, MRM McCann
Rhymes with virus.
And this wrecking ball
Has hit us all
With a mobile phone
With an itchy throat
Is this a fever?
Is it corona?
Is this now my life?
A marketing loner?
Nicky Bullard, chairwoman and chief creative officer, MRM McCann
Knuckles have begun to crack under the strain of hand sanitiser.
"That’s how the light gets in," said the great wordsmith improviser.
The Cohen in me is trying to find the silver lining here.
Any day now, the new normal will appear.
I hear the swans have returned to the Venice canals.
While Romans send songs through windows to keep up morale.
Exceptional times are a great excuse to be exceptionally kind.
I’ve seen things lately that restore my faith in humankind.
Yes, I just rhymed kind with kind. How clever can I be
When it’s 10am and I’m already on my sixteenth cup of tea.
But I don’t need human touch to feel human. In fact,
I feel closer to you all now than I did three weeks back.
Love in the time of Covid-19;
won’t be quarantined.
Tess Lowery, content manager, Bartle Bogle Hegarty
I’ve closed the door, cut off the 'phone,
Told the neighbours to stop mowing their evergreen lawn,
Asked the babysitter to come pick-up the gnome
Today, I need silence: I am working from home.
I am so concentrated, what could go wrong?
I even deleted my fave game of Mahjong
But then suddenly, an enticing advert pops-up:
"Have you seen this clip of a giraffe and a pup?"
I’ve wormholed on YouTube for six hours now,
Really wanted to work, but I just don’t know how
I clearly need structure, this is not for me
Working from home is hard when you have ADHD.
Manon Durin, senior account executive, Pumpkin
I wandered only in the Cloud,
Good grief this tech does make me proud.
But if it ever disconnects,
Fuck. I can’t finish my projects.
My Word! My Excel spreadsheet too!
My Deck! My SOW!
I guess I’ll have to make some lunch,
Baptize myself with just fruit punch.
Or watch The Office on Netflix,
Take some ugly front-facing pics.
You know what? I’ve no reason to be mad,
Because this work from home thing ain’t so bad.?
Amadeus Redha, global marketing manager, Interbrand
A new day, in the same old place,
I struggle to get into a good headspace.
I long to ideate face-to-face,
But I’m stuck here alone and must keep up the pace.
My memories, objects and possessions are scattered,
They pull me back to the real world, the office bubble shattered.
So I sort out a "desk", the dining table will do,
And I make sure to change out of my PJs too.
It’s just me and my laptop against the world,
Isolation’s a challenge, my routine’s been unfurled.
Thank goodness for Wi-Fi, I think to myself.
It keeps us connected, despite our poor health.
And suddenly I realise, I’m not trapped today,
As my team are in reach, just a "hangout" away.
Ellie Coulter, media planner buyer, Yonder Media
The street offers a solitary delivery van
And lunch just stockpiled beans in a can
The lamp is all angled but no poise
The radio merely background noise
We ponder how to find new thinking
Beyond "When’s it OK to start drinking?"
Could there be a chore that might
Give some sort of divine insight?
Perhaps clearing the cat litter tray
Will unlock a brilliant strategy midway?
Is hoovering the hallway before dinner
The way to crack that next award-winner?
Inspiration isn’t something you can dictate
So why not get sh*t done while you wait?
Tristan Cavanagh, creative director, 23red
WFH is where it’s at.
Cracking out campaigns in your house or flat.
Getting up early to research your brief.
Not having to commute is such a relief.
Coronavirus is just the cure.
For doing ideas and keeping them pure.
Staying at home gives you time to find inspiration.
While doing your bit to save the nation.
Sid Gordon, creative director, Rapp UK
Sometimes I think I need a bit of peace
If I could be alone the work would cease
I’d stop, I’d think, I’d innovate and rest
But effin’ conference calls – they’re sent to test
Screen share unmute oh crap my camera’s on
Hold on – this isolation thing’s a con
Kevin Joyner, director of planning and insight, Croud
People-watch throughout the day
Observe postmen deliver, then run away
Work in pyjamas
Speculate government health figures
Stare out the window wondering
Is it the end of something?
Decide it’s not
And open your laptop.
Daisy Atkinson, content strategist, Croud
The dripping metronome sets the tone
For hours whiled away inside my home,
I watch the light come in, then go.
Fast-paced days, stopped. Slow.
I tour au fllâneur a route inside my head,
To take me miles from my desk-bed.
I wear odd shoes, sit upside down
To feel the rush relax my frown.
Not packed in like a sardine,
My desk replaced with infinite space, and daydream.
Alice Roughton, strategy director, Starcom
While working at home sheltered from corona
I sing out of tune to 70s hit My Sharona
I start to worry if I have enough toilet roll
As social isolation begins to take its toll
I wonder when I’ll next go on holiday
Dreading that my leave will end up being a home stay
As I sit there taking all the internet bandwidth
I try to work normally and do a media admin blitz
I realise working from home is OK with one caveat
The banter’s just not as good from Shadow the cat
But on the buzz of a whole company call
My jokes still get to be heard by them all
During a time when everything feels so serious
Try and remember to be hilarious.
James Russell-Rands, client director, The Specialist Works
For inspiration when home alone
Look no further than your phone
With Instagram, Pinterest, Behance
You'll only need to take a glance
A Google search could show you all
And if still stuck, then try Zoom call
The internet keeps us connected
So stay at home if you're infected
Thomas Vipond, media manager, VaynerMedia London
In this world of no mask-to-face,
Where we need to give each other some social space.
I bequeath you some iso-ticks,
But tbh most would just be Netflix.
Firstly, set up that home office and keep it clean,
As we want to keep that bank balance in the green.
Next, we will need some exercise,
I suggest 1… 2… no 3 pies.
Finally, we need the essentials for that word that rhymes with LOO,
Get those tea bags! And put on a brew!
Gavin Callaghan, senior marketing science analyst, Analytic Partners
Yesterday I started, mind-racing, pacing the paving.
Noticing the cracks, I take baby steps and head inside,
My little London flat seems even smaller than before; the space capped.
But I’m not trapped, it’s not war
It’s just a fear that we’ve not felt before.
At least we have each other.
Team spirit’s stirring, the cogs whirring, as we all pace the paving between our four walls.
Jessica Lever, head of creative, The Specialist Works
Every morning wake at home
Work from home, feel so alone
Morning coffees just for one
Mid-morning chats, far less fun
It isn’t smallpox, it isn’t the plague
Thankful we don’t live back in those days
Hangouts, texts, FaceTime, email,
Sure we’re on lockdown, but there's ecomm retail
Think of how much worse it just might've been:
Self-isolation, but without a screen
Aengus Boyle, associate director, media, VaynerMedia
Tapping at my keyboard,
The beating heart of my self-isolation ward.
Staring blankly at my cursor blinking,
Oh crap, thoughts interrupted by Slack shrieking.
I’m struggling to think,
Ah yes, maybe if I write by hand... Yeah, I need ink.
Daily Hangouts and deadlines looming,
Thank you Spotify for keeping Britney booming.
Take headspace, stretch it out and drink lots of water,
Bloody hell, only now I’ve realised I’m quite the hoarder.
Did that work?
I’m driving myself berserk.
I need to come up with something good,
Until then I guess there’s this poem, but now it’s time for food.