Typical 24: Kevin Linsell, Datapipe Europe
Human Resources

Typical 24: Kevin Linsell, Datapipe Europe

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…




Name: Kevin Linsell

Job title: Director of Strategy & Architecture

Company: Datapipe Europe

Location: London, UK

Years’ experience: Over 20 years’ experience in managed services, ranging from network through to cloud.


  1. What time do you reach the office each day?
    It depends which office I am going to, as the nature of my job means I am often in different locations. If I am heading to my local office, which is based in Ipswich, then I will normally cycle the 5 miles in and arrive by 7:30am to get a head-start on the day. However, if I am heading into our head office in London, then I’ll get the train and arrive at the office for 9am and use the train journey to catch up on emails and podcasts.
  2. Is your job varied?
    Absolutely. My role at Datapipe covers a variety of responsibilities, including strategy, evangelism, partners, pre-sales architecture, and products - so no two days are the same. This is fortunate as I get bored very easily, so such variety is incredibly important to me!
  3. Is your job creative?
    Yes definitely, certain aspects are very creative. For example, the evangelising and marketing elements require a high degree of creativity. I always describe these parts as ‘story telling’ – understanding your audience, listening to their needs (business problems/requirements), and then telling a story of how we can help them. We like to ensure our stories conclude with a ‘happily ever after’ ending!
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    As Director of Strategy & Architecture at Datapipe Europe, much of my time is taken up by advising the company on strategy and keeping up to date with the latest industry news. I have to stay abreast of market trends, developments, and emerging vendors in the industry. I manage this by reading blogs, participating in webinars, and through social networking. I also engage with colleagues, contacts, and analysts to discuss latest industry news with them as well.
  5. Do you personalise your desk?
    I am not able to, due to the fact that I work all over the country in the different Datapipe Europe offices and am generally working from 2 or 3 different locations each week. Because of this, I hot-desk as it allows me to be flexible with meetings and my changing locations.
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    I would say I am more creative than I used to be! In my role, being creative is more focussed on the technical, commercial, or business areas of my work. Luckily, we have a fantastic marketing department to help with the look and feel of my articles and presentations, so I don’t need to worry about being too creative in that respect.
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
    I’m pretty straight down the line, although some of my colleagues think I am crazy for cycling into the office in all weathers!
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    It depends on what I need to do. As my role involves a lot of travel, I often have to work independently. However, gathering feedback, sharing, listening, and whiteboarding are activities that I enjoy engaging in with my colleagues, vendors, partners, and customers.
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    I don’t think about it too much, as most of what I do I don’t really consider as work, which is the fantastic bonus of my job. Some of my reading and researching is done in the evenings and some of my best thinking is done whilst out cycling, so it is hard to put an exact number on my hours.
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
    I spend less time on these tasks than I used to, but they still consume half my time. Probably 11 hours per day, although I try to avoid emailing and calling people outside of 8-6 as I believe downtime outside of work is important. Friday is my day of conference calls and with emails, I prioritise based on who they are to – if I am the only one in the ‘to’ list, then I have a rule which flags them as a priority. I’ve been using Slack for about 18 months now and find that it really helps to reduce the burden on my inbox without missing anything important.
  11. Do you use social media much for work?
    It is an essential part of my work and I couldn’t do my job without it. Twitter and LinkedIn are the main social media outlets that I use for work and TED Talks are another key source of inspiration and knowledge. I don’t use Facebook for work.
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    Having fun. Fun is a key requirement of my role and I am fortunate that I get to have fun every day in my job. I appreciate that not every minute of every day will be fun, but overall the day has to be enjoyable. Working with a great bunch of people and partners makes this possible.
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    Music is a big part of my life – both at work and home – and I love discovering new music. I have Sonos systems around my house and will rarely choose specific artists to listen to, as I prefer to choose a recommended playlist which introduces me to new music. In the office, we often have music playing and if I am getting my head down (such as writing this article – helped with songs from The Script) or travelling, then I put my headphones in.
  14. What do you do for lunch?
    My role at Datapipe means that I am very busy so I rarely have time to sit down for lunch. However, I make a special effort to have a dedicated lunch time on Thursdays, where we have a free lunch provided in each office. Everyone makes the effort to stop and get together to eat, so it’s a good chance to catch up with people and socialise a little.
  15. Do you socialise with work colleagues?
    If I am staying overnight in a hotel, then I normally go for drinks with my colleagues and get to know them better. At the Ipswich office, we’ve got a great pub opposite so we sometimes head over there after a busy week or on a Friday lunchtime – especially in summer as it is nice to sit by the river. However, I’m a family guy and home for me is rural Suffolk, so I like nothing better than coming home to my two boys (aged 9 and 12) who keep me busy with their crammed social life of after-school clubs.
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    Certainly – generally anything repetitive and seemingly pointless. One of the most obvious is queuing in traffic – prior to my current role, I drove almost 20,000 miles per year, so the time wasted in traffic was immense. Now, I drive less than 3,000 miles per year, instead cycling or motorcycling when it isn’t possible to use the train.
  17. What is your last task of your day?
    Checking all our tech – such as phones and tablets – is downstairs in the ‘tech drawer’ or on charge, before going in to say goodnight to my two boys, who should hopefully be sound asleep!
  18. How do you like to relax after work?
    Some of the ways I like to relax include cycling (mountain biking), motorcycling, running and listening to music. The good thing is that I can do all these things on my own, as well as with friends and family, which helps us all find good quality time.
  19. Do you keep checking email through the evening?
    Yes, but I try to avoid responding until the morning unless it is urgent. My phone automatically goes to ‘Do Not Disturb’ from 10pm-7am and is left downstairs with all other tech when I go to bed.
  20. Do you take work projects home with you?
    Not so much projects but definitely work-related technology, such as Smart Home technology (Sonos, Echo, Nest etc.), Raspberry Pi IoT projects, and Wearables.
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
    Focus a little less on the fun and maybe a little more on the career. But I am not sure my 20-year old self would heed my advice as the fun was, well, too much fun!
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
    It would be great to work with WorldVision or a similar organisation. For several years, my boys have sponsored a child through WorldVision and if I had the time, I would like to give back more. So being on the front line and aiding the work that WorldVision does would be a great experience.
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
    Laptop – whilst listening to music via headphones on my iPhone.
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work?
    Yes – my iPad and AppleWatch. The iPad is great for general email and calendar activities, but I have found myself using it more regularly for business-related tools and apps, such as Slack and Trello. The larger screen is also used for some of my video podcasts. My AppleWatch is a mixed personal and business device (if you Google, you’ll find some of my reviews of how I use it in a business context) and 2 years on, I find it an important part of my day.


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