Fresh from joining haysmacintyre's private client and trusts team, Kay Mind discusses the benefits of a two-hour commute, working lunches, and leaving her smartphone at the front door.
Kay Mind recently joined haysmactyre as a director. She brings with her experience working at Kreston Reeves where she advised high net worth individuals and their families, together with resident and non-resident trustees, on all UK taxes.
Mind will be advising non-resident and non-domiciled individuals moving to the UK, and non-resident trustees on the complexities of UK tax legislation and the implications for UK resident settlors and beneficiaries of offshore trusts.
AccountingWEB asked Mind to talk us through her typical working day in practice.
What's the first thing you do on a typical working day?
I am usually up at 6am. I live in Canterbury and work in London so it's a two-hour door-to-door commute. So I try and walk my dog first thing in the morning, I have something to eat and a cup of tea and then I get to the station for the train.
Do you use your commute to prepare and plan for the day ahead, or are you relaxing before the day's work?
It's a mix, really. I always check my work emails on the train but I also read. It's a nice space to be able to catch up on things and keep ahead of the day. I don't often sleep (laughs). We live such hectic lives I find having that space on the train quite nice.
When you arrive at work, has the commute journey enabled you to get stuck right into the day?
Pretty much. I have already checked my emails, accepted any invitations and, maybe, responded to emails on the train. So I know when I hit my desk what I am going to do. The first thing is coffee. I need coffee as soon as I hit my desk.
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Probably, after that, the next thing on my agenda is whatever I didn't finish the day before or whatever is a priority on my to-do list. If there are emails that have come in I would try and respond to those first and get those out the way and then tackle whatever jobs I've got on.
What does your workspace look like?
It's an open plan, nice, modern office. I've recently moved desks so I am happy where I am at the end of the row not far from the window. It's a good working environment. It's not too crammed in, we seem to have plenty of space around us.
How much of your day is spent talking with clients?
I don't have a huge client portfolio. I support partners with technical writing and things like that at the moment. I am not actively managing a team so talking on the phone is a small percentage of my working day. I spend more of my time talking to people internally, the team and partners about the technical work I am doing.
At lunchtime, do you eat at your desk or do you use that time to break free of the office?
I tend to work through my lunch break. I am focused when I get to work about 9.15am. I want to get as much done as I can while I am here. More often than not I am bringing in lunch from home so I've got no need to go out. Which is not necessarily a good thing. Most of the time I sit at my desk and work through and eat my lunch. But then, I don't feel so guilty about leaving the office at 5.30pm sharp.
Do you put together a to-do list before you clock off?
I pretty much know what I got on. If things have come in during the day, that to-do list might look a little bit different at the end of the day.
Are you strict with that 5.30pm finish a cut-off or do you continue checking emails etc on the journey home?
If I need to I will carry on working on the train. But I try not to work beyond that commute. I'm usually pretty organised and productive during the day so I don't need to do much in the evenings. And I don't check my phone in the evenings. If there is a big project going on and I'm expecting some email traffic then I'll check my phone but otherwise, no, I don't.
Once the working day and week are over, what do you do to unwind and escape the world of tax?
Anything outdoors: cycling, running, hiking, walking the dog. I like to be outdoors when I am not in the office. Anything that means I am not sitting indoors.
No life in practice would be complete without a calculator, so can you remember your first number machine?
It was probably the scientific one I had when I was doing my maths O-Level. I still have a calculator on my desk. I find it a lot easier to use a calculator than my phone. I think you do get attached to your calculator, actually. It's easy to. Sometimes if you get a new one it's not quite the same.
About Richard Hattersley
Richard is AccountingWEB's Practice Editor. If you have any comments or suggestions for us get in touch.