Typical 24: Nic Merriman, Avanade

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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 Name:
Nic Merriman

 Job title: Financial Services CTO

 Company: Avanade

 Location: London, UK

 Years’ experience: 12 years

 

 

 

1.       What time do you reach the office each day?
I’m not in the office every day of the week, but when I am I like to kick off the day nice and early, a bit before or after 7.30am.

 

2.       Is your job varied?
Incredibly so – my remit covers a great range of activities, so there is no typical day in the office. It includes business and IT development, market strategies, and importantly being on hand to support and work directly with our customers.

3.       Is your job creative?
I like to think so yes. While my role might not be ‘creative’ in the traditional sense, it certainly has a creative angle to ensure that my team and I are always thinking differently to help our customers realise results. Each day we’re committed to developing technology which we believe will help make a fundamental bottom line impact to our clients. Because technology and industry environments are changing at such a rate, we are always challenging ourselves to think innovatively about new ways to apply and use enterprise technologies to help companies realise their goals.

4.       What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
Because my role is so varied, I am able to spread my time out over a host of different tasks in a given day. No one day is the same. For instance, I might be meeting a customer or partner one day, and liaising with colleagues or creating and developing content on another.

5.       Do you personalise your desk?
At Avanade we don’t have our own desks, instead we hot-desk. This is largely because we’re very flexible as a workforce and are lucky enough to have the digital tools to get work done anywhere. This means we can work in a way that is tailored to our team or even our individual role, so that we can work not only in the office but also with clients and even at home.

6.       Would you describe yourself as creative?
Yes, I wouldn’t call myself a Picasso, but I do enjoy the fact that while at work I have to think creatively, whether that be solving problems or creating business solutions.

7.       Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
Not quirky but I do like to start the day on the right foot, and that’s with a really good cup of tea.

8.       Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
Because my role is so varied I get the best of both worlds. There are some days when I’m working on my own, but then there are other days when I am working as part of a team. It really depends on my location during the week and the task at hand. Some days I’m with customers, others I’m in the office with colleagues, and then sometimes I’ll work from home.

9.       How many hours on average do you work a day?
It’s hard to describe a typical day. When I’m in the office I get started at just before 8am and try to wrap up early evening to get home on time. I also have a rule that “work-free” time is ear marked as “family” time. Ever since my first son was born I’ve been very careful to ensure this.

10.   Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
I’d say it’s evenly split in three.

11.   Do you use social media much for work?
Yes, absolutely, digital and social technologies are a huge part of daily life and are engrained into the way we work at Avanade. These technologies we find are hugely beneficial for collaboration, information sharing and flexible working. I personally use our enterprise social technologies for research and connecting with customers and colleagues, as well as seeing what’s happening in the market. Primarily I use Yammer, and I keep Facebook for friends and family only.

12.   What do you enjoy most about your work?
Working with customers and helping them realise results. I enjoy understanding what the customer needs and helping them achieve it. It’s very rewarding.

13.   What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
I don’t tend to listen to music at work, however I do sometime have the radio on in the background when working from home. It breaks the silence when I’m missing the buzz of the office.

14.   What do you do for lunch?
If I’m in London with a client or colleagues I enjoy grabbing sushi! You can’t go wrong with that.

15.   Do you socialise with work colleagues?
Yes, every now and then we always try to factor in time to grab a drink after work. It’s a great way to catch-up with wider teams and individuals.

16.   Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
Filling in timesheets isn’t my hobby, but I’ll never get rid of them!

There’s nothing specific that I’m glad to get rid of, but work that doesn’t contribute to a solution or doesn’t support a customer I don’t find as satisfying.

 

17.   What is your last task of your day?
A quick check of the email.

 

18.   How do you like to relax after work?
Football is a big passion of mine, so I go and watch live matches whenever I can. I’m a huge supporter of Nottingham Forest.

19.   Do you keep checking email through the evening?
Yes, but the phone never goes upstairs – checking email is limited to whilst watching TV.

20.   Do you take work projects home with you?
One of the benefits of working at Avanade is that we have a digital workplace with the right tools to work anywhere, so I am able to enjoy mixing up my working week by working from home, but in general I prefer working in the office or on client site.

21.   What would you say to your 20-year old self?
Focus on what you enjoy.

22.   If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
I’d love to try my hand at being a footballer.

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

24.   Do you use your own personal device for work?
No – at Avanade we get work laptops, though I only use one mobile phone as it’s easier to keep a track of numbers and contacts. However, it does mean that I have to be quite disciplined about my mobile when on holiday!