Danielle describes her typical working day as the business brains behind a highly creative organisation.
“Working in a small, creative organisation means that my working day can shift in an hour from strategizing with a HR Director in the US to working out how we order printer toner (ordering printer toner it turns out, is much more complicated than designing a global engagement approach!)
6am – Get up and get to the gym for a spinning class at 6.30am. Everyday, I wake up and try and convince myself I don’t need to go but if I don’t think about it and just get on with it before I know it, it’s over and I have that lovely smug feeling that my exercise for the day is done
7.30am – After a shower at the gym I head to their café to take advantage of the free breakfast club. My routine here is to sit with a coffee going through emails, updating my trello board on my phone and generally just working out what my day will look like.
8am – Head back home to walk my dog, Max. We live in a very rural area so I take him for a good walk around the Herefordshire countryside.
8.45am – Get logged on in my office which is in a shed at the top of my garden. We use Microsoft teams to stay in touch with each other so I can see who else in the team is online and ask how they are this morning. When the general morning chatter is finished, I get stuck into a proposal which needs to be finished and sent off before the US wake up later on.
11am – Proposal is done and sent off to the client, so now I switch to researching and scribbling out ideas for a new proposition we are working on. In a creative company like ours, we are never short of ideas but the main issue is working out which ones will be appealing to our clients and how we can deliver it. This idea, I am particularly excited about as it is centred around environmental sustainability and diversity, two causes I am passionate about.
12.15 – Robin calls me on Teams as he is thinks the scope I have developed yesterday for a new project is too broad and we may need to narrow our focus a little. We decide to break down the scope so that the client can determine what elements are most important to them. We also spend a bit of time comparing the weather in the West of England (where I live) to the East of England (where Robin is). We decide that we have both got better weather than the Midlands (where the office is)
12.45 – I realised this morning that my fridge is pretty much empty so I drop a message our to say that I’ll be away for a bit as I need to go and do my food shopping. Experience has taught us that the key to making flexibility work is communication and trust so I just let people know I won’t be around for a bit but I’ve got my phone if needed.
2pm – Back from the shops and can get some lunch now. Take Max out again quickly.
2.45pm – We are working on several projects in the US at the moment so afternoons tend to get a bit busier when they start work. A call for 4pm has been shifted back to 6pm and another client has approved a proposal so I need to write a statement of work for it. Although not the most fun job in the world, it is important as this lays out what we will do on this project and getting it right at this stage means that everybody is clear on who is doing what, timescales etc.
4.30pm – As my call has been pushed back I’ve got a bit of time to do some more research on our new project. I mock up a landing page and start writing some marketing copy. I know I will have to play around with it for a bit, but it feels like it is starting to form something really interesting. I send a what’s app message to a friend of mine to see if I can meet up with her to pick her brains on sustainability when I’m in the office next week.
6pm. Jump on Zoom to talk to the Head of Talent and Engagement at a client we have just started working with in the US. It’s a complex piece of work and as it’s a new client then we need to spend some time understanding the culture and mechanics of the organisation. So far though the signs are looking good. We spend the first 10 minutes of the call laughing at each other as we are both working from home, wearing a hoodie with a dog barking in the background! A pretty typical Purple Monster call then!
After some general silliness and introducing of dogs over the airwaves we work through our proposal, get her thoughts and feedback so that we can proceed to contract stage. So much of our job is about relationships and we have mastered the art of building relationships over video calls and this call is no exception.
7.15pm – Log off and tidy up the mess I have managed to create and head into the house. My husband has just got back as well so between us we make dinner and generally catch up on the day.
At some point in the evening there is a flurry of chat on the Monster What’s app group as Alan has managed to loose directions to the hotel he is staying in for an event tomorrow, so is asking if anyone knows where he needs to be. Once the initial panic is over and he is safely in a taxi to the hotel, there follows a long silly chat with the now frequently used hashtag #travelswithalan.”
While you're here...
Got to organise an epic conference but don’t know where to start?