#WFH Diaries: Carissa Ranelycke-Berlin of 360i
Even as the world begins to open up amid the pandemic, most folks are still working from home. We're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Carissa Ranelycke-Berlin, head of integrated production at 360i.
Give us a one-line bio of yourself.
I'm the head of integrated production at 360i, and a New Yorker who came from Sweden.
Where are you living right now, and who's with you?
I'm currently living in an old farmhouse in the Catskills with my husband Daniel, our 3-year-old daughter Scarlett-Rose, a part husky dog named Blue, and a free-roaming bunny. We have an apartment in Brooklyn, but our friends who own the Catskills house got stranded in Australia because of Covid-19 and were kind enough to let us stay here. We thought it was going to be a couple of weeks, but it's now been three months.
What's your work situation like at the moment, and how is it evolving?
I consider myself quite lucky because we're busy and new assignments keep coming in. It feels great to be out of full Covid-19 mode with clients and back to rebuilding. I'm so proud of everyone on my team and everything they've been doing over these past few months.
When you do you expect to return to the office?
If we look at how 2020 is currently going, I think I'll hold out until after the alien invasion.
Describe your socializing strategy.
We're living our best lives in the woods. There's no one around to social distance with, other than the chipmunks, deer and bears. However, group text threads are a big thing in my circle of girlfriends, family, work friends, etc.
For our team, similar to other agencies, we've held several virtual happy hours to catch up with everyone. I also feel connected when our monthly newsletter called Fresh Cuts goes out. It's a love letter to the creative department, highlighting talent they should know about, new work and other creative inspirations. We try to create different themes each month to keep it relevant to the current times.
How are you dealing with childcare?
Our dog Blue has really stepped up. He'll join a tea party, play doctor-patient or sleeping baby. I think he sees that Scarlett has no one to play with, and jumps in to fill that void. Having no childcare help has been very strenuous for us, as we're both working full-time. Scarlett has been completely uprooted from her life and she doesn't understand why—it's been hard on her. The other day I caught her swinging a small lizard saying "I love you" to it. I definitely worry about long-term consequences.
What are you reading?
Articles on how to co-exist with North American wildlife ... or how to get them out of the house.
What are you watching?
Unfortunately, there hasn't been much time to binge-watch a cool show or watch a movie. When I'm not working, I try to spend as much time with Scarlett and Blue. Once in a blue moon, I do get an open window to watch something. Right now, I'm into the lighter things that add some cheer to the end of my day, like The Great with Dakota Fanning.
What are you listening to?
Any podcasts that will continue to teach me. I love anything from The New York Times—The Daily, Rabbit Hole, The 1619 Project, among others.
How are you staying fit?
The house we're in has seven acres of woods. When we came up here, it was all wilderness with no trails. Every morning for the past three months, I get up and walk out to the woods and start moving logs and rake leaves to relieve the stress and anxiety of what is going on in the world. It turns out it's been an extremely satisfying and relaxing task. I've now built almost a mile-long trail around the property. And when the sun's out, I go for a run on my new path and do some yoga after.
Have you taken up a hobby?
I'm an aspiring Dr. Doolittle. It turns out we share the house with a large family of squirrels and some country mice. We've also had the occasional foxes and snakes come by. I'm trying to embrace our new lifestyle as much as possible.
An awkward moment since all this started.
When I realized that your video camera is still on even though you share your screen. That was an interesting moment.
An aha! moment since all this started.
That we built a team and an agency strong enough to ride through a pandemic together. I'm very impressed with how the production industry has risen to the occasion and that we're all still putting out great work. I think we've all become more transparent and honest with each other about how we're all feeling.
What's your theory on how this is going to play out?
We'll find a new normal, but it won't be anything like what we used to see/know as normal. Our lives will be forever changed. We all have evolved, and I feel positive about what the next steps will bring. Everyone's creativity has been brewing at home, and hopefully, soon it can make it out into the world.