#WFH Diaries: Claudia Wallace of BMB

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to upend life across the globe, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Claudia Wallace of BMB in London.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

Managing director of creative agency BMB in London.

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

I'm in east London with my husband and sister-in-law. She is a fabulous cook and all round excellent human, so she's very welcome to stay for the long term.  

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Managing lots of "We need this yesterday" requests from clients who are trying to work out how to respond to Covid-19. The future is so uncertain, so we are helping our clients to manage that ambiguity. 

Also lots of Zoom pitching. It's a very different process not only doing the pitch itself but also preparing for a pitch with the agency via Zoom. How do you recreate the impromptu serendipitous corridor conversations that often lead to the best creative ideas?

Describe your socializing strategy.

Two words: Innovative Zoom.

What are you reading?

Predominantly my inbox. Depressing but true. And some fiction in the guise of American Dirt.

What are you watching?

Limited to one dose of news a day, the daily government briefing. It's useful to inform me about anything that might have an impact for the agency, but limited so that it isn't exhausting.

Obviously I joined the Tiger King bandwagon like the rest of the world, and I seem to have developed a penchant for crime thrillers. Last night I threw it back to 2011 with The Lincoln Lawyer.

What are you listening to?

Not my trusty Radio 4 because too much Covid-19 news. I have replaced that with the dulcet tones of the wonderful James Dowler (@breathewithjames). He trains people to focus on their breathing to help with emotional issues and improve physical health. Get involved now, you'll never look back. 

How are you staying fit?

Same as I always have. The best gym in the world (IMHO), The Foundry (@foundryfit) in London, has gone virtual. They are doing an amazing job of keeping all of the joys of the Foundry community alive virtually.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Perfecting the art of the cafetière and sourdough bread making. The former has been much more successful than the latter.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Deliveries from local and independent suppliers. Some kind person here in London has produced a handy directory on Google Docs that keeps expanding. 

An awkward moment since all this started.

The whole agency pretending to be a bumblebee on Zoom during our energizing-animal-face-work-outs that is hosted weekly by one of our creatives called Andy.

Best work email you got since all this started.

Not an email … a Slack message from Jason, our CEO, announcing that for his turn on the "Zoom Drinks Trolley" this week, he'll host a CHESSEX themed quiz … Cheesy Essex?!?! Cheshire & Essex?!?!

An aha! moment since all this started.

That you can give your colleagues the illusion of being under a waterfall via Zoom … Let me explain. Like everyone, we have been having fun with Zoom backgrounds. We had a competition last week for the best background. Our inventive new-business manager sat in the shower (fully clothed) with water pouring down his face and a background of a waterfall. It was nothing short of amazing. 

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

I'm an optimist, so I'd like to think that this will ultimately lead to different mindsets and positive change. One day when we all see each other again we'll hopefully spend a beautiful month hugging people we would never usually hug. 

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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