As part of our coverage, we asked a host of top names in the biz to give us their best tips about working from home, staying healthy and how to keep business moving during the pandemic.
We’ve already given some snippets from big names like Stuart Camp and Kanya King in Pt 1, plus Merck Mercuriadis, Zena White and Fraser T Smith in part 2, but here we round some more key industry figures to find out what’s working for them…
“My tip is to try and listen to as much music as you can. New music, different playlists, unusual stuff. It sounds obvious, but I’ve definitely been rinsing Netflix on a scary level! I’m trying to absorb things to keep my writing brain inspired. Also, ask your producer friends to send beats if you don’t make them, they’re probably bored out of their mind too.”
Peter Leathem (CEO, PPL)
“I am used to working remotely in the evenings or weekends and so I have continued to use the various online tools that help me to connect with people. These tools vary depending on the meetings, but include Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Cisco Webex, as well as a mobile phone! I speak with my leadership team at the same time each day; I have found it helpful to establish routines like this one.”
Annabella Coldrick (CEO, MMF)
“I’d recommend three things: 1) Think about other ways to engage fans virtually. It’s going to be tough for everyone, especially on the live side of the business. Try to keep those fans engaged so they’re there on the other side. 2) Plan daily catch ups no matter where your wider team are in the world. It injects at least a semblance of normality and it’s good to talk. 3) Make time to get outside and exercise. Then find ways to engage with the family and friends. I’m loving Goose’s Quizzes on Twitch each evening at 7pm.”
Ask your producer friends to send beats if you don’t make them, they’re probably bored out of their mind too...
Sammy Andrews (CEO/founder, Deviate Digital)
“I’ve had a lot of experience working at home over the last 20 years, my key tip is get dressed and try to carve out the right working times and environment. Being at home, work can blur into your private life in a big way, especially if you’re in isolation for a long period. Try and set up a space somewhere that is your working environment and separate that from your personal space. If that’s not possible, try to implement strict working hours and shut the laptop when those end. Also, unless future measures prohibit it get out for a walk when you can.”
Rak Sanghv (global president, Spirit B-Unique)
“While the message to our clients is very much one of ‘business?as usual’, I’m conscious of the need to support our staff. Video conferencing is a big hit – I wish I had shares in Zoom right now! My personal approach is to adopt a timetable that approximates to a normal working day, with exercise and meal breaks at the usual times – that and trying not to strangle the wife and kids as we all attempt to get on with our normal lives in the same house!”?
Maria Torres (Verdigris Management)
“Being a manager at home has been facilitated through the means of technology for me, I can have regular meetings with our artist teams and artists as if I am still meeting them face to face. The main challenge faced is the rescheduling of the live shows for artists and readjustments of release timelines. However, regular communication with everyone involved, ensures the process is seamless and our future plans are still going ahead. The exchange of creative ideas has been great, everyone is thinking outside of the box at this time, which is really exciting!”
Pat Carr (founder, Remote Control)
“My main tip is that, as far as you can, enjoy the benefit of flexibility. If you like to work late, work late, if you like to be an early bird do that, and if you are able to disappear for a couple of hours mid-afternoon for exercise or time off and then make up the hours then do so, company schedule dependent. Be clear to others what works for you. You will still get a lot done and it’s a way to be super productive. It’s amazing how intense being in a room on your own with a screen for company can be. Two-hour stretches with breaks, even for a 10 minute cup of tea, or to put the laundry out, work best. So relax. This is weird, but go with it and bollocks to the ‘Don’t work in your PJs’ thing, the odd conference call from bed in the morning never killed anyone and no one ever knows... Oh, wait…”
Shannon Cotton (editor, Gigwise)
“I think it’s so important to try and stick to a routine as much as you can whilst working from home. Keep to your regular office hours and try not to check your emails in the evening, no matter how tempting it can be when there’s nothing else to do. And don’t forget your lunch break! Mix up meetings – if you’ve got a day full of meetings, try and mix up the format a bit, a Google hangout here, an actual phone call there, it keeps a bit of variety when everything else is relatively static.”
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