#WFH Diaries: Shiran Teitelbaum of Edelman and Mike Donaghey of R/GA

As quarantines continue across much of the world, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're handling the WFH situation. Below, we chat with Shiran Teitelbaum of Edelman and Mike Donaghey of R/GA, who, right in the middle of the pandemic, just got married in Vegas.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

Shiran: I'm an Airbnb superhost, VP creative director at Edelman, and co-founder of a clothing label called Unkosher Market.

Mike: I'm just an ECD at R/GA in New York.

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

Shiran: We're actually staying at our pink house in the desert (@thepalmbaum) until we are allowed to legally rent it out again because of Covid.

Mike: We're living in California, but working on New York time. There's a 5:17 a.m. setting on my alarm clock now that should never have existed.

What's your work situation like at the moment, and how is it evolving?

Shiran: I've convinced Mike that the WiFi is better in the master bedroom so I can occupy the living room and the rest of the house throughout the day. 

Mike: I work in our bedroom all day since it has the best WiFi. It's evolving in that I'm spending more and more time with less and less clothes on while I work since I'm in bed and it's 100 degrees outside. And of course, less and less camera time, for the sake of everyone at R/GA.

Describe your socializing strategy.

Shiran: I have virtual game nights with girlfriends that inevitably just turn into us drinking more wine than playing anything.

Mike: I have weekly Zoom dates with a bunch of friends, and a special one every Sunday night with my mom and brother and sister-in-law where we play analog Yahtzee (Covid tip: it's one of the only games you can physically play virtually).

What are you reading?

Shiran: I'm reading Designing with Palms by Jason Dewees while plotting our backyard setup.

Mike: I just picked up MSCHF's line of branded books, which reimagine classics, but with product placement. Chapter 1 (presented by the all-new Chevy Malibu) of Pride and Prejudice ends with the line: "The business of her life was to get her daughters married, and she pursued said goal with the power of an available 2.0L Turbo engine."

What are you watching?

Shiran: A childhood show that I loved, Road to Avonlea, which takes place in Prince Edward Island, Canada. (I'm drooling over the fashion and can't wait to return to work one day in a prairie-inspired frock.)

Mike: We're currently heading into the final tribal council of Survivor: Philippines from 2012, which is just long enough for me to have forgotten who wins. Shiran just googled the year for this answer and saw who wins. Thanks a lot, Tim Nudd.

What are you listening to?

Shiran: Our vinyl collection including Orville Peck and of course some Taylor Swift.

Mike: Dirty Dancing is my go-to.

How are you staying fit?

Shiran: It's been hard staying motivated. I miss my Box + Flow classes in Soho, but am going to try their new Zoom workouts.

Mike: I know it's lame, but I bought a(nother) Total Gym. 

Have you taken up a hobby?

Shiran: This place is a constant hobby. We've been painting rocks pink, creating lampshades out of wallpaper to match each room, and we just made a stamp so we can do pink wax seals of our logo.

Mike: I've started drawing again. Did a watercolor pencil crayon portrait of Shiran for her birthday that mostly looks like her.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Shiran: Instacart.

Mike: Drisly.

An awkward moment since all this started.

Shiran: Writing the email to our wedding guest list to tell them we had to move the wedding to next May was a bit awkward.

Mike: Sending a follow-up a week later to tell them we eloped in Vegas with Elvis was a little awkward, too. But we're still doing a proper ceremony next May with rings and vows and Cossette CCO Peter Ignazi as our officiant!

Best work email you got since all this started.

Shiran: That our client Dove Men+Care was expediting our #DadsCare initiative, so that dads at home right now can help other dads navigate parenting during Covid with how-to videos on YouTube.

Mike: Three days before launch, we got an email from Alicia Keys' people saying she'd donate her new track "Good Job" to our "Out There For Us" campaign for the Ad Council that lets people thank essential workers in their city with donated DOOH media by tweeting their message.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Shiran: That working remotely is totally doable and can still lead to great work.

Mike: I'm from Toronto, and moved to NYC via London, so I haven't lived at home for nearly a decade, but I'm now seeing my TO friends more than ever. So I think my aha! moment is realizing that everyone can be using Zoom/etc and we can all be connected no matter where we are, in a way we just hadn't adopted previously.  

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

Shiran: Not sure, but I think a lot of companies are realizing that they don't need to be paying the rent they are paying, and people are realizing that they will be able to live where they want, and work virtually.

Mike: Yes, I think a lot of finance people have had "aha! moments" regarding rent. Things are definitely going to get a little (if not a lot) more nomadic.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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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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