As the devastating impact of coronavirus spreads around the globe, Cresta asked leading figures in the industry to tell us about their #newnormal. Tom is usually to be found shuttling between Hobby offices in Europe, North America and Asia but is currently largely confined to his home in Sweden’s capital. How’s it going?

How long have you been working from home?
While it's only been three weeks, working from home with a two year-old running it can sometimes feel like three months.

Do you separate work life from home life in this 'New Normal'?
Being fortunate enough to love what I do, those worlds are usually quite entwined these days. But family time is family time. Phone and computers are put away and the office becomes a home again.
Sweden is taking a much less restrictive approach than other nations.  This means we're still able to move freely outside so we're trying to get out and stretch out legs as much as possible (far away from others!).

What's filling up your store cupboard?
We're leaning heavily towards 'refreshment' rather than 'refuelling'. While others seem to have stockpiled toilet paper and tinned food it seems our shopping list consisted of chocolate, tortilla chips and copious amounts of coffee.

How do you manage the business from home?
Hobby is and has always been a remarkable, independent yet cohesive group. Our core team operates from Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, Amsterdam and Latvia and our directors & creatives are spread all over the world. So managing our operations from home hasn't proven too different from normal. I'm normally on the road a lot of the time so we're well equipped.

Are clients responding well to the new way of working?
We're still able to produce and shoot here in Sweden yet there is of course an increase in hesitation and trepidation. I'm so impressed by and grateful for the way clients, agencies, production companies and teams are coming together to find solutions. We're seeing a remarkable sense of alignment that can sometimes get lost during the normal day-to-day industry life. We're all in the same boat and have the same goals.  Having seen how constructive these working relationships can be makes me feel hopeful about the future.

Is there a favourite track that helps you work?
When the two year-old isn't wanting to mash my keyboard, I'm finding I now have more time for 'deep work' where I can lose myself in a longer task. For that I find Joep Beving an absolute treat.

A best tip for anyone trying to create at home?
Isolation and discomfort aren't the worst things for sparking creativity. Embrace the change and the challenges it presents. There is a lot in the world at the moment that we have very little control over. Focus on the things you can control.


Tom Rickard is a judge at this year’s Cresta Awards. To see all our 2020 judges, please click here.