Typical 24: Martyn Eley, Acquia

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…

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Martyn Eley

  Job title: General Manager, EMEA

  Company: Acquia

  Location: Reading, UK

  Years’ experience: Over 30 years



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


If I’m not travelling to another of our offices, I drive into Reading and usually arrive at around 8.20am.


2.    Is your job varied?


Yes! On any given day, I could be meeting customers, having discussions with partners and working with other ‘Acquians’ on various projects. That’s one thing I love about my job. I’m never bored.


3.    Is your job creative?


There are definitely elements of creativity in terms of how to go about running the business for our customers in the UK. This is important because our customers have needs unique to the UK, and we can address those creatively.


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


Having internal and external meetings – and deleting some emails!


5.    Do you personalise your desk?


No, not at all, it’s quite a ‘zen’ place. But I look over at our guy who is Head of Customer Services and he’s a big Star Wars fan, particularly of Obe Won Kenobi!


6.    Would you describe yourself as creative?


Yes, I think so. I am a creative thinker. This helps me come up with new ways to approach a problem or talk about a product or service that relates directly to whom I’m speaking to.


7.    Do you have any quirky daily rituals?


I have to have at least 10 minutes to myself, listening to TalkSport before I can speak to anyone on the phone on my way into work each morning. 


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


Definitely with colleagues.


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


I’d say about 12 hours – with calls in the car and some work in the evenings after I’ve eaten.


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


I try and minimise emails with filters so I receive what’s relevant to me, but at least a couple of hours a day on those. Phone and Skype calls take up three or four hours – quite a lot of meetings are with colleagues in other places so calls count for meetings.


11.  Do you use social media much for work?


I’m beginning to, yes. For example, customers contact me on LinkedIn and I enjoy producing my blog.


12.  What do you enjoy most about your work?


Winning deals! I’m a sales guy at heart, so the high I get from a global or new client win is great – celebrating with the team is important too.


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


None except in the car to and from work.


14.  What do you do for lunch?


I try and avoid anything too unhealthy and often go to Pret a Manger for a salad.


15.  Do you socialise with work colleagues?


Yes. We have fun at work and many of my work colleagues are my friends whom I see outside work.


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


There’s a lot of the sales paperwork once a deal is done, which I’m happy not to do anymore!


17.  What is your last task of your day?


I’ll look at my diary to see what’s happening tomorrow. And then turn my iPhone to silent so it doesn’t ping overnight! 


18.  How do you like to relax after work?


Either exercise, watch a bit of sport on TV - or play my electric or acoustic guitar which is a big hobby of mine.


19.  Do you keep checking email through the evening?


Yes, I try not to but it does happen – especially as our HQ is in the US.


20.  Do you take work projects home with you?




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


Make sure you make time for your family, however busy you are. I’m always really conscious of trying to do this and hope I manage it most of the time!


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


The lead guitarist for a successful rock band – if Queen get together again I’ll be there.


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


My iPhone.


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


No, everything is done through my work device – we’re all lucky in that Acquia provide us with some great technology.