The Future of Work/Life isn't Balance, it's Integration
Changing jobs in the midst of a pandemic isn’t necessarily easy, but it was the right move for Steven Newman, Director of RevOps with Logikcull, which helps narrow down the number of documents involved in a legal discovery process. A few months in and he’s juggling family, getting to know co-workers and appeasing a cat that pulls the diva card when he’s on Zoom. We find out more in our latest Day-in-the-Life profile.
It’s been a few months since Steven Newman, Director of RevOps with Logikcull, joined the company that electronically reduces the volume of documents legal teams need to go through in a discovery process. In our most recent Day-in-the-Life profile, he tells us how his day usually shapes up and how he builds connections with his new co-workers in a 100% remote work environment.
But let’s start with the elephant in the room – who changes jobs in the midst of a pandemic AND with two young kids?!?!
It was only a couple of months before Steven joined Logikcull that he and his wife welcomed their second child. It turned out to be great timing. Having both a toddler and an infant in the house was a huge win with his new colleagues and they loved seeing Steven doing daddy and RevOps duties together.
“Baby in one hand, Zoom or typing up an email with the other,” he explains.
With his wife going back to work and his youngest now in daycare, he feels he will have a little more time to spare.
Time. It’s something he has very little of in general – oh, and sleep. He doesn’t get a lot of that either.
But speaking of time, how did Steven know making a job change at this time would be right for him?
“I was not actively looking for a new role. Russell [Sachs] who is our CRO and who I report to now, had reached out to me in June.” he says. “I decided to hear him out because I didn’t know what [Logikcull] eDiscovery was. I just knew it was legal tech and legal tech is definitely a booming space. I think it’s where fintech was five to 10 years ago.”
During the interview process, he was conscious of managing expectations on both sides in terms of what success would look like. So far it looks like both Steven and Logikcull have hit the mark.
Work/life balance. Is that even a thing?
Working remotely has provided a lot of flexibility for a lot of people., It has certainly put an end to the 9 to 5 culture for many.. This fusion of work and life was already common in SaaS before the pandemic. People that used to eat at their desks in an office now shove pieces of toast in their mouths on Zoom. A work text, email or Slack at 9pm asking for a quick chat doesn’t seem quite so outrageous anymore. That “always on” work style that has been popularized by tech CEOs is even more pervasive.
Boundaries, breaks and family time are the key for Steven.
“I was working from home four days a week prior to the pandemic starting so it wasn’t much of an adjustment,” he says. “I’m an early riser and I’m up most of the night anyway. I think working from home gives you that flexibility.”
He gets going at about 7 or 8 in the morning, preps his four-year-old daughter for daycare while cleaning up emails or catching up on Slack. At about noon, the meetings start.
Meetings, bloody meetings
If you’ve never watched Meetings, Bloody Meetings with the whimsical John Cleese, it’s highly recommended. What was an annoyance in 1976 is still an issue today. And while Steven likely wasn’t even born in ’76, with his experience, he could have put the script together for this short laugh-out-loud film.
“I’m a big proponent of not having meetings just to have meetings. I think most things can be taken care of in a slack conversation unless there’s business decisions that actually need to be made,” he says. “Slacks and emails are definitely tools to utilize.”
But with all that tech, how does the new kid on the block get to know co-workers?
In-person events and less structured online time together seems to hit a good balance.
So, a salesperson, a marketer and a RevOps pro walk into a bar…
Logikcull hosts a few events with functional teams, like the go-to-market team, as well as company-wide get-togethers. In between those in-person events, you’ll find the crew on apps like Gather where you can belly-up to the bar – at least virtually.
“I think being in a cross-functional role like this makes it easier,” he says. “You’re always tasked with building the relationships with not just the stakeholders within each department, but the individual contributors within the departments.”
Having conversations with the people doing the work is important to Steven. It’s a priority to talk to those who, in turn, talk to the customers.
“Having ever-evolving communication with them is how I stay up to date,” he says. “We obviously utilize Zoom. But we get Zoomed out. We do have another video tool where you can make happy hours in a virtual space and everyone can move around the bar.”
In this less formal app, employees can wander around and join different conversations. Even teetotallers that don’t drink can play along in that kind of environment.
And then, there’s the cat
Part way through our conversation, I hear what I assume is the baby crying. Steven explains it’s his cat. With him being home all the time, the feline’s need for attention has increased. She likes to start yelling when he’s on Zoom.
“Now that she knows we’re home, she doesn’t have to use the automatic cat feeder,” he explains. “She wants you to give her a treat. She’s definitely more needy.”
But again, he manages to work around it and we continue our conversation.
He says his secret is knowing what the key deliverables are on any given project, having an agreed upon deadline and working towards them. He also recognizes that taking a new RevOps role means engaging in an internal discovery process to identify gaps in the Buyer Journey. Whether its analyzing the handoff from marketing to sales, taking a look at how CS handles new cases, or helping set up Executive reports on data that previously wasn’t being communicated to them. There’s always something to build, change, or manage better. This might be explored through email, slack or even more meetings.
“For the last three months, it’s been a lot of back-to-back meetings,” he says. “Once that morning work is cleaned up, from noon to five or noon to six, it’s meetings.”
Pressing pause for the most important people
After those late afternoon or early evening meetings, he hits pause for family time. When the kids go to bed, Steven goes back to work clearing up the last of the emails and responding to people. There’s a lot of “checking in” with the team and their deliverables at this point in the day.
He’s also spent a lot of time cleaning and standardizing data. With that clean data, there can be meetings (yay) on the sales side focused on building a stronger outbound motion, for example. Clean and standardized data is the foundation through which all teams can analyze themselves and identify areas of improvement. Without it, you could be pointed in the wrong direction and not even realize until it's too late.
“My days are much more flexible, since they’re based on the deliverables and meeting those,” he explains when comparing his job to his wife’s. She just returned to work. “Being able to put a block on my calendar to pick up the kids, and then returning in the evening really adds to that. I don’t like to say work/life balance, it’s more like work/life integration.”
As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, Steven enjoys sporting events and his office is filled with a lot of sports memorabilia. He also does consulting work on the side, and is building that business out. And just because he clearly doesn’t need sleep, he’s in Harvard’s business and analytics master’s program, too!
Be sure to stay tuned as we continue our Day-in-the-Life series with other pros from Revenue.io’s Top 25 RevOps Leaders of 2022 list.