Indonesia agency heads show us what their work from home stations look like

Kids running around, TV blaring from the next room and your mom cooking you lunch - trust us, these are common the sights we on the Marketing Interactive team have seen while we were on a work from home basis. 

In Indonesia, the government enforced social distancing measures among encouraging Indonesians to study, work and pray from home. This comes due to the rise fatalities, which led to school closures and temporary closure of tourist sites. According to president Joko Widodo in a ST report, a taskforce to contain and detect COVID-19 has been initiated as the government works towards ensuring readiness and preparedness to handle COVID-19 cases when necessary.

We speak to some of our agency friends, as they invite us into their homes, on what some of their challenges and experiences have been while they spend mornings taking conference calls out of their kitchens - or some even toilets. 

Anish Daryani, founding partner and president director of M&C Saatchi Indonesia

For Daryani, the first challenge while working from home was to make the call and implement it. “We were perhaps one of the first few agencies to decide on implementing WFH. We announced this on 13 March, and the COVID-19 positive cases in Indonesia had doubled overnight,” he said, adding that it was decided then to execute the measure as a drill for a week.

According to Daryani, the concern prior to implementation was that most of the staff use public transportation to get in and out of office, hence WFH might just aid in limiting their exposure to risks. After implementation comes planning and working out the mechanics, laying the ground rules and establishing systems.  "All of that had to be done in a matter of hours, and communicated to internal teams, trade partners and clients," he added. 

However, in Indonesia it is peak season due to the upcoming Ramadhan. Hence, Daryani and the team had to communicate the action plan to clients, assuring clients of the precautionary measure, and that the health and well being of clients and internal teams was the agency’s primary objective. “And I was absolutely not surprised that most of our clients welcomed the move. Some also replicated our measures to fast track their own WFH protocols,” he said.

Thus far, Daryani said that the team has made good use of technology by moving its project-management to a cloud-based platform. Whilst creative brainstorming is said to be usually best when it’s a collaborative effort, Daryani said that working from home however has not impacted creativity levels. “Our teams are constantly engaging and collaborating using virtual meeting tools and file sharing systems. Even presentations are being co-created using the Collaborate feature on Keynote, and Google Cloud tools,” he said, adding:

It’s work as usual… just under unusual circumstances.

Here's how Daryani gets his creative juices flowing [with a little company]:

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Ivan Hady Wibowo, CEO of Flock Indonesia

A busy CEO in the office, and a parent at home, Wibowo tells Marketing Interactive that working from home can be a balancing act which sometimes, throws him out of balance too! "My children need attention and the struggle continues," he said candidly. Wibowo added that the time saved from traffic jams has however given him more time in completing meetings in a day.  Hilariously, he first shared the image of his conference call room. 

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Meanwhile, when not on the phone, this is where he does the other elements of creative thinking. 

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Soum Banerjee, CEO, TBWA\ Group Indonesia

Work or daughter? Do you feel this CEO's struggle in who he should be giving attention to? According to Banerjee, who has a 3-year-old around, he needs to adjust to her schedule which can be challenging at times. However, when it comes to creative brainstorming, while it is best when it's a collaborative effort, he explained that best ideas can sometimes evolve when alone as well.

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Any challenges and benefits you'd like to share? Reach me at farzanahf@marketing-interactive.com!