#WFH Diaries: Elliott Phear of Night After Night

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the globe, we're checking in with the creative industry to see how people are doing. Here's an update from Elliott Phear, CEO of Night After Night in New York.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

I'm the CEO of Night After Night, an agency that positions brands to create the culture of tomorrow by connecting them with the people who run the night. 

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

I brought my family to Cape Cod a few weeks ago to get some fresh air. (Don't worry, we've already quarantined the appropriate amount to be in the safe zone!) 

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Busy. My wife and I are now teachers in addition to working, so it's been a lot of … we'll call it fun. I instituted flexible hours for my team last year, so the transition has been smooth for the most part, but communication is always more challenging when everyone is in a different location.

Describe your socializing strategy.

I'm a dad of two and in my 40s, so my socializing wasn't all that crazy before the pandemic, but beyond business hang-outs and keeping the kids connected to their school and friends, I've been getting together with my friends for virtual card games and drinks later at night. We'll play for three hours at a time, and for that time, you actually feel normal. It's keeping us all sane. 

How are you dealing with childcare?

My wife has been leading the charge on homeschooling. But I've also been using it as an opportunity to do what I call "dad school." We go for a short run in the morning, then do push-ups and jumping jacks. We'll clean the house together. I also just ordered some rope so that we could learn sailor's knots.

What are you reading?

The Overstory, one page at a time. It's hard to focus on novels these days. Also, How to Be an Artist, the new book by Jerry Saltz. I'm really liking all the personality that's coming through in newsletters these days. And my team started a Slack channel of Tiger King memes and related conspiracy articles so that's also been entertaining.

What are you watching?

Some Good News, John Krasinski's new internet show.

What are you listening to?

D-Nice's playlists. A lot of jazz. And my team put together a playlist where everyone contributes a new song each day so we can pretend like we're DJing back in our office that can be listened to here.

How are you staying fit?

I've always been a runner. I'm bummed that the half I was training for was canceled but I'm keeping up my daily, socially distanced runs for brighter days ahead when I can be in a pack of people again. 

Have you taken up a hobby?

Um … puzzles. My family and I have been crushing puzzles. Who knew they were so fun.

Any tips for getting necessities?

My father loaned us his car (he lives in the area) so we didn't look suspicious with our New York State plates, which has saved us a lot of dirty looks when getting our weekly essentials from the grocery store. 

An awkward moment since all this started.

My team doing a group "Happy Birthday" singalong to one of our team during our all-agency morning status video chat. It was nice to sing it while not having to wash my hands for once, but we're really better suited for a karaoke hangout over a Google Hangout.

Best work email you got since all this started.

Oh man. I'm blessed with the best team of any agency. And a few of them have let me know how happy they are to be here during this time. It doesn't get better than that.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Crisis is an opportunity for us all to find out what we're made of.

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

We're gonna toughen up. We're gonna realize that what we need is what we have. We're gonna stop being so cynical and start being kinder to each other. In the end, we're going to come together and kick coronavirus's ass.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and founding editor of Muse by Clio. Prior to joining Clio in 2018, he was creative editor at Adweek.

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