#WFH Diaries: Karen Goodman of MullenLowe

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on everyday life, we're checking in with people in the creative industry to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Karen Goodman, who works at MullenLowe in Boston.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

Creative director at MullenLowe, born in North Carolina, living in Boston via Atlanta, New York City, D.C. and Chicago.

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

I'm in a one-bedroom apartment in Boston with my husband.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

I'm incredibly grateful that we're both in industries where remote work is an option. With that being true, we've had to get a bit creative. We're in a 700-square-foot space with no desk or proper kitchen table, and we've both got video calls throughout the day. One of us is often on a folding chair in the bedroom, using a dresser as a desk. It's "cozy," but like everyone else, we're doing our best to make it work, day by day!

Describe your socializing strategy.

In an effort to add humanity to digital moments, I've found myself telling people about funny memes I saw, versus sending them the memes. Turns out, it's way less funny.

How are you dealing with childcare, if applicable?

We don't have kids or pets, so no personal childcare needs. But I do think it's super important to exude empathy and support for everyone who is trying to make it work—especially with so many folks having no childcare coverage. Whether being flexible to moving calls or inviting people to bring kids on screen or simply asking how they're coping and seeing how you can better integrate.  

What are you reading?

After spending a week with mainly New York Times alerts and social media, I know I need to expand my reading outlet. We Need to Talk is on my night stand and I've had Fair Play and Where the Crawdads Sing on my list. Also, my friends just decided to do videos of us reading children's books for each other's kids, so I've got some good kid classics in my future.

What are you watching?

Movies of all tones, from Harriet to Days of Thunder to Onward. I'm one of the people still watching Grey's Anatomy (I am a loyal sucker for all shows Shonda Rhimes). And we've been using Seinfeld anytime we need a break from anything heavy—generally, the news or anything live.

What are you listening to?

I wish I could say the Headspace meditation app. But that's what I PLAN to listen to, starting today. Or at least, this week.

How are you staying fit?

We took our first pass at streaming a yoga class and a HIIT class this weekend. Turns out if you rearrange the furniture, one place can be a workspace, a place for two yoga mats AND a living room. I'm grateful for all the brands that are both streaming live and keeping them online for at least 24 hours.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Not yet. List making is a hobby of mine, so I'll probably start with a list of the hobbies I want to try.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Make sure there's wine.

An awkward moment since all this started.

When my husband reminded me that we stopped playing Scrabble because I always lose.

Best work email you got since all this started.

An email about a tote bag with a pun on it.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Everyone's never done this before.

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

I think we're going to get a lot more comfortable outside our comfort zones. I hope it brings us a lot closer together by making our world a lot more approachable.

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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