Around the office with Edelman's Lisa Osborne Ross

“I love working from home and never thought that I would like it this much. I never thought I would be this productive.”

How are you liking working from home?
I did a pitch to an existing client and when they asked, “How are you?” I was like, “Do you know what? I actually love working from home and never thought that I would like it this much. I never thought I would be this productive.”

Where is your office normally?
I normally have the good fortune of working in Washington, which is also my hometown. I’m a born-and-raised native Washingtonian.

I am now in Maryland. We have a guest house on our property that I made my office. I get up in the morning, pack my backpack, my computer, my lunch and walk three minutes to a different place. It has helped me a lot in terms of separating my work life from my personal life.

What’s your morning routine?
My husband and I get up and we do a three- or four-mile walk. Then I come back, shower, get dressed and walk over to the office. We instituted something at Edelman that I thought we needed at the inception and it has been really strong. Something called the blue zone. When you were in your office, you could get up, talk to your colleagues or go and get lunch. But you also have a spot where you can go and close the door and get your work done.

So the blue zone is two hours everyone has to do whatever they need to do to be productive. For me, it’s the time I answer emails, or it may be to prepare for an interview. It may be time I need to write something for a client. And in all honesty, it may also be the time that I go and walk the dog.

Have you seen anything unexpected during your virtual meetings?
You see how stylish people are. Someone’s home is another form of self-expression. In the office, I would see how they come to work, how they dress, and I have a sense of them. And now I see what their homes look like.

I learn more about them, more about their interests. I may see an African mask on a wall. So I’m like, “Oh wow, tell me about that mask.” Or I might see a lot of sports memorabilia and I didn’t know they were a big sports fan.

What happens when you first sit down in front of your laptop?
I handle two executive committees. One is for the U.S., and we have a call every Tuesday. Then for the Washington office, the acting head of that office has a 10 o’clock call where we do a check-in. And then after that it’s client calls.

I also do a check-in with my senior teams for the two hats that I wear. And after that, it’s just client communications and client work.

Any pets?
My third child is four-legged and her name is Elizabeth Taylor. She is an 8-year-old English bulldog and my executive assistant. She follows me everywhere I go. She’s frequently on Zoom calls. Either you hear her snoring or you can see her through a mirror. But she is my steady companion through all of it.

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