Workflow with Ross Floate, Creative and Strategy Director at We Are You

In this edition of Workflow, we have Creative and Strategy Director, Ross Floate, talking about his current ‘urgent’ working style, post-it notes and Run the Jewels 4 (dropping any day now!)

Portrait photo credit: James Braund

Workflow is an interview series by Balance the Grind to get a glimpse into people’s working styles and workspaces. If you’re interested in sharing your workflow, submit it here!

How do you like your coffee: You know, I take it black with one sugar, but I decided a while back that I’ll take it as it comes. Learning to not be fussy about your coffee means you’re never disappointed when you have a cup of coffee.

I mean, who needs something that’s meant to be a small pleasure becoming a source of angst? Hell, I’ll drink International Roast. Just give me some caffeine delivery system and I’m fine.

Device(s) you use: I’ve been working from home since mid-March and I’ve adapted my setup a lot over that time to enable me to be as productive as I can be in the circumstances.

So there’s a 15” Macbook Pro with a lot of “stuff” attached to it that helps with what have been massive changes — largely around the sheer number of collaboration tools we’ve been using lately. There’s an iPhone XS in the mix, as well as an Apple Watch, which mostly these days is just for telling me that I’m not getting enough exercise or sleep and that I ought to do something about that.

And something that I use that isn’t a device, but that makes a world of difference is clothing. I get up, shower, have a coffee, and I put on work clothes. Even to the point of jacket and tie. It helps to put me in a work mindset, and getting changed out of them at the end of the day feels like it’s permission to relax.

Describe your working style in one sentence: I’m not sure I can do it in one sentence because it’s changed so much since Victoria went into lockdown. What it has been is urgent. In a sense it’s become “whatever it takes”.

Most of my time since we moved to the way we work now has been working with clients to make sure that their customers have been able to continue to access the things that they need – goods, services, and cultural touchpoints. It’s been incredibly rewarding to work with such great teams, and I feel fortunate to have been able to have made some contributions.

What does your workspace look like: Right now it’s a bunch of stuff on a plastic folding table in what was a spare bedroom. Plenty of days have had more than six hours of video calls so I’ve set things up for that — all the way to making some ersatz soft boxes out of Ikea lamps, coathangers and baking paper. It actually works pretty well.

There’s a Macbook Pro with two monitors hanging off it. One screen has been set up permanently showing both Outlook and Slack in Splitscreen View. The laptop screen itself is almost always running videoconferencing software (I just splurged on a Logitech Streamcam because they’re so much better in challenging light than the built-in camera).

The third screen is where I keep whatever software I’m running that lets me actually produce stuff — mostly Productboard at the moment, but a lot of Miro happens there and absolutely too much Jira happens there. The field recorder I usually use for recording interviews has now been pressed into service as a USB mic.

And the walls? Well they’re a riot of Post-it notes.

Do you have a favourite playlist for work: I’ve been mainlining a lot of hip-hop lately. Mostly it’s been Czarface, MF Doom, and Run the Jewels. I am eagerly awaiting the day that RTJ4 drops.

Who would you like to nominate for the next workflow interview: Julien Viard from Allsquares.

Before you go…

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.