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A Week in My WFH Life: Amy Marais


7am: Alarm goes off and I hit snooze.

8:10am: I wake up, quickly remind myself what day it is and that I missed that jog I promised myself, yet again! I’ve made my “7am” berry smoothie (this a running joke in my team), drank two cups of filter coffee and found something that still fits me.

9:30am: It’s time for my favourite meeting of every day — the team huddle! I am greeted by my team’s lovely faces and we talk about the weekend and today’s priorities.

10:00am: A successful client presentation of the June DMs (sold with zero amends!) and a blur of WebEx calls.

2pm: I’m ready for our VM team call. In normal life, this is where everyone from planning, creative, client service etc meet in the same corner of the agency to discuss strategy updates and review the work in progress on the wall. Lockdown isn’t going to stop us, as we run through slides of all the current work and discuss all the ways Virgin Media is adapting to Covid19 life.

6pm: It’s been a long week already and I decide to take my laptop into bed with me. Most of my evenings are spent binge watching my latest TV show obsession and drinking a glass of red wine in bed (this is quite normal I tell myself). I have listed my favourites at the end of my diary (the shows, not the wine).


8:10am: I’m awake and I am out of the house! I join all the early bird joggers. Ok, I am only walking, but so what, look at me go! It’s going to be a beautiful sunny day today. I slowly walk back inside the house and get ready for work. Fashion tip #1 — it is totally acceptable to live in active wear during lockdown. Just put on a nice top for meetings.

9am — 12:00: Feeling a bit ‘ground hog day-ish’ and missing the agency vibes a bit more than usual today. I move between rooms while I do timing plans, proofread decks, book resource and have various client calls to hear how everyone is doing.

1:30pm: It’s time for lunch. One thing I am enjoying about lockdown is preparing my own lunches instead of hitting up the 7th floor. On today’s menu is chicken fajitas with all the trimmings.

1:40pm: I’ve eaten too much, and I need a nap. But I draw the line at day-time napping, so I opt for a swift walk around the block.

4pm: I join the Client Leadership meeting. So great to see everyone and listen to what other accounts have been working on. There is a ‘pub quiz’ at the Isolation Arms (best new hang out in London) I get a measly 10/25 but that’s okay, because I got to hang out with my RAPP fam a bit!

6:30pm: The doorbell rings and my delicious Greek feast arrives. As I sit down to my 4th Deliveroo takeaway since lockdown, I think about my family in Cape Town who are not allowed to buy alcohol or receive deliveries of any kind!


7:30am: No amount of dry shampoo is going to bring my blonde roots back. I slap on some make-up and join the queue for Tesco. Does anyone know where I can get guestlist? Fashion tip #2 Dark roots are so back in fashion. Embrace your natural, mousey colours!

10am: I have a call with the planning team to discuss the great feedback from client on a deck we presented. We discuss the few minor updates to be made to the deck. This is followed by more WebEx calls throughout the day.

4:10pm: While working on a copy brief, I see my squirrel come up to the window and I run to get her nuts. Am I a modern-day Cinderella or a crazy woman in lockdown? I will let you decide, but her name is Tabitha and she loves peanut butter.

7pm: I go for that jog!


8:00am: 30 minutes of mindful stretching and yoga before giving up to make coffee (I do miss the agency black coffee)

9:30am: This is our weekly status call with all of our lovely clients. I make a point of having my camera on although none of the clients follow my lead. There was the usual ‘sorry I was on mute’, ‘are you there’ *awkward silence* WebEx banter but we got there, and the clients all seem well and happy. Fashion tip #3 Its okay to only put on full face make up for client meetings. Let your skin breathe and save your foundation.

3pm: Have a great chat with Alex in my 121. Even though we are apart, I love the fact that we chat continuously throughout the day.

8pm: I need a mini blow out. I turn the lounge into a live Blink 182 concert, and friends tune into the same concert via Zoom. After many attempts of us all playing from the same part of the show (‘’1,2,3, GO!’’), the gins are going down nicely and I am having a great time dancing around the kitchen!


6am: It’s Friday, my hangover is only a 4/10 and its Pay Day! I promise myself that I am going to save even more this month and maybe when this is all over, I won’t need to spend as much as I did on going out (home live concerts are the way forward).

8:30am: Slack is on. I make some tweaks to my deck that I am presenting in our team meeting shortly. It’s my turn to host and I start off my slides with a picture of Table Mountain (naturally). I use this time to take the team through the Covid19 Brand guideline 2 pager and end off with an impressive list of Time Outs ‘Things to do this weekend’ to get everyone in the Friday mood.

11:30: I tune into Alex Jardine’s Curiosity Lab about ‘feeling the fear but doing it anyway’. I feel inspired and in awe by how brave Alex is to do a 5-minute stand-up comedy routine. She nails it.

1pm: I go for my first bike ride in over a decade wearing yellow kitchen gloves and feeling like a superhero. After a few wobbles and sticking closely to the blue cycle lane (terrified of the cars and other cyclists) I am loving it and wondering to myself how much a bike costs and thinking maybe I should start cycling to work when this is over!

14:00 onwards: It’s a rather busy Friday PM with more calls, a copy briefing with Simon and the company meeting.

6pm: Another week of lockdown behind me, I am looking forward to a weekend of House Party quizzes with the family and about 10 more episodes of Season 4 ‘This Is Us’.

I look down at my fingernails with the same pink gel polish I had done pre-lockdown. I think to myself how I might not have this whole lockdown thing figured out as much as I’d hoped by now, but that’s okay. I am learning each week what works for me and most importantly, trying to be kind to myself. Monday will come again and I WILL make that 7am jog!

As promised, here are my top shows in no particular order (best with a glass of Malbec).

1) The Nest — ITV HUB

2) London Kills — BBC One

3) Killing Eve (new season) — BBC

4) Quiz — ITV

5) This Is Us — Amazon Prime

6) Ozark Season 3 — Netflix

7) Afterlife Season 2 — Netflix

8) Dead To Me (Season 2 starts next week) — Netflix

9) The Morning Show — Apple TV+

10) Three Identical Strangers — Netflix



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