What's your self-isolation set-up at the moment?

I guess I’m trying to make each day feel as normal as possible by sticking to my routines. Our live-in chef prepares his signature avo’ eggs for breakfast. Luckily he’s also a trained barista and makes a mean morning macchiato. 

The freshly fumigated newspapers are waiting for me as I sit down to delete all my overnight junk mail, and then it’s onto the serious stuff: What hilarious Zoom background will I choose to amuse my creative department today? And even more importantly: what outfit will best compliment the scene? Today is ‘70’s Disco Day’ so I get to run in my new silk shirt. Whoop!

Ruud serves lunch for the family on the veranda (weather permitting) at midday and we talk about our morning’s adventures. My two daughters are responding incredibly well to homeschooling. As luck would have it, their personal au pairs are both ex-primary school teachers and so the children’s days are packed full of learning and garden activities. The Swedish schooling system is very advanced.   

 it’s onto the serious stuff: What hilarious Zoom background will I choose to amuse my creative department today?

During office hours, my wife takes the left wing of the property and I the right (she’s left handed so it worked out easier that way). We both have similar work stations and gyms. Unfortunately we all have to share the underground pool so I've asked my executive assistant to develop a lane swimming booking system. 

My wife and I try to give each other space during the day, but I’m a prankster at heart, so occasionally I take to hiding under the Edwardian banquet table in her boardroom. You have to keep spirits up ;) 

When it comes to exercise my wife and I like to train together. Fortunately, Joe Wicks lives at the end of our grounds and enjoys conducting bespoke workouts for us from his balcony late afternoon. Next it’s a rub down in the spa before a freshly caught fish supper at 7pm in the lakeside pavilion.  

We like to cap an evening off with a stroll through the orchards, a game of tennis, or crazy golf in the fallow field. 

Yes, things do get a bit repetitive cooped up at home, but we’re trying to make the best of it. 

It's lockdown; aside from your family, which four people, past or present, would you most like to be quarantined with?

Trey Parker & Matt Stone. I have a piano, we have time, together we could write their next musical masterpiece. When I say ‘together’ I mean I’d be in the same room.

Bob Ross, the cult TV landscape painter, art therapy for the  long evenings. 

Sigmund Freud, to ensure we make it through unscathed.

We need entertainment, what's your favourite short film?

So difficult to pick out just one film, so I’m going to choose the short that inspired me to write my own. Jeff Stark’s Dessert.

I was just starting out when I saw it. So beautifully simple. Definitely from the brain of an advertising creative.  

Jeff Stark – Desserts

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You've completed Netflix. And Amazon Prime. And Disney+. It's on the hard stuff; board games. What do you pick and why?

I don’t really like board games, but I’m quite partial to a game of Happy Families. 

It’s a card game that dates back to the 19th century and keeps the Schaller family very happy indeed.   

On a serious note, how do you think this situation will impact you individually, and the industry as a whole?

Seriously though, working from home is becoming easier by the day. In fact, sometimes I feel guilty that I’m enjoying lockdown a little too much. The weather’s been great and I’m fortunate to live in a house with good internet and a garden. I get to spend more time with my family, catch up on all the films I should’ve seen and all the books I should’ve read. I’m exercising more, playing the piano again and I have no plans on the weekends. What’s not to like?

... so flexible working is most certainly the way forward.    

With proximity proving to be less significant for employment, implications for the creative industries could be huge. My creative department has taken to remote working very quickly and in some respects the thinking has got better. Video meetings are only called when they are absolutely necessary and overall there seems to be greater efficiency to our process. From an operational point of view I suspect this way of working will grow in the wake of Corona, opening doors to new talent and obvious cost savings. Work life balance will be considered even higher on the agenda when lockdown is lifted, so flexible working is most certainly the way forward.