A day in the life of our HR Manager and Finance Assistant – Philippa Law

June 15, 2022

In our latest series, we’re letting you meet the team here at The Digital Maze. We started with our Co-Founder and Commercial Director Rob Twells,  and today we’re looking into a day in the life of Philippa, our HR Manager and Finance Assistant!

In her own words:

Heyyyy internet! My name’s Philippa, and I’m the HR Manager & Finance Assistant at The Digital Maze.

When I was 19, I joined Boom Online Marketing, fresh out of college, as an Administrator. A couple of years ago we joined forces with Frogspark & Evolve to become The Digital Maze, but I’ve worked within the business for nearly 10 years.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve dabbled in many different roles; Administrative, Copywriting, and Operations were my main duties when working under Boom. Here, I proudly got my title as “Queen of Organisation”. At the time of the merger, I was working in HR. This carried over to TDM, and I was then given the opportunity to add Finance to my ever-evolving belt; I’m verging on ‘Jack of All Trades’.

The opportunity in finance came from getting to know the new people that I’d be working with after we had merged. When chatting with Maxi, Finance Director, I happened to mention I’d done bits in accounts before and that if he ever needed a hand with anything, to let me know. Well… he took that very seriously and I was enrolled with the AAT and became the Accounts Assistant for the group before I could blink! I’m currently waiting on my final exam date for my Level 2 in Accounting. From here, I’ll move on to the Level 3/Advanced course. 

I have always hated numbers, spreadsheets, and maths. Yet, I really enjoy working in Finance. Perhaps it’s because those numbers ultimately equate to money! 

My day-to-day activities are always changing; I think that’s the main reason why I love this job. I start work not really knowing what’s coming my way; will I be speaking to recruiters and organising interviews for the majority of the day, or will I be elbows deep in our finance software? Who knows.

Although I look after HR-related tasks, the majority of my working life is now in finance. If I was to share my Day In The Life Of… It would probably look something like this:

My Morning Routine

I typically work 8am – 4pm. If I work at home (which is most days), I’ll roll out of bed 15-mins before I need to be sitting at my desk. If I work from the office, I get up at 6:30.

My morning starts with a cuppa & a banana. I’m not a breakfast person at all, and I can’t function without a cup of tea (obviously Yorkshire tea – I won’t allow anything less). My cat also cries like a baby until he’s fed, so I spend this time arguing with him because he won’t wait for me to finish making my tea.

8am – at this time, I’m at my desk, sipping my morning brew, chomping on a banana, and settling in to start my day. I typically start by going through all my emails and getting rid of anything that doesn’t need an action. I’m going to say this now, I’m not a deleter, I don’t clear out my inbox. I also keep everything that needs actioning marked as unread. Maybe not the best way to create a to-do list, but it’s a habit. Much to Liam’s (Our Technical and Client Services Director and Co-Founder) dismay, I also have a million tabs open, with 3 different browser screens. I’m very much an “organised chaos” type of person.

8:30am – sipping my 2nd brew of the morning, this is the time that I’ll chase a few people that I’m waiting on for responses… I’m being vague as I don’t want to name names 😉 You know who you are… But, I get a better/quicker response if I get my message in before a lot of the company start their day at 9. Gotta play these things smart!

9am – sipping my 3rd brew of the morning (yes, I overload myself on tea when it’s first thing in the morning), after the chasing, I’ll then start replying to any messages on Slack that I’ve not yet replied to, or issues that I haven’t yet resolved. I’m an efficient person and like to get what is asked of me actioned quickly, but sometimes things get in the way. It rarely happens, but the best start to my day is having under 10 actionable emails, and no Slack messages. 

Perfect, perfect, perfect.

9:30am – 12pm – by this time, I am reconciling our accounts (matching payments from clients to their invoices), and marking them off in my Cashflow sheet. In an ideal world, this will take me all morning because there’ll be that many of them but typically, I’ll move on to checking who owes us what and will begin my chasing. Probably one of my least favourite things to do (who likes asking people for money?) but it does mean that I get to chat to our lovely clients, so… silver lining.

During this time, I’ve probably had another 2 cuppas.

12pm – 12:30pm – the best part of the day, lunch. Yes, you’re probably thinking i’m an absolute animal for having my lunch at 12, but after having a banana at 8am, I’m usually starving!

My Afternoon Routine

12:30pm – yet another brew, while I check & respond to any emails or Slack messages.

1pm – 4pm – this largely depends on where we’re at in the month, or what is going on in the business. Sometimes it’s organising interviews and speaking with recruiters, sometimes it’s creating reports for the Finance Director and uploading purchase invoices, sometimes it’s HR-related and could be writing and sending off contracts or creating and uploading our Company Handbook. Whatever it is, my afternoon is typically something that is the sole focus for that afternoon, i.e a long task. Don’t be mistaken though, during this period I will down another 3 cup of teas!

4pm – HOME TIME! Or, in the life of someone that works from home, MOVE TO THE LIVING ROOM TIME! When I finish at 4pm, I pop on my workout gear and do some exercise on the Nintendo Switch Fit.

5pm – 7pm – I’ll jump straight in the shower after my workout. Pop on my pj’s, and go downstairs to make dinner. Of course, I have to have another argument with my cat because he can’t possibly go another minute without eating anything from a bowl that is half full. Then after dinner, yes, you guessed it, another cup of tea.

7pm – 10pm – I’ll either do some revision for my AAT course, or I’ll binge-watch a couple of episodes of whatever programme me & my fiance are currently watching. Depending on the time, I’ll have my final cup of tea.

At the start of lockdown, like many of us, I hated working from home. I missed the office banter and my entire daily routine was shaken up. But now, having the flexibility to go into the office when I want to see some faces, or to stay at home when I have pressing work, gives me a much more relaxed routine; one that now, I couldn’t imagine changing.

I didn’t think I’d ever fall into a finance role, let alone love it, like I do now. The opportunities that I’ve had at The Digital Maze are amazing, and I love watching the company morph & grow into what it is today.