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Working from home: Antonia Watson

Pic: ANZ NZ Group Executive & CEO Antonia Watson in her WFH uniform in her home office

After being announced as the new Group Executive and CEO of ANZ New Zealand earlier in 2020, Antonia Watson offered a look into her “off-the-grid” Kiwi home. In the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Antonia – along with almost all ANZ NZ staff – moved to working from home during Stage 4 lockdown.


In this new series, we step into the homes and offices of the bank’s executives to learn more about the person behind the desk. In her own words, Antonia shares some of the items she keeps at-hand to make her day run smoother.


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 and actually helped design Canberra as Chief Draughtsman for Burley Griffin). 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 cow hide 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 just because I am a learned academic and consumer of the classics but also because they raise my laptop screen to the ideal height!



Antonia Watson is Group Executive and CEO of ANZ New Zealand


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