Boxing classes and breakout spaces: Dan Mazei talks building culture at Reebok

The senior director of Reebok's global newsroom talks moving into a new global headquarters.

Describe your morning routine.
It’s standard fare until I get to my phones. Then it’s a scan of all our social platforms, a careful selection of my walking playlist, and into Feedly for me to get a pulse on what’s driving coverage and conversation around the world. I’m immediately taking notes about any trends or surprises that could give us a way into the cultural agenda. 

Commute difficulty, on a scale of 1-10?
I’d say it’s a two. Until a couple weeks ago, I lived roughly four miles from our world headquarters. Now that Reebok has relocated to the city of Boston—now in the Seaport, in a brand-new, open-concept space—that distance and time has grown quite a bit.

What time do you get to your desk?
It varies depending on meetings, but I’m usually in the newsroom by 8:50 a.m.

What's your personal office like?
Well, my office is actually our office. The Reebok Newsroom shares a beautiful space in our new building, sandwiched between our brand archives and the typical workspace of our executive team. We have several breakout spaces within it for small-group discussions or brainstorms, rolling whiteboards with plans and ideas, walls lined with writeable space, large display screens and more.

Tip for scheduling a productive day?
Oh, this one is easy: Decline meetings that don’t have clear objectives and anticipated outcomes. If the meeting organizer can’t come up with those answers, then there shouldn’t be a meeting in the first place.

Work through lunch or take a break?
What’s lunch?

What's your best tip for unplugging after the work day?
I think it’s as simple as commitment. I recently put a daily "do not disturb" on my phone for 7:30 to 9 p.m. as another way to focus on life at home. 

Unplug completely, sometimes, or rarely on the weekends?
I guess I’d go with rarely on the weekends. Again, it’s about commitment to some reasonable sliver of time where I’m effectively "off." That being said, I have a vacation property in Vermont that, somehow in today’s world, lacks all cell service.

Perks of working at a company like Reebok?
You could have VIPs walk in off the street and see what we stand for at any given moment, without a single note or heads up to our staff. You’ll see people in boxing class at 2 p.m. on a given weekday; people sitting at couches in the trendiest outfits talking about the latest fashion show; a group of people from product design and marketing going for a run along the water after meetings. "Culture" just sort happens on its own here, and it’s so refreshing. 

What you wish you knew before you started working in PR?
That at least 90% of people will never, ever be able to accurately articulate what PR actually means.

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