Thought Leadership

Quarantine Q&A: How Some of Our APAC and EMEA Employees Are Adapting

March 31, 2020
By Rubicon Project

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to alter the ways in which we work, we’re curious how some of our employees are handling their quarantine.  We spoke with Craig Charlton, Lead Solutions Analyst for APAC, and Sara Buluggiu, Country Manager for Italy, Spain, and MENA (Middle East & North Africa) to find out how they are doing, what’s keeping them sane, and to discover any tips they have for getting through this trying time.  

CRAIG CHARLTON

What is your name?
Craig Charlton

What do you do at Rubicon Project?
Lead Solutions Analyst for APAC.

How are you doing with the quarantine?
Honestly I feel like I’ve been in quarantine ever since the Australian bush fires back in 2019, so by now I’m a seasoned pro!

What adjustments have you made to your work life?
Since the quarantine, I’ve made a conscious effort to interact more in our shared Slack workspace. It’s important to maintain a sense of community and keep morale high.

What gets you going in the morning?
A hot cup of coffee and ten minutes of mindfulness out on my balcony.

Do you have some productivity tips for working from home?
I think it’s important to maintain a clean and tidy workspace — I certainly feel more motivated with less clutter! 

What are the best things you’ve experienced during this situation?
The community spirit within the apartment blocks here in Sydney. I’ve seen donation tables where people are leaving their excess supplies for those less fortunate — it’s really warming to see people banding together in a time of crisis.

How are you keeping in touch with friends and family?
I’ve been scheduling regular (weekly) FaceTime calls with as many groups of people as I can — I feel like it’s been going pretty well, and having a schedule gives people something to look forward to.

What is your favorite recipe you’ve concocted out of things lying around the house?
Fried potato gems (tots) with truffle hot sauce and garnished with a simple, yet elegant, leafy green salad!

What are you doing to stay occupied outside of work hours?
I am making time for my hobbies, picking up where I left off on some online coding courses, and teaching myself musical instruments. There haven’t been any sporadic musical breakouts on the balconies in my neighborhood yet and we’ve got to start somewhere!

How are you staying active during this situation? Are there any exercise videos or tips you recommend?
I try to get out once a day for a half an hour run or a forty-five minute walk. I feel like this is important for both your physical and mental wellbeing. I was also fortunate enough to get hold of some strength resistance bands.  There’s a whole bunch of different exercises you can do with those, so if you’re creative enough it’s like having a gym at home!

What TV shows, movies, or books do you recommend?
On TV shows, I can’t get enough of HBO’s Westworld. At my place we have a Westworld night every Monday, complete with smoked whisky cocktails!

When all this is over, how will you celebrate?
I’ll be celebrating in true Aussie fashion with a BBQ by the beach with family and friends.

SARA BULUGGIU

What is your name? 

Sara Buluggiu

What do you do at Rubicon Project? 

I am the leader of the team for Italy, Spain, and MENA (Middle East & North Africa).

How are you doing with the quarantine? 

We have been in isolation since Feb 24th. My team has been focused on safety since the very beginning and we are now getting used to our “new life.”

What adjustments have you made to your work life? 

I’m using a lot of video conferencing systems and WhatsApp calls.  It is more difficult to call clients because everyone is experiencing a death of a relative or friend and it is not good to talk about “prebid integration,” for example. 

What gets you going in the morning? 

I have not changed my food and habits routine: I wake up, have breakfast (ok, maybe I’m taking more time to enjoy it), and then I start to work.  Easy! 

Do you have some productivity tips for working from home? 

Find a place that is “your office” in which you “go” to work. 

What are the best things you’ve experienced during this situation? 

I rediscovered some old entertainment: puzzles, books, home cleaning, and cooking. And my cat is the happiest cat in the world: mom is always at home!! 

How are you keeping in touch with friends and family? 

I’m calling my son (he got quarantined at his father’s place) several times a day, after his remote schooling and I’m texting a lot with WhatsApp.  I’m also more in contact with relatives that I’m not so regularly in touch with. It’s a kind of remote family reunion :). 

What are you doing to stay occupied outside of work hours? 

I’m reviewing some of my memories. Old photos and old souvenirs are finally finding their place. 

How are you staying active during this situation? Are there any exercise videos or tips you recommend? 

I’m doing 15 mins of gym each day.  I used to do 1 hour of crossfit every day, so now I’m basically losing all those muscles!! 

What TV shows, movies, or books do you recommend? 

I’m really enjoying watching Mrs. Maisel on Amazon. 

When all this is over, how will you celebrate? 

Just a simple day on the beach, a dish of seafood pasta, an iced glass of white wine, and tons of hugs from my son! 

To learn more about life at Rubicon Project, email us: contact@rubiconproject.com


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