#WFH Diaries: Gabe Gordon of Reach Agency
As the pandemic continues, most folks are still working from home. We're checking in with creative people to see how they've been faring in their new setups. Below is an update from Gabe Gordon, co-founder and managing director of Reach Agency, a digital video storytelling agency connecting brands with the social media generation.
Give us a one-line bio of yourself.
Entertainment agent turned social media entrepreneur.
Where are you living right now, and who's with you?
I'm living in Venice Beach with my amazing wife Kristy, daughters Callie (5) and Charlie (3), and dog Sophie (8).
What's your work situation like at the moment, and how is it evolving?
We work with influencers, so besides the "normal" levels of craziness, we've been dealing with the challenges that nearly everyone is facing, like shifting to a 100 percent remote operation for our team. Thankfully our business model can do that with a few tweaks. I will say that we have produced more TV spots in the last 30 days than we have in the past eight years (with influencers), so our new normal is doing more of everything, just at a safe social distance.
If you generally work in an office, when you do you expect to return to it?
I really don't see us returning until next year. While I miss the in-person experience with colleagues and clients, we are doing great work remotely. So, there is no rush and it's not worth the potential health risk to our team.
Describe your socializing strategy.
We can't avoid video calls, but I am all about the old-school phone call. I make it a point to just call people and talk to people. Totally unscheduled and impromptu. This can sometimes evolve into (virtual) lunch together, a walk or just a good laugh and maybe some life perspective.
How are you dealing with childcare?
We don't have any help with childcare. My wonderful, patient (and wonderfully patient) strong wife has a more flexible schedule and has really taken the lead with the kids. I try to take mornings and pick up again in the afternoon through baths and story time.
What are you reading?
Sad to say, but I'm not reading anything right now besides kids' books. It's bad, I know! But I tell myself that I'm using any available chance to spend more quality time with my girls.
What are you watching?
I was a big fan of the Nickelodeon show Avatar: The Last Airbender when I was a kid and just discovered it's on Netflix. I showed it to my older daughter, and she loved it, so we are watching it together and I couldn't be happier (not that I have anything against Barbie or the Disney Princesses). Besides that, I just finished Breaking Bad (I know, I know, I'm late), Beastie Boys Story, The Last Dance and White Lines.
What are you listening to?
Too many to list. But, my top three (and staples) are Grateful Dead, LCD Soundsystem and A Tribe Called Quest.
How are you staying fit?
I have gotten back into road biking in a big way and am loving it, especially with the light traffic in L.A. That, and surfing with the occasional F45 Class where I try to keep up with my wife.
Have you taken up a hobby?
I have a classic Porsche and I have been working on rebuilding the engine. I definitely have help, but I'm doing as much as I can.
An awkward moment since all this started.
Oh man, my 3-year-old daughter will kill me about sharing this when she gets older. My wife and I received a note from her teacher to make sure she goes to the bathroom before their daily 1:1 session. Apparently, she's been taking the iPad into the bathroom to handle business during her lessons and we had no idea. None. We were mortified, but we laughed our way through it.
An aha! moment since all this started.
I love meetings—don't get me wrong, I'm a people person. But you reassess the true value of those in-person connections when you've instantly been given a massive amount of time back that was usually spent commuting across cities or the country. You find yourself thinking if you will need to fly for certain types of meetings in the future or would a video call now suffice.
What's your theory on how this is going to play out?
The advertising and digital industries are fortunate to be able to work remotely for the most part. Things will never be the same, but they will evolve into something better; in my opinion, it's already started. I think this has made an industry truly realize they can do the same thing without offices, commutes and weekly in-person meetings. Hopefully it will afford an industry that notoriously works long hours the time to live life a little more and open the door to creativity and talent outside of big cities.