This marks my fourth week working from the London office of Weber Shandwick, so I thought I’d provide a description of my day-to-day work environs. While Kristine and Henry explore London via double decker bus and make daily trips to the Sainsbury’s, I sit at a desk within an open workspace that measures approximately 20 meters by 20 meters. Weber Shandwick Technology, the practice in which I sit, has approximately 40 staff. This is just one practice of several (public affairs, consumer, healthcare, etc.) that make up the London office, located at Fox Court 14 Gray’s Inn Road, which includes about 300 Weber Shandwickians.
Very few people have their own office here – the real estate is just too scarce. The head of each practice might have an office, but that’s about it. Most people sit in rows of desks, very much like a news room. The advantage is that you can easily get quick updates on projects from other people in the office. Although, even in such a cozy space, people still fall prey to email. David Lawrence, pictured below sits right across from me in our desk row. He sent me a "thank you" email this morning (that’s not a ‘peace’ sign or a ‘thank you’ gesture, by the way).
The various Weber Shandwick practices fill up three floors of Fox Court, with the ground floor reserved for reception, large conference rooms, and the "Foxhole," a cafe/cafeteria/informal meeting space where I get coffee and sandwiches when I’m too lazy to walk outside to grab lunch. Pink is the new beige. The entire office has a kind of Andy Warhol theme, and the walls are painted a shade of pink that kind of takes your breath away. Especially after a few glasses of wine at lunch (they tell me that’s ok in London).
My colleagues here are great. I’ve known some of them for years, and some I’ve only just met. Without exception, people have been incredibly hospitable and ready with advice on everything from must-see places in London to weekend get-aways. And, most important, there never seems to be a shortage of people willing to go to the pub. Wednesday nights seem to be the most popular for downing a few pints after work. I’ve had a hangover every Thursday that I’ve been in London.