#WFH Diaries: Bianca Guimaraes of BBDO New York

As the COVID-19 pandemic gallops along, we're checking in with folks in the creative industry to see how they are doing. Here's an update from Bianca Guimaraes at BBDO in New York.

Give us a one-sentence bio of yourself.

I'm an SVP and creative director at BBDO New York.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

In Brooklyn. I'm with my husband, an ECD at R/GA; our 1-year-old son, Theo, who's discovering his lovely voice; and his nanny, who I probably love more than both of them.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

It's kinda messy but we're adjusting. Like most New York apartments, space isn't on our side, so my husband and I rotate between Theo's room, the living room and our room. I find the bathroom to be the quietest and best place for calls when I really need to focus.

Project-wise, there's lots of going back to the drawing board and rethinking the work, messaging and positioning based on the pandemic.

Describe your socializing strategy.

I'm used to FaceTiming with family and friends from Brazil, so that hasn't changed. I've also been trying to see this as an opportunity to spend more quality time with Theo and my husband. Theo is psyched to have both his parents around every day. He doesn't seem too worried about the quarantine.

Our friends who live nearby have the best socializing strategy, though. This is what we woke up to the other day:

How are you dealing with childcare?

Our amazing nanny has been staying with us. We see her as family and we're lucky to have her here.

Also, my friend Carl Mallia (also a creative) put together this Google doc. It has a bunch of authors/musicians/entertainers doing live readings and classes every day. As well as some random things, like zoos doing live tours.

What are you reading?

NurtureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. They demonstrate that, for years, our best intentions with children have been our worst ideas, using behavioral psychology and neuroscience to prove our instincts and received wisdom are all wrong. At least, that's how the back of the book describes it.

What are you watching?

Embarrassingly, I just finished Love Is Blind. I have to say it was the perfect combination of stupid, light and entertaining for the moment we're in. I also watched The Two Popes last night, and want to start the new season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

What are you listening to?

My baby crying/singing/yelling/babbling while I'm trying to work. I also listen to The Daily from The New York Times every day. Sometimes I regret it, as it gets me more scared than informed about our current situation.

How are you staying fit?

By running around the house after Theo. I'm finally not feeling guilty for not going to the gym. 

Have you taken up a hobby?

I made sushi last night for the first time, and no food poisoning so far. Fingers crossed!

Any tips for getting necessities?

I live above a supermarket, but try to stock up as much as possible (within reason) so we don't have to get out much. I've used Postmates a few times, and Amazon obviously.

An awkward moment since all this started.

When my fire alarm went off during a client call, while I was presenting work, and my baby started freaking out and crying because of the loud noise. But I have to say those awkward moments are bringing us and our clients closer together. We're all getting more of a window into each other's personal lives.

Best work email you got since all this started.

BBDO has been doing weekly roundup emails and they create a nice sense of togetherness.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Last year I had to spend two months in a hospital bed to keep my baby from being born too prematurely. Those were probably the hardest months of my life, but I'm realizing now that they've made me so much more resilient. This quarantine situation feels easy compared to that.

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

I'm trying not to think too much about it. My goal is to take it one day at a time. In terms of work, my hope is that we'll learn from the challenges and limitations we're facing now, and they'll make us more efficient in the future. Hopefully we'll be able to apply some of the new ways of working, even when the quarantine is over.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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