SP (2) - Use This

24 hours with…

Sophie Paine

Senior Associate

Sophie recounts a 'working from home' day, replete with culinary tips and how to make the most of summer in Cambridge.


The alarm rings a very peaceful tone – I much prefer waking up to the soft sounds of classical music over a loud buzzing or beeping sound – surely that’s a recipe for waking up on the wrong side of the bed! After a single snooze cycle of the alarm, I jump straight out of bed and on to the bike. Today I’m doing a 45-minute relaxed ride with some bursts at speed. I’m still recovering from yesterday’s 100km bike ride – a very long and sweaty venture. I’m currently training for a half Ironman next summer!


I shower and get ready for the day. I always like to make sure the house is in order before starting the work day, so I spend 10-20 mins making the bed, unloading the dishwasher, clearing my desk, etc. This always puts me in a good mood.


It’s a Monday morning, which means it’s time for our weekly team meeting. This meeting gives us the chance to come together as a firm and discuss progress on current projects and align for the week ahead. It’s also a chance to share any logistical or operational reminders or updates – which could span anything from a new marketing release to a recent proposal!


I jump into PowerPoint and start making progress on slides. This morning I’m taking data from a survey we conducted and incorporating it into the deck.


Coffee and brekkie break! I take a brief pause from work to make a latte (coffee machine = best lockdown purchase ever) and a bowl of yogurt, muesli, and blueberries (am I the only one that eats the same thing for breakfast every day?!). I head back to my desk and continue with some slide production.


I have my first customer call of the day. We talk about the customer’s relationship with the client company, and drill into the strengths and weaknesses of the product. This is a particularly interesting call as we’re speaking to someone from the Royal National Institute of Blind People – so the conversation naturally centres around accessibility in the workplace – something I hadn’t sunk my teeth into before now.


Quick debrief with my case team leader and back into slide production mode. The survey results are now in the deck, so I’ve moved on to producing a few slides on the competitive landscape.


It’s such a beautiful day and summer is fleeting, so I can’t help but take the opportunity to go for a quick walk in the botanic garden. I live in Cambridge at the moment, and our botanic garden is really impressive. On my walk I chat to a friend who lives in Maine in the US and is also on a morning walk – but with a dog on the beach. I’m not jealous.


I’m back at home. We had some friends for dinner last night and have leftovers – so lamb, potatoes, and veggies for lunch it is.


I have my second and final customer call for the day. We’re speaking to a large telephony reseller, and I quickly realise they know a lot about the competitive landscape. I take the opportunity to divert the conversation and spend more time talking about competitors than I normally would. This information will be particularly valuable for the slides on competition.


I hop from my previous customer call to a client call – this time with a client whose first deck we submitted last week. It’s just the COO and me, and we’re discussing her feedback on my slides regarding her organisation’s data and analytics strategy. She has some great points which I will incorporate into the deck for the final draft.


While the information is fresh in my mind, I make the changes the COO suggested in the deck we submitted last week. I know this will only take me an hour if I do it now, but twice the time if I do it later in the week!


I switch back to working on my current project. I’m writing up call notes from our two calls today – again while the information is fresh in my mind.


The work day is coming to an end. As head of team development, I’ve organised for the whole firm to play darts on Wednesday evening – it’ll be a great way to get to know our new graduate joiners in a more informal setting and integrate them into Fairgrove life. I quickly check the reservation online and pre-order some drinks and food.


I start making dinner. Cooking is therapeutic for me – I look forward to the time I spend in the kitchen at the end of each day. I put on some music and start chopping. Tonight I’m making a sweet potato lentil curry with crispy chickpeas.


I continue the theme of therapeutic activities with some puzzling. I’m currently working on a 1000-piece puzzle of a Bavarian town – the cobblestone streets and baskets of flowers are killing me!


Bed time. I prep my things for tomorrow as the alarm will go off much earlier than today so that I can fit in a run before I take the train to the office. I’m looking forward to catching up with colleagues in person!

Favourite outdoor activity:

Favourite cookie:
Gingerbread (I swear this is a type of cookie!)

Favourite breed of dog:
Golden retriever

Three words to describe Fairgrove:
Kind, Entrepreneurial, Collaborative