Typical 24: Helen Sutton, DocuSign
Human Resources

Typical 24: Helen Sutton, DocuSign

Helen Sutton

Job title: VP Enterprise Sales Northern Europe

Company: DocuSign

Location: London, United Kingdom

Years’ experience: 20+ years


  1. What time do you reach the office each day?
    On a day when I’m working from the office, I arrive at 08:45, after an hour and a half commute – I’m looking forward to Crossrail. I usually work from the office about three days per week. The rest of the time I am out with our customers.
  2. Is your job varied?
    Exceptionally! An example day could be meeting an Enterprise CFO, collaborating with the legal team, planning demand generation campaigns, and spending time on training and development with the sales team.
  3. Is your job creative?
    In a sense. I spend a lot of my time problem solving, and often have to be creative in the application of solutions, especially customer-facing ones. Internally, we also have to find creative solutions to challenges such as covering the whole of Northern Europe with a rapidly growing team.
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    I spend about 60% of my time on customer-related topics, 20% on people, and 20% thinking (on a good day).
  5. Do you personalise your desk?
    I have a picture of my eight-year-old daughter on my desk at the moment, as well as a photo of myself and colleagues attending a recent ‘Women in IT’ awards event.
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    I wouldn’t refer to myself as creative in the traditional, ‘arty’ sense of the word. Mostly, my approach is based on logic and common sense.
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
    I’m not really a quirky sort of person but I certainly function better after two coffees in the morning!
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    I work very much as part of a team. DocuSign has a global presence, so I am in regular contact with colleagues in the US, as well as across EMEA.
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    Whilst my working hours tend to balance out, my actual working pattern is much more varied. For instance, it’s not uncommon for me to be on the phone to the US team during the night. That said, striking the right work-life balance and being able to do everyday things such as putting my daughter to bed is hugely important to me. 
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
    I spend a lot less time on email than I used to. Instead, I much prefer to use instant messaging services such as Salesforce’s Chatter Messenger. In terms of meetings and taking calls, I would estimate that I spend about 60% of my time on these tasks.
  11. Do you use social media much for work?
    My social media profiles are reasonably corporate. I don’t share too much by way of personal opinion across these platforms, but they are a super way of keeping track of developments in the industry.
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    Perhaps unsurprisingly, a lot of my job satisfaction comes from selling well and hitting targets. But I also really enjoy training and developing people.
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    I don’t listen to much music at work.
  14. What do you do for lunch?
    I stick to the classics (usually a meal deal from Boots).
  15. Do you socialise with work colleagues?
    I do try to make sure we foster a strong a team environment by organising events such as team dinners, and ensuring that we celebrate achievements together.  At the end of our last quarter we played darts together as a team! However, I’m careful to maintain a clear distinction between colleagues and friends outside of work.
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    I’m very pleased that we have managed to move beyond email. It’s such an inefficient method of communication.
  17. What is your last task of your day?
    Calling home and telling my husband and daughter that I’m leaving the office.
  18. How do you like to relax after work?
    I love to keep fit, especially running and taking spinning classes. Going running in the woods near my house is fantastic, it really clears my head after a long day.
  19. Do you keep checking email through the evening?
    Not unless I’m expecting something, but I do check other platforms.
  20. Do you take work projects home with you?
    I try to keep projects within office hours, but if it’s a particular project such as an important piece of customer-facing work, then I do what I need to do.
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
    I would actually say “You’re amazing!”. I’m very proud of some of the choices I made at this age, some of which may be considered counterintuitive. For instance, I chose to become an engineer, and sought out a company in Germany to work for over a summer. This was a fantastic experience, and served as a really positive foundation for my career.
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
    Politician - I’ve always been interested in politics so I would love to try my hand at being a minister. I think it’s a very difficult job that comes in for a lot of criticism from the outside, so it would be very interesting to get an internal perspective and first-hand experience of the inner workings of something like running the treasury.
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
    A laptop computer.
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work?
    We have a BYOD policy at DocuSign, so I do use a personal device for work. However, I do have two phones; one personal and one for work, as part of a conscious decision to maintain work/life balance.


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