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The global working from home experience, which includes seemingly endless video calls and the constant consumption of content online can be an exhausting experience, according to Brave creative director Caroline Paris.

Speaking during The Drum’s Digital Transformation Festival as part of the What’s on your bookshelf? series, Paris said: “ I’ve never been busier. The very fact I’m working in my living room, which is where I would have my evening later is mentally challenging.

“At Brave we’re being a little bit more stringent with putting in some kind of boundaries, in terms of making sure people aren't putting meetings in over lunch breaks and trying to limit emails after 7 o'clock because otherwise it is just merging into to this 24 hour workplace.”

Paris recommends stepping away from technology, and perhaps not even watching Netflix, “Everyone wants to do a Zoom call in the evening and I love all that and connecting with people because I'm absolutely a people person. But at the same time, it can be quite draining to be having that conversation through a laptop most of the day.”

Getting crafty and “going old school creative” like taking up doodling, colouring or sorting “stuff out methodically” are her other recommendations to help create some space away from technology.

Reading, and listening  

Discussing her favourite books, Paris recommended Mary Portas’ ‘Work Like a Woman: A Manifesto for change’ as a definite read for the industry. “As a creative, if you want  to work in advertising, you are told to read a lot of classic books that are brilliant for ideas, conceptual and lateral thinking.

But as a female creative you need some practical tips - and this book tells lots of brilliant stories about women in this industry and how that can be a superpower. Portas tells you how embracing more female emotional traits can be a really positive thing.”

Talking about her literary experiences, including reading poetry out loud to her husband, Paris added that there’s something quite special about listening to a person tell their own story.

“I was listening to ‘Gotta Get Theroux This’ by Louis Theroux, and the kind of performance that he brings to the audio experience, is brilliant. I listened to Michelle Obama's ‘Becoming’ as well. And I think it gave her whole story a completely different feeling for me, because you hear the way she talks so passionately.”

Here is a list of Paris’ favourite books from her bookshelf.

What shes currently reading:

  • Gotta Get Theroux This by Louis Theroux
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • The Squiggly Career by Sarah Ellis and Helen Tupperware

Her three favourite books:

  • The Luckiest Guy Alive by John Cooper Clarke, illustrated by Peter Blake
  • This is going to hurt by Adam Kay
  • How to be a parent by Philippa Perry

Her recommended reading for the industry:

  • Work Like a Woman: A Manifesto for change by Mary Portas

You can watch the full interview here and view more content from The Drum's Digital Transformation Festival here.