Typical 24: Kris McKenzie, Calabrio

What do working professionals really do all day?


Name: Kris McKenzie

Job title: SVP & GM EMEA

Company: Calabrio

Location: London, UK

Years’ experience: 20 years


  1. What time do you reach the office each day?

My day varies immensely, depending on whether or not I’m traveling, working from home or going to the office. It can start from 7:30am through to 10pm if I’m on calls with HQ in the US.

  1. Is your job varied?

It’s extremely varied, especially as we are scaling the business across EMEA and rapidly growing all our teams in a bid to support the full customer lifecycle and ultimately create a positive impact for our customers. This means I am involved in everything from finding new office space to recruitment, customer and partner meetings and the usual internal meetings and calls.

  1. Is your job creative?

Yes, from a number of perspectives. This includes devising strategies to grow the business and fostering relationships between our brand and each individual customer. Most importantly, it is creative in helping to make our customers more successful in a market where the customer experience is at breaking point. Customer experience plays a crucial role in digital transformation and businesses understand that they need to embrace customer-centric philosophies in order to ensure future success. However, the focus has now been placed too squarely on the technology and channels. My role is to show our clients that they need to take a step back and consider how each channel will create a positive impact for their customers and how it ties into the whole customer journey.

  1. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?

At the moment, recruitment is taking a large amount of my time with Calabrio’s expansion into EMEA. However, I still make sure the majority of my time is spent with customers and partners. It’s important to me that we work closely with our clients to provide great customer experience. To do this, we must educate them that they need the right mix of new and traditional technology for their customer experience–and that includes customers being able to talk to someone within a company.

  1. Do you personalize your desk?

Not in the office, but at home, yes. I like to have everything I need to hand.

  1. Would you describe yourself as creative?

I’m creative when it comes to ideas around driving the maximum value for our customers and how to build our business in EMEA. I am however, artistically challenged, so that’s best left to others!

  1. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?

If I’m at home, it’s walking the dog first thing in the morning to clear my head however, regardless of where I am, I have to have a double shot latte.

  1. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?

This tends to be a mixture of both. I enjoy working with my colleagues, but also understand the importance of having my own space to get my head down.

  1. How many hours on average do you work a day?

It completely varies depending on whether or not I am traveling. I like working while traveling as it allows me to focus with barely any distraction.

  1. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?

Typically, it’s around four to six hours in meetings and then the rest of the day is varied.

  1. Do you use social media much for work?

Yes, mainly LinkedIn and Twitter as, in my opinion, these are the platforms on which I can best communicate with like-minded business professionals, seek talent and also keep on top of industry trends.

  1. What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy building and transforming teams to become more successful and all whilst developing young talent and helping them fulfil their potential.

  1. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?

I only listen to music during my commute and it varies from rock, dance, indie and pop. Bastille is my current favorite.

  1. What do you do for lunch?

If I’m not with customers or partners for lunch, then I tend to just grab a sandwich or salad at a café.

  1. Do you socialize with work colleagues?

We have regular team events with socials in the evening. I do tend to leave early however, so the team can properly let their hair down without the boss there!

  1. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?

Yes, booking travel and expenses was always a chore. Thankfully, I now have an amazing assistant to help me with admin tasks, making my life easier and helping me be more efficient and productive.

  1. What is your last task of your day?

Putting my phone on charge after I’ve checked my email one last time before going to bed!

  1. How do you like to relax after work?

I play football and squash and enjoy reading and socializing with family and friends.

  1. Do you keep checking email through the evening?

Calabrio is headquartered in the US, so it’s vital I check email in the evening to ensure effective communication between my team here in EMEA and our colleagues overseas. At the same time, it’s very important to me that I make time for my family and the things I enjoy.

  1. Do you take work projects home with you?

It’s inevitable when you work at home frequently to take work projects home, but I try to keep a two-hour window free between 6:30-8:30pm to have dinner with the family and put the kids to bed.

  1. What would you say to your 20-year old self?

Be more patient. On reflection, there have been a couple of occasions in my career where I changed roles perhaps too early.

  1. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?

To be a wildlife vet.

  1. What device did you use to answer these questions?

My laptop and iPhone.

  1. Do you use your own personal device for work?

Yes, my mobile phone.