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Working From Home - Antonia Watson


Antonia Watson


ANZ New Zealand Ltd.

In a very short space of time COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way we work. I don’t know about you, but I feel like working remotely can be great, but it has also involved a lot of problem solving.


At ANZ we’re all still learning about what’s possible; how it impacts us as people and colleagues; and what it means for our wellbeing and productivity.


Running a business, managing teams and office relationships through this year I’ve seen that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another.


How do we create a work environment where everyone can thrive? I don’t have the answer to that question – yet. But I do think the more we can share our working from home experiences, the better they will become for us all.


So in this ‘unusual business as usual’ environment we are in, how does a CEO work from home?


My home office is in the corner of our sunny spare bedroom. We do have a study but it is dark and gloomy and remains my husband’s man cave.


Best of both worlds


I had never really worked from home before the COVID-19 pandemic so when I first got set up I used the existing desk in the room. It’s an old school desk which originally belonged to my husband’s uncle – it comes complete with gouges and ink stains.  


I have since found out that it is one of the arts and crafts desks designed specifically for the Auckland University Clock Tower building by its architect Roy Lippincott (who also designed the Smith & Caughey building). 


However, I missed the standing desk I had in the office so purchased a cardboard standing desk online from Refold.


I now move between the two during the day. When I’m back in the office, the standing desk conveniently folds up and slips under the sofa.


Well-worn slippers


I bought these Coastal Cowhides slippers at the Wanaka Agricultural & Pastoral (A&P) Show which was the last major event I attended before the first lockdown.


The slippers are made from cow hide and lined with sheepskin and I love them. The most disappointing part of returning to the office was no longer being able to wear them all day. Little did I realise how well-worn they would be by now.


Year of the…


I have the full set of ANZ’s Lunar New Year money boxes at work but I keep a duplicate of these two sitting on the window sill of my home office. They represent my and my husband’s birth years (I am the rooster!).


A different kind of office filing


One of the positives about being at home is that I can file my nails out of camera shot when on video conferences!


London memories


This picture of Canary Wharf in London (circa 1999) with the Thames Barrier and Millennium Dome in the foreground was given to me when I left London.


We hung it above my desk mainly because it was the right size for the spot, but it also seemed appropriate to display a memory of somewhere I worked for over four years. I actually worked in one of the blobs in the centre-left of the picture.


Classical support


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and The Complete Illustrated Works of Lewis Carroll have been my constant companions in lockdown. Not because I am a learned academic and consumer of the classics, but because they raise my laptop screen to the ideal height!


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