Building Foundations: Donna Gage

Donna3 cat

We chat to Donna Gage, our Practice Manager, about the challenges of running a business from home during these unusual COVID-19 times, her favourite thing about Webb Yates dog-friendly working environment and where she wants to travel when the pandemic is under control.

What’s your favourite thing about the working environment at Webb Yates?

One word: dogs!

Ok, there are some other good things about the working environment at Webb Yates. Before the lockdown there was always something happening in the office – whether it’s early morning yoga classes, a charity event, or the beer festival. Oh, and did I mention that we’re a dog-friendly office?!

What is your favourite thing about your career?

A Practice Manager in a medium-sized company needs to have fingers in a lot of pies, and although I’ve tended to lean towards the marketing side of the business, I’ve had to learn a lot about human resources and operations along the way. It’s this variation in the role that I enjoy, along with the challenges that inevitably crop up along the way. Helping the company navigate its way through the COVID-19 crisis has probably been the biggest challenge so far!                                                          

How does it feel to be locked down in the largest urban centre in western Europe?

It’s been a rollercoaster! I’ve lived in London for nearly 15 years now, so I’m enjoying the city essentially being on pause after having spent most of those 15 years rushing from one place to another, and generally being shoulder to shoulder with other Londoners. On the flip side, the uncertainty around our health and wellbeing has been fairly overwhelming, but I’m intrigued to see how the city can recover in a way that’s positive for people and the environment.

How is it to work as a Practice Manager and run a business from home?

We’re lucky to have great IT services, so the transition to working from home was fairly painless! On top of this, most of the Webb Yates team is technologically-savvy, so our ability to work collaboratively hasn’t been affected too much. On a more personal note, I’m enjoying the 30 second commute to my desk, the lunchtime runs, and being able to spend so much time with my cat!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

This would be useful advice to my current self as well as my younger self: stop worrying so much!

If you could travel anywhere in the world (after the COVID-19 pandemic is under control) where would that be?

An annual trip to Wales has become somewhat of a tradition, so I’d probably head to the Welsh countryside and avoid all the British tourists flocking to the more far flung locations.

What is your favourite album, film and novel?

Album: My all-time favourites are either OK Computer by Radiohead or The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips. But more recently, I've had the new Laura Marling album on repeat.

Film: I don't watch many films, but if I had to pick it would be a toss-up between Grizzly Man and The Wrestler.

Novel: I read so many novels, it's hard to choose just one! The novel that first sprang to mind is Microserfs by Douglas Coupland - a novel made up of diary entries, set to the backdrop of the 90s tech revolution.

What is your favourite joke (pre-watershed)?

What do you get when you cross a joke with a rhetorical question?