Merkle quarantine diary - week "much too long"

Melanie, our Director Marketing&Communication reviews her week in the home office. She can't remember how many weeks she spent there already

Day 41 - Monday, the 11.05.2020

To be honest, I was just waiting for it. It's obvious that if you have the Employer Branding Manager in your team, who is responsible for our home stories, sooner or later she will come up with the question: "Do you ever write a home story?" And I was a little bit happy. Finally just writing again. I do that far too rarely in my working life. No sooner said than done. Here we go. Today's Monday. It's May 11. I only know the date because I checked my watch. How many weeks do I spend at home now? I have no idea. If you ask me, it's been way too long. I had an accident in December and couldn't walk for three months. So I worked from home. Until one day in February. Back at the office, I was the happiest person alive. Big grin. Finally colleagues again. Exchange, feedback, meetings, challenging each other, after-work beer. Coffee breaks and latest gossip. How I had missed it. And then comes this funny little ball with the spikes on it. And Merkle moves into the home office. Beginning of March sometime. If I had looked at it positively, I could have said, "Great, I'm used to it." And since I'm a positive person, I looked at it positively. I still do. I'm gonna give it to my team right now. Monday afternoon is our team meeting. I have added a fixed part where we exchange our questions and thoughts about the current situation. Open communication is essential in days like these. In the team, but also in the entire organization. I have just finished an appointment called "Executive Board Info". All managers are kept up-to-date on the most important decisions made by our executive management. This is particularly important and useful for me, as I am responsible for our internal communication. I support our management in ensuring that we communicate in a transparent and understandable way with our colleagues. If we don't see each other, this is even more important than usual. And a real challenge. I love challenges.


Day 42 - Tuesday, 12.05.2020

My muscles are sore. But only a little. Why? I didn't tell you yesterday. Every Monday and Wednesday at 6 pm, Namic's Quarantine Fit takes place. Together with my colleagues Nathalie and Grit, I organise a workout on video for our employees. One hour. Each time a different part of the body is in focus. "Just box your work stress away. With power. If your colleague has annoyed you today, then box him away in your mind." - I didn't really say that last night, did I? So what if you did? I see it (as always) positively: When the lockdown is over, Merkle is fit. Fitter than ever. We want to continue this after Corona. Then on the green outside our Munich office.

Melanie an ihrem Schreibtisch im Home Office
Campaign planning in the home office

It's Tuesday afternoon. I'm working on a concept for a digital campaign with Adobe, one of our software partners. Over the next few months, we want to communicate our new Adobe offering to the market and demonstrate our technology expertise. My team will be responsible for the implementation with whitepapers, webinars and video series on social media. I will try to work out the overall story and our messages with the experts. In doing so, I have to concentrate. Actually. But my colleague Patrick won't let me. He's our Director of New Business. We work together a lot. Thinking about how we can win new clients and what it takes to do so. Actually. Today he writes to me in the chat. He doesn't like the combination of a "t" at the end of a sentence and the round dot in our corporate slides that follows. Honestly? I check his calendar and see he's preparing an important pitch right now. It's enough to turn you crazy. He continues. He needed a break for a minute. His brain is deep-fried. I gotta laugh. These are my favorite chats.

Day 43 - Wednesday, 13.05.2020

Liveübertragung von Quarantäne Fit
Quarantine fit at Merkle

My highlight on Wednesday: the All Hands Meeting with our holding company Merkle. Here we will get an insight into what is happening at the other locations in Europe and how our business performance is developing. Knowing that more than 6000 colleagues are watching the same livestream and working together to overcome these challenging times is really great and motivates me in my own work. The day flies by and while I'm still hanging on to the last video call, I quickly put on my clothes for the quarantine fit. Luckily, the cameras in our video tool can be turned off as well. Today is leg day. After eight hours, exactly the right one is in place. Nathalie has chosen the Sally-up-Challenge with squats. Don't you know? Google it. And if you find the video, you might want to jump right in.


Day 44 - Thursday, 14.05.2020

No matter what happens today, I got to have time at 5pm. Thursday 5pm is the Merkle Lounge. Half an hour of virtual reading of a story. Last week we had the ultimate cliffhanger on Thursday. It was really mean. I need to know what happens next. The story is called "The Other" from love escapes by Bernhard Schlink. I like this half-hour break. Just to free my head. Our HR team has a lot of activities like that right now. All voluntary of course, this is not working time. But it is time well spent. For yourself. What was I doing till 5pm? I finalized a campaign plan, discussed with the other Marketing Directors from Europe on how we would collect data together and figured out with my team how we could improve our best cases for our sales colleagues, asked for feedback on a colleague for my next feedback meeting, updated mail templates and brainstormed with my colleague Julia over plenty of tea on how we could improve the use of data for marketing.

Lena sitzt am Tisch und schaut zur Seite
Lena, Employer Branding Manager and part of Melanie's team

After the Merkle lounge, I continue working on mails and create a new section in our intranet. Then the working day is over. If Patrick doesn't get back to me in the chat room... In the photos we have in our picture database, there would always be only young people on them. He wonders if we have pictures that radiate more experience. Our average age at Merkle is 32, and we're all so experienced together. His brain is probably deep-fried again. Or he just wants to do some marketing. I totally understand. I love marketing.


Day 45 - Friday, 15.05.2020

My colleague Lena (yes, exactly, the Employer Branding Manager) wants the home story by noon. So you can read it at the start of the weekend. So I'll be keeping myself short. I can do that too. Whether you believe it after the text or not. Have a nice weekend. And: Always stay positive!