A Week in My Life: Chris Buckley, MD of Pixel Kicks
Chris Buckley is the managing director of Manchester-based web design and digital marketing agency Pixel Kicks.
Here he shares what a week in his life is really like...
My week starts with a 5.30am alarm call followed by a snooze for 30 mins. I never used to snooze, but I’ve gotten into the habit since lockdown began and it’s one that I don’t plan on keepin (I like to get up as early as I can). I eventually drag myself out of bed, walk and feed the dog, catch up on Sky Sports News - now it’s interesting again, thanks to football being back on - down a pint of water with a random fruit flavoured teabag, shower and get dressed. Then it’s time to wake up my daughter before I head into the office. Not surprisingly, the traffic is clear and I’m at my desk by 7.30am.
My routine always starts with working through my calendar for the day and week ahead. My first task is to then get my inbox, Asana and Basecamp messages down to a respectable level. Once I’ve got a handle on what needs doing, we have our weekly Zoom web and digital marketing team meetings addressing the week ahead. The rest of the day is then made up of more Zoom meetings with clients to discuss imminent site launches and projects that are under development.
Lunch is a quick nip to Kettlebell Kitchen which is just down the road from the office.
I leave by 5.30pm so I’ve got enough time to spend with my wife, Helen, and daughter, Sofia. I want to be around for them as much as possible right now. The next couple of hours see me playing with Sofia and then putting her to bed, followed by my guilty TV pleasure, Traffic Cops!
My wake-up routine stays pretty much the same every day, but my working location sometimes changes as Helen and I also run a business called Baby Casts & Prints which is based in Oldham. I sometimes work from there if we need to wait for deliveries as Helen is currently working alternate days so she can look after and home school Sofia. It’s been a tricky juggling act which is the same for most people, but we’ve made it work.
Once I’m settled in, we have our daily Pixel Kicks company Zoom meeting that we call “What’s the Story”. Each team member gives a one-minute update summarising what they’re working on and what they’ve got coming up. We’ve made sure that we keep that interaction up despite not being together. It’s really important for the culture of the business that we still communicate, share and help each other out.
The rest of the day is then dedicated to new business development. The past few months have seen us win a significant amount of new work which has been a testament to the effort that we’ve put in. A lot of businesses have used this period to reassess and evaluate the effectiveness of the websites to ensure they’re in the best possible place as we come out the other side.
I’m out the door by 5pm as today is CrossFit day! I’ve succumbed to extended periods of lockdown laziness so I’m trying to get myself back into shape. I’m home by 7pm in a hot and sweaty mess and I’m asleep on the sofa by 10pm.
Today I decide to work from home. I’m used to working from different locations so wherever I am I have a good setup of either a desktop PC with a webcam and headset, or a laptop with a headset. They’re literally all I need. The only problem with working from home is the constant distraction. Our dog, Buddy, has a habit of barking at literally everyone who walks past our front door, not to mention terrorising the posties. I have a great Zoom call with a potential new client which is peppered with about six different humorous interruptions; four from me and two from the client – all are child and pet related.
Lunch is a homemade omelette and salad (another attempt at me trying to be healthy), but I let myself down by drinking four coffees. I seem to drink way more caffeine when I’m at home. The afternoon is then dedicated to working on our new website which will be going live next week. It’s been a fantastic team effort and I think it now truly reflects what we are as a business.
I’m pretty bushed by the end of the day so I head out for a long dog-walk. It’s about 25 degrees so we both come back needing some serious refreshment. I end up doing a few more hours work and eventually crash into bed at 11.30pm.
I’m back in our Ancoats office today. I’ve enjoyed having the office to myself, but I am looking forward to when the team start coming back in. My focus is on social media and includes writing a new blog post for the website, posting an honest update on LinkedIn about how business is treating us towards the end of lockdown, as well as getting a couple of new job ads out on Indeed, LinkedIn and our own site.
Today is also a rare meeting-free day, so I’m using the time to do some long-term business strategy planning stuff that’s been on my to-do list for way too long. Pubs are now allowed to open so I meet up with Dan, our head of design, for an outside drink at Cutting Room Square. One drink turns into two, so it’s an Uber home for me. I enjoyed having some face time with him and a tiny bit of normality. Ancoats hasn’t lost its buzz, thank goodness.
I’m in the office again today. I’m on my own which is still a bit weird, but I get my head down. I kick off with a couple of long Zoom calls with the team going through our new website, discussing what sections need improvement and when we’re going to start our PPC campaign. The new site has been a long-time in the planning but it’s coming together really well. I then treat myself to lunch of chilli and rice from Rustica today - a classic Northern Quarter institution!
The afternoon is made of yet more Zoom calls – this time with two new clients discussing how we can help them slowly get back to work. One is a personal trainer and the other is an audiologist. They operate in very different sectors but that’s a challenge we like.
After the meetings, I decide to go for a run around Ancoats and the Northern Quarter. I usually head towards New Islington and run past the marina.
As it’s a Friday, I’m home relatively early for me at around 5pm. Helen and I order a takeaway, enjoy a few glasses of wine and we both look forward to a well-earned lie-in tomorrow morning.
Despite the current situation, it’s been a pretty productive week. I’d rate it as a solid 8/10!