A Week in My Life: Graeme Descoteaux, Head of Corporate for LateRooms.com Business

Simon Austin's picture
by Simon Austin
Graeme Descoteaux

Graeme Descoteaux, Head of Corporate for LateRooms.com Business, takes us through a week in his working life. To suggest another senior media or creative figure for A Week In My Life, please email david@prolificnorth.co.uk.

Monday

I’ve always been an early riser, I’d far rather get up and have a productive morning, than spend my time in the evenings catching up on work. My morning routine is always the same - alarm goes off at 6am, I take the dog out for a walk and make my wife a cup of tea, before beginning my daily commute from my home in Staffordshire to Manchester.

Monday for me is always an incredibly busy day. The morning is almost always spent catching up on emails, and meetings with various teams.

I work incredibly closely with both the accounts and sales teams who I meet with several times during the week. On a Monday morning we set out our KPIs for the week and discuss any upcoming activity. It’s a great opportunity for us to assess how we’re performing as a business, as well as ensuring that we continue to move forward and progress week on week.

We’re currently undergoing a recruitment drive to find a new Senior Account Manager, so my morning was finished off with a number of interviews, in our hunt to find the perfect individual for the job.

My afternoon was filled with more meetings, this time with both finance and Steve Williams, who is our Client Services Director. Steve’s role focuses on the commercial elements of LateRooms.com and the wider Malvern Group, and again, our Monday meetings are very much focused on setting out what we wish to achieve that week and generally in moving forwards.

Tuesday

After completing my usual morning ritual, I had an exciting day ahead.

We’re currently working on the launch of a new, great value payment facility in partnership with Diners Club as part of the expansion of the brand. Essentially this will bring our customers a convenient and cost-effective new payment facility. We are all about bringing them more speed and simplicity when it comes to managing the booking of business accommodation and this is an exciting move for us at LateRooms Business.

Travellers really benefit from the new facility, which removes the need for company credit cards upon check in, making the whole experience simpler and offering greater fraud prevention and convenience.

It’s taken many months of planning, but I attended a meeting with the Directors there to discuss the final stages of the project and also the logistics of the roll out of the scheme from a LateRooms.com Business perspective. Once complete we’ll have a seamless accounts procedure that will bring ease and savings to both our valued corporate clients and new clients alike.

My afternoon was a much quieter affair, travelling back home and catching up with various teams on matters I’d missed earlier in the day.

Wednesday

Having been out of the office for the whole day on Tuesday, and with our company away day taking place on Thursday afternoon, it’s been a busier than usual Wednesday.

We’re currently in the process of building a brand-new website, which will sit separately to the consumer LateRooms.com version, in attempt to strengthen the brand identity of the business offering. I had a meeting with both the digital and SEO teams to go over the requirements of the website and the type of content we wanted to include. All of these steps are part of the expansion of the business offering, in an attempt to further improve the experience of businesses who book their business travel through us.

Today was also the day for our fortnightly one-to-one meetings with line managers. At LateRooms.com and the wider Malvern Group we’re incredibly focused on people and like to offer our employees regular support to ensure that all our key objectives are aligned and to support their progression. This occurrence for us is great in allowing us to get general employee feedback on a regular basis.

Thursday

This is the first time we’ve celebrated a company away day together as one organisation under the Malvern Group brand. When we work in separate offices, with Super Break being based in York and the LateRooms.com HQ in Manchester, it’s not often we get the opportunity to spend time together.

Although managers across the group meet regularly, today offers a fantastic opportunity for many members of our organisation to network amongst colleagues across the Malvern Group – people who they may never have had any face time with before.

The afternoon started off with our company update. It’s great to be able to share this with the whole company and share areas where we’ve really excelled, but also ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to the direction that the company is moving in. We followed this with a number of awards for members of staff who have really stood out over the last 12 months by going above and beyond to make our business as successful as possible. It’s important to make your staff feel valued and just thank them for their support.

It wasn’t all work and no play though. We followed the more formal proceedings with a chance to get together as a team and enjoy a drink or two before heading back to Manchester!

Friday

I’ve no doubt we may have a few sore heads in the office this morning. Thankfully my commute into the office was much shorter, having stayed overnight in Manchester following the company day, but Fridays are typically a bit quieter due to our focus on the B2B sector. We find that the businesses we deal with start to wind down towards the end of the week, which makes the day slightly less hectic than the early half of the working week.

With that said, I always use Fridays to meet with the same teams I did on the Monday, so visit the accounts, sales and finance team throughout the day. We have a debrief at the end of each week to review the state of play and revisit the KPIs as set at the start of the week, analysing if we’re where we need to be, but also to highlight key successes of the week.

The weekend will be spent with friends in London, enjoying dinner, drinks and a performance of The Book of Mormon - a fantastic musical full of quick wit and great songs.