Typical 24: Robert Belgrave, Wirehive
Human Resources

Typical 24: Robert Belgrave, Wirehive

IDG Connect is looking to speak to IT, business and marketing professionals across the spectrum to discover more about their very different, typical working days…


Robert Belgrave

Job title: CEO of Wirehive and co-creator of Alexa Stop!

Company: Wirehive

Location: London / Farnborough, UK

Years’ experience: 12


  1. What time do you reach the office each day?
    If I’m in the office, which is in Farnborough, I tend to arrive between 9-10am. Often I’m in London meeting with clients, speaking at events or catching up with strategic partners, in which case it varies wildly.
  2. Is your job varied?
    Yes. No two days are the same. One day I might be giving a talk at a breakfast briefing to hundreds of delegates about the importance of good hosting infrastructure. The next I might be in the office coaching the team on how to deliver great customer service. The week after that I might be flying abroad with a group of other business owners to network and build relationships, which sometimes lead to partnership opportunities.
  3. Is your job creative?
    Yes. I have to solve problems constantly, both for my business and for clients, and I strongly believe this can be as creative a process as painting a picture. For my business, it’s all about thinking strategically to maintain fast growth and stay relevant in a crowded market. For our agency partners and clients, it’s about helping them work better together to develop exceptional customer experiences.
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    Developing relationships with key strategic partners, clients and suppliers; while building fame and recognition for Wirehive in the wider industry.
  5. Do you personalise your desk?
    I like a clean desk with minimal clutter. Having suffered with back trouble over the years, I’ve got a few tactical print-outs reminding me to take breaks or stand up and stretch once an hour.
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    Yes. The thing I enjoy most in my career is solving other people’s business challenges. At Wirehive, we work in partnership with companies to help deliver great experiences for their customers by underpinning them with a strong hosting infrastructure. What they are delivering varies hugely, and this diversity is what I’ve always enjoyed about my business and the hosting industry generally.
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
    Strict e-mail management using the GTD (Getting Things Done) technique. When you have a large volume of work to process and need help staying sane, this methodology helps you manage e-mail and a to do list. It was created by David Allen and has become a widely-adopted framework. Check out http://gettingthingsdone.com/ for more info.
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    This varies from day to day, but often with colleagues.
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    This probably averages out to ten hours, but there are days when I’ve worked for 24 hours straight. I’m a big believer in working smart where possible and taking enough time to establish a good work-life balance. But sometimes needs must and you have to put in extra time to get the job done.
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
    Four hours on e-mails and Slack, four hours in meetings, two hours on calls.
  11. Do you use social media much for work?
    Not all that often, a few times a week. When I do use it, it’s to keep in touch with partners and industry peers. It’s a great way to build strong relationships with the people that matter and interact on a more personal level.
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    The varied nature of my role and the pace of the technology industry.
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    All kinds of things, it really depends on the mood I’m in. Tempo is governed by the kind of work I’m doing. Spotify playlists available on request!
  14. What do you do for lunch?
    Depends where I am. If I’m in London, I often eat out somewhere. I love the food revolution the UK has gone through in the last decade. There’s so much choice now. If I have a bit more time, I’ll sit down somewhere that offers good quality, seasonal produce prepared with a bit of flair, like Duck Soup in Soho. If I need something quick and easy, Pret and Itsu are common favourites.
  15. Do you socialise with work colleagues?
    Rarely with work colleagues but often with clients, many of whom have become friends.
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    Mundane and repetitive tasks in general. I take to new tasks quickly, but I’m not so great at plugging away at the same old thing. If I can delegate something repetitive to a more task-orientated colleague to free me up to focus on creative problem solving, I’ll always do so. I’m also a big believer in automation. We’re always looking for ways to automate and streamline our business processes at Wirehive to create incremental margin and improve the consistency of everything we do.
  17. What is your last task of your day?
    Recap on e-mail and Slack to make sure I’m in a good place for the day and check my diary for the following day to see where I need to be so I can pre-plan my travel.
  18. How do you like to relax after work?
    Spend time with my girlfriend, go for a run, cook, watch TV, play computer games, generally unwind and try to stop thinking about work.
  19. Do you keep checking email through the evening?
    More than I should.
  20. Do you take work projects home with you?
    Again, more than I should.
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
    Stay the course. Work hard and be nice to people. You’re on the right track.
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
    Without any doubt, a fighter pilot. I love speed and complex engineering, and there is no better way for the two to combine than manoeuvring around in a billion-dollar fighter plane.
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
    MacBook air.
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work?
    No, all my devices are paid for by my company. I prefer to only use a single phone and laptop instead of moving between multiple computers.


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