My Working Day – Jonathan Samuel – CEO of Gas Safe Register

As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? Business Leader spoke to Jonathan Samuel – CEO of Gas Safe Register, about his working day.

What time do you usually wake up?

6-6:30am during the week

What do you typically have for breakfast?

I always feel breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so I start mine with yoghurt, fruit, nuts and a nice fresh coffee. When travelling this would suffer somewhat but now it’s become more of a routine since working more from home without the commute.

What’s the rest of your morning routine before you start work?

I like to take a cursory review of emails and diary for the day in addition to catching up what’s going on in the world. Often a 5min dip into LinkedIn can be quite refreshing too.

First thing you do at the start of a workday?

I guess I’m quite insular on work mornings and like some peace and quiet to prepare myself mentally for what’s ahead of me that day and what I want to achieve.

How do you prioritise your work?

After reviewing the list of items for completion that day they are ranked in order of priority to ensure I deal with the most important areas first. Usually at the close of the previous day the immediate things to do the following day would have already been identified.

Do you plan meetings, or are they a waste of time?

I am privileged to have access to a very helpful Executive Assistant who plans many of the important meetings into my diary. Meetings are important but only if they have a clear objective or purpose, it gets quite frustrating when meetings are arranged without this in mind. One thing I have learnt throughout the period of extended remote working is that it is essential to have regular catch-up meetings with staff via a quick video call to stay connected, especially when we haven’t been able to have that casual interaction in the office.

Do you have a working lunch, or is it good to take a break?

When we consider our well-being, it is very important to take a break. I’m sure during lockdown that some staff who hadn’t worked from home before felt that they had to be sat in front of their PC for 8 hours a day, so we quickly promoted the importance of breaks throughout the day to staff. This included going for a walk or run to get some fresh air, or anything that offered a change of focus or environment from work. In the height of lockdown, I would often go for a 30min run to clear my head or if it was a working lunch, it would be a meeting where I could walk and talk.

When does your working day finish?

My working day would usually be 8:30am – 6pm but often when I have finished everything I set myself for that day.

How do you prepare for your next day’s work?

I like to do a structured close to the day where I review what has been achieved, catch up on any outstanding emails and consider what issues have been presented, which often leads to the priorities for the following day. The to do list starts to form and then features in the following morning routine as noted previously. Doing it this way also helps me to leave it behind and switch off for the evening where my focus then moves to family.

What’s your favourite piece of technology?

Most would probably suggest the iPhone but I see this very much as a work tool. There is so much great technology emerging these days so I would say AI – machine learning and video technology (ResponsEye) which we are already integrating into the Gas Safe Register service we provide. In Gas Safe Register we strive to move with the times so technology is so important to not only offer efficiencies but be the pillar to continuous improvement and a better customer journey.

How do you switch off?

I use exercise to switch off and use this to concentrate on other goals. I am a keen marathon runner and often use this as my thinking time and I have more recently taken up triathlon which I’m really enjoying. I am a trained Welsh Athletics coach but did very little of this during COVID. If I’m not doing this or work, it’s all family for me and I love spending time with my wife and three teenage daughters.

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Your life is your responsibility. There is only one person to whom you have control—and that is yourself. As you are the only person you can control, you are the only person who can take responsibility for your life. That includes your energy, your happiness, your fulfilment, your career, your choices and more. With this in mind it leads to a quote by Helen Keller, “Life is a great adventure, or nothing” it can be one great adventure but that’s up to you…