Human Resources

Typical 24: Colin Yates, WorkMobile

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…


Colin Yates

Job title: Chief support officer

Company: WorkMobile

Location: Manchester, UK

Years’ experience: 23 years


  1. What time do you reach the office each day?
    I usually get into the office between 7am and 7.30am every day. I'm an early riser and like to miss the traffic.
  2. Is your job varied?
    Yes, I would say my job is extremely varied. Being the co-owner of a small business means you get involved in everything that’s happening within the company. So for example, I could be looking at cash flow forecasts in the morning, before heading into a sales meeting with the development team to discuss a new service offering or product update.
  3. Is your job creative?
    I'd say so, yes. Believe it or not, software engineering requires a fair degree of creativity, particularly as there is a lot of problem solving and design work involved.
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    I probably spend most of my time speaking to and liaising with lots of different people - so that could be colleagues or customers. 
  5. Do you personalise your desk?
    I'm slightly OCD and so tend to keep my desk clutter to a minimum. However, I do have a few photographs of the family tucked away in the corner.
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    Personally, I don't think I am. But, some people do tell me that I have my moments.
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
    I don’t think I do, really. Although, I don't function very well unless I start the day with a cup of Earl Grey tea and a slice of toast with orange marmalade.
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    I'd say the majority of the work I do tends to be collaborative or requires teamwork. The great thing is that we have a vast selection of cloud based communication tools at our disposal. As we work in the mobile data capture sector, we have access to lots of mobile devices and cloud based services that enable us to work from anywhere in the world. So, it doesn't really matter where I or the members of my team are located - we can always reach each other and share important information whenever we need to.
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    Around 10 hours per day. Any more than that and it can be hard to concentrate.
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
    Typically I'd estimate that around 70% of my day is taken up by those three activities.
  11. Do you use social media much for work?
    I'm afraid to say I'm a bit of a luddite when it comes to social media in general, never mind when at work. My one and only friend on Facebook was my wife.
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    I'd say the variety. No two days are ever the same. Each one brings new, unexpected challenges and opportunities. I honestly can’t say I've ever been bored.
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    I do tend to put my headphones in if I'm undertaking a task that requires some focus. I have fairly eclectic tastes and will listen to anything from AC/DC to Vaughan Williams (an early 20th century English composer if you hadn't heard of him).
  14. What do you do for lunch?
    We have an excellent restaurant in the office that prepares fresh food daily.
  15. Do you socialise with work colleagues?
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    Not in particular. However, I did have summer job working on a car parts production line whilst at university, which was a great motivator to knuckle down and succeed.
  17. What is your last task of your day?
    I end each day by clearing my desk, which goes back to my OCD.
  18. How do you like to relax after work?
    I think spending time with my two young children is a great way to leave the stresses of the working day behind. Entering their world for just an hour or so is a great way to unwind. I'm also a keen cook and can happily spend hours in the kitchen.
  19. Do you keep checking email through the evening?
    Unfortunately, yes I do. In fact, I’d say like way too many people nowadays, I'm guilty of doing that. I do try and switch off after 10pm though.
  20. Do you take work projects home with you?
    As a rule, I try not to. I think it's important to have a healthy work-life balance, both for yourself and for your family.
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self?
    Male pattern baldness is hereditary and there's little point worrying about it. I'd also say don't give up your season ticket at Manchester City. They will win the Premier League one day.
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?
    I think I’d like to try my hand at being a whiskey blender, as I’m quite interested in whiskey and it’s a spirit I like to indulge in occasionally.
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
    I used a laptop, which runs on the operating system, Linux.
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work?


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