I start my day at 7:30 am. I find it more challenging now that I have a family to find the time to exercise. However, I understand that exercising is the key to a healthy lifestyle, so every morning I complete a HIIT workout using my 8 fit App or if I’m feeling extra ambitious I’ll get on the Peleton! (We even have 3 bikes in the office). The workouts last around 10-15 minutes so are easier to fit into my busy lifestyle.
This is family time. At CEL, we emphasise a healthy work-life balance and that’s why we embrace flexible working times and working from home, even before the Covid pandemic. There have been more than 7 babies born since I opened the firm back in 2016, including my own, so we are more flexible now than ever with our working hours. As a busy business owner, I choose this time to enjoy breakfast with my family and get my daughter, who is 3 years old, ready for her day. It’s always a happy start to my working day.
My commute to work. I have a 25-minute commute by car into the city depending on traffic. Most people view commutes or queues as a nuisance but I view it as a golden opportunity for personal development. I will listen to one of the many business/management audiobooks I have on the go. I’m currently listening to a morning affirmation podcastand it has changed my life.
Or if I have a big meeting and need to get in a champion mindset I’ll blast my Spotify tunes the whole journey into work. Jay-Z’s “Watch the Throne” album or Big Sean’s “Detroit 2” album is always a winner.
COFFEE. I’m simply not human until my first cup. We’ve invested in a snazzy coffee machine for the Office and we ensure that we buy locally and ethically from a company called Crosby Coffee.
The final consultation and catch up for the week commences with my marketing manager and sister in law, Laura, and business development manager, Thom L. We run through any strategies, updates and press and meetings for the week.
Every month I carry out 121 meetings with the team for a monthly review including a mental health wellness check and we discuss things like stress levels at work and the management of caseloads. This is one of my favourite and most important parts of my job. Personally evaluating what the company is doing well and what we can improve on plus individually tailoring career plans and company growth.
Weather and Covid permitted, I will take the staff out for lunch to have the meet, usually next door in Marco Pierre White’s restaurant or we’ll grab a beer from our bar and sit on the think swings.
A meeting with the builders! In March 2021, we acquired another 8000 sq ft office to complement and expand upon our current space. Plans include a 6-foot shark tank aquarium, a pool table, living walls, an amphitheatre and a Beyonce room to name a few.
In the afternoon, we’ll have a weekly team meeting with one of our 9 Departments. As our in-house performance coach, Tony, says - “Communication is key”.
I chair twice-weekly meetings with the entire company in the amphitheatre. This is where I’ll set the agenda and goal of the week, highlight any news or successes and open the floor to the other teams to contribute, share trends, ideas and news. We also use this time for keynote speaking and training to improve our skills. This year's theme is legal excellence, so there has been a lot of emphasis on training and really utilising our 75-seater amphitheatre.
As the owner and director, I wear a lot of hats in the company so I spend a lot of my day reviewing files and answering questions from the teams. Including reviewing briefs to counsel and liaising with our panel of experts, costs company and barristers as well as chairing case clinics with our COLP, Andy, in the amphitheatre.
Case clinics are an opportunity for staff to present issues or difficulties with a file or work in general and we will problem solve as a firm to meet solutions. This holistic approach allows staff in other departments to contribute to solving the firm’s problems as a whole with different perspectives.
We finish our working day at 5 pm and 4:30 pm on a Friday. I use this time informally to get on top of any emails and do any extracurricular work such as mentoring university students, drafting blogs and press releases and of course a daily post to LinkedIn, my favourite social networking platform. On a Friday, it’s dress down and our fully stocked bar opens, which is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with colleagues and celebrate the passing week.
If you have enjoyed this blog and would like to learn more about Jessica, or her Law Firm CEL Solicitors, you can visit the CEL Solicitors website here. Alternatively, you can browse some of our other blogs, here.