Greetings from the home office - Episode 24: Regula Bührer Fecker, Rod Communication

In the 24th episode of the series "Greetings from the home office" Regula Bührer Fecker invites us to her home - and shows us, among other things, her blossoming cherry trees and her dog.

Grüsse aus dem Home Office

Two-time "Advertiser of the Year" Regula Bührer Fecker is co-founder of Rod and a member of Farner's Board of Directors. How long have you been in a home office?

Regula Bührer Fecker: That must have been Friday the 13th. At least that's how I remember it.


Is your entire agency located in a home office?

Yes, we organized it that way early on. Because we are responsible for the Corona campaign on behalf of the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), Rod was in the "Corona movie" early on and correspondingly sensitized to the fact that all of our daily lives would change.


Did you face any technical problems when setting up your workstation back then?

No, not at all. I often work from home anyway. Whereby, I must specify: Thank God my husband can solve any computer, internet, Bluetooth, app and password problem. That helps me a lot right now.


Where have you set up?

Wherever there is a quiet corner. Usually that's in our "beamer" room, where I can close the door, have an improvised standing desk and a view of forests, pastures, mountains, apple and cherry trees, cows and a bull.

Grüsse aus dem Home Office

What all do you need to be able to do your job?

First: a clear head! Before I start working, I take my daughter for a long walk in the forest. That does us both good. Second: the infrastructure, MacBook, iPhone, headphones, standing desk. Third: contact with the people at Rod and Farner, our customers and partners. And fourth: information from all over the world.


Is it difficult to separate yourself enough when the children are at home?

It is simply different, rarely perfect, much improvised. But just because everything is so close also very nice. Our children are both kindergarteners, so they can keep themselves busy, but not for hours on end. They also don't have a curriculum in the real sense. Accordingly, my husband and I look at the beginning of each week, who has to do what jobs, when to make calls and divide us. One of us is always responsible for the kids and the food. This means that half the time you can concentrate on your work, half the time you are more likely to be tinkering, cooking, baking, etc... I catch up on work in the evenings. The intensive work for the FOPH takes place at all times of the day and night anyway, on all days, so we probably work more overall than before, just distributed differently.


Do you have home office experience or is this a first?

No, I do it often and with pleasure. If I can once a week. Usually it's quiet at home because the kids are in kindergarten. Now it's completely different.

Grüsse aus dem Home Office

Which processes are difficult compared to the normal everyday life of an agency?

Nothing. I find it very nice to notice how much you can rely on the team, how quickly everyone adapts and tackles without any ifs and buts. Our team has been working really hard since February, and we are proud to have been able to play such an active role in the Corona crisis and help with communications for the FOPH. We will remember this assignment for the rest of our lives. But we are still in the middle of the work.


Which jobs go smoothly?

We were already a well-coordinated team before, but now I think we've become even more so. You really have to trust each other when you work remotely. We can do that. We have proven that. With this in mind, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Rod's team for their tremendous efforts.


Is there anything that even works easier or more productively in the home office?

I have now had the privilege of facilitating several workshops digitally and initially thought that participation would probably be different than "live". The opposite was the case: I experienced very committed, goal-oriented processes with a high level of involvement - in less time. Of course, this presupposes that all participants are concentrating on the workshop and not doing something else on the side. So it works very well.


What do they do about the ceiling falling on your head?

Then I take a short walk in the woods, call friends and family around the world, listen to "Kafi am Freitag" or other podcasts I like.

Grüsse aus dem Home Office

Has something like home office jitters started to set in for you?

No, not yet. On the contrary, I find it very special that all people are in the same boat, with similar challenges, worries and fears. And that a very great closeness can develop when you are digitally at home with people in meetings. Everything seems very honest to me right now, very little facade, and I like that. We could all keep that up.


What do you miss most about the physical day-to-day life at the agency?

Logically, the people, sayings, moods, culture. It will be a very special experience when we all meet again. I am looking forward to that.


Are you confident that your agency will come through the crisis unscathed?

I think we are well off. And we've been able to learn an enormous amount in the last few weeks and months. For the FOPH, we were able to develop, orchestrate and deliver a campaign practically in real time, covering the entire communications spectrum. The Corona campaign was actually a world of different campaigns - with the themes of behavior change, solidarity, perseverance, sticking together and so on. The campaign had to reach everyone. Immediately. That's what inspired our whole team.

Grüsse aus dem Home Office

As we all know, everything has its positive sides. What is it in your current home office situation?

By eliminating the commute, lunches and evening events, you simply have more time. More time for thinking, researching, talking, i.e. for content-related work - but also more time for private life, family, exercise, reading, cooking, work at home that you always wanted to do and then never did. This concentration on a small radius and a few people has something very calming about it.


When and why did you last laugh in connection with the home office?

Again and again. The mood in the calls is usually benevolent, and also somehow more intimate than before, so there is also a lot of laughter.


Even if you don't have a crystal ball: Do you expect the current situation to continue for a long time?

I think we have to be cautious going into the next weeks and months and be careful that we don't jeopardize what we've worked hard to achieve with regard to Corona. Let's go together step by step and just look forward.


What would you like to give your colleagues in the industry to take with them through the crisis?

The world after Corona will not be the same as it was before. Neither will the consumers, our target group. We have to adapt to this and help our customers develop the right strategies. That's how we remain indispensable.


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