#WFH Diaries: Lisa Pendse of Quantic Dream
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage against the machine, we're checking in with creative industry folks to see how they're faring. Here's an update from video game company Quantic Dream's vice president of marketing, Lisa Pendse.
Give us a one-sentence bio of yourself.
I'm Lisa Pendse, originally from Boston, now based in Paris, working in video game marketing.
Where are you living right now, and who's with you?
I'm flying solo in beautiful central Paris.
What's your work situation like at the moment?
So, so fortunate to be on 100 percent remote work, along with the entirety of my team.
Describe your socializing strategy.
I have friends and family spread out all over the globe, so scheduling, IN MY OUTLOOK CALENDAR, moments to FaceTime or chat has been life-saving. Sometimes in the morning, oftentimes at night after the work day is over.
I'm also trying hard to check in with my direct reports each morning and ask how they're feeling. My group chats are totally lit 24/7—WhatsApp, Telegram, Discord, everything—and it helps to feel keyed in to a bigger matrix.
What are you reading?
As I'm getting used to this new lifestyle, my media diet has been 100 percent digital, because I normally only read on long flights (which I used to take a lot of … now, not so much!). I think this weekend I'll dive into what I was saving for my next airplane ride.
I'm currently halfway through Dan Simmons' Hyperion, a sci-fi novel set in the far future, which I guess will hit different now that we're in a new world ourselves.
What are you watching?
TikTok, YouTube, and the backlog of saved Netflix flicks. Making my way through the Studio Ghibli collection that was just added to European Netflix recently. I'd been meaning to watch them, since a lot of people at work cite them as inspiration or references, and I've never seen any before.
To be totally honest, though, I am spending hours inside Animal Crossing and have zero regrets about that.
What are you listening to?
Instrumental background music, lo-fi chill hip-hop beats, and classical music, thanks to Paris Opera putting entire ballets and operas online for free streaming.
How are you staying fit?
I started doing some gentle yoga in front of my TV, just to get my muscles limbered back up. I can't believe how much I miss my commute walks! I am trying to get outside as much as I can for fresh air—with a permit, of course. And I'm playing Just Dance on my Switch, which is a fantastic workout.
[Editor's note: At this point in the lockdown, French residents can only be outside for a handful of reasons, all of which are listed on the equivalent of a printout hall pass.]
Have you taken up a hobby?
Nope, to be honest I don't have time. The workday goes by really fast, then it's just a normal evening routine. I've been trying, sometimes unsuccessfully, to stick with my sleep schedule, and that has been hobby enough.
Any tips for getting necessities?
Do not panic-buy! The world isn't ending and we are not at war with a human enemy. We don't risk death if we need to venture out to our still-stocked grocery stores more than once a week.
An awkward moment since all this started.
I ran into my former boss in the Métro, of all places, the week before quarantine was in place, and I was so excited to see her I automatically went in for the French cheek kisses. She awkwardly pulled away—not her fault, I was just on autopilot! Retraining muscle memory like that is hard.
Best work email you got since all this started.
They've all been business as usual! Which is great, because having at least the "stability" of work has been really comforting to me.
An aha! moment since all this started.
I realize how energized I get by frontloading my work (video meetings, etc.) first thing in the morning. I never really clocked that for myself during in-office life, but it really makes a difference in my overall motivation, productivity and mood if I start by diving straight into work topics with my boss and colleagues with my morning coffee. Luckily, they're on board for morning video meetings as well!
What's your theory on how this is going to play out?
I think we'll spend April in confinement, back to offices in May. However, for at least a full year or longer, our social instincts are going to be on edge. I can't foresee myself spending as much time in crowded Parisian restaurants, bars and terraces in close quarters with others like I used to.
I think we'll see more gatherings held at homes: more intimate, with secure knowledge that people aren't sick. I'm also extremely unmotivated about traveling as much as I used to; I'm just starting to get used to how my neighborhood is handling this situation: distancing, wearing masks, etc. I'd be anxious about figuring out a new micro-social structure if I were to travel to another city too soon.