Wired for work
Craig Mathers is a client support manager for IFB. Here is a day in his life.
I’m a family man so mornings are dictated by the schedules of my wife Ali and two daughters, Talia, 16, and Kassidy, 14.
Most weekdays I get up around 7am. I’m not a breakfast person, so coffee is my priority after feeding our dog and two cats.
Once lunch has been prepared and the pets have been fed, I sit down and check my work e-mails for any overnight activity. These e-mails can range from random questions from the boss, through to technical updates from my colleagues.
On school days my wife and I take turns to drive the girls to their school, St Margaret’s, in the city centre.
Here at IFB, I manage the team that delivers services to over 800 customers in our client base. I normally arrive at work between 8am and 9am, and the first thing I do is make my second cup of coffee of the day.
No two days are ever the same, so my mornings can vary from two-hour meetings, to project planning sessions with my team.
My key focus is improving our services here at IFB, so much of my time is spent identifying areas for improvement and implementing changes that will provide tangible benefits, both directly and indirectly for our customers.
I only live 1.5 miles from my office, so I tend to go home most lunch times; primarily to take Roxy, our springer spaniel, either for a walk or into the back garden. I’ve always liked getting away from the office at lunchtime as it gives you the opportunity to recharge your batteries and helps maintain a healthy work-life balance.
There’s never a dull day at IFB and invariably there’s always a new solution to be developed or customer challenge to be addressed, such is the nature of IT projects and support. Since my role is both client-facing and internal, my team and I are constantly planning and executing internal initiatives and projects.
These activities are typically interspersed between ad hoc meetings and routine operational meetings. I have a great team working for me and there is a healthy level of banter in the office to ensure we all maintain our sanity (well, most of us).
‘Dad’s Taxi’ normally has to pick up one of my daughters from their many sporting activities, which range from swimming to athletics and from hockey to yoga.
I go to the gym three or four times a week, and have been a sporadic runner in recent years, running four marathons and three half marathons. It is through running and athletics that I met my friend Myles Edwards and began supporting his charity, the Gathimba Edwards Foundation (www.gathimbaedwardsfoundation.org).
My family and I have contributed towards raising thousands of pounds to supporting children in Kenya by providing education, shelter, food and clothing.
I travelled to Kenya last year with my wife and again with my daughter, Kassidy, in March this year. During the trip we visited the various projects that the charity has established in Kenya, ranging from building houses to youth football projects.