Around the office with Cisco's Oliver Roll

The CCO explains what makes his office -- and Cisco's culture -- unique

Time to roll out of bed in the morning
Too early: 6:15 a.m.

Secret for keeping up with East Coast and European colleagues while on Pacific Time
It’s hard. I really value face time, as my local team knows. I have a global summit once a year to bring people together, but in the absence of that, WebEx and Spark keep us connected. I take those meetings very seriously. I am always on video, make an effort to be overly present, and make people feel as though they are in the room with me.

First app or site checked each morning
BBC. I grew up with it, and it was on in the background all the time. There is a familiarity there, but also the reporting is international, diverse, and gives perspective in an objective way.

Commute length and difficulty
Because I get up so early, it takes just under 30 to 40 minutes if I stop at Starbucks. I love the Starbucks mobile app.

First thing to get done at the office
Check email and look at the paper (the real one): Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, or The New York Times. There is nothing like the feel of a newspaper.

Average number of meetings per day
Too many: eight to 10.

Tip for maintaining sanity in a modern workplace
Positive attitude, humor, and kindness. Stay focused on the work, not all the noise around the work. And also, it’s just work.

Lunch: Take a break or chew and type
Long ago, in central London, I used to go out for lunch a lot and have a couple glasses of wine. Today, I try to take a break if I can but usually end up eating during meetings.

Average office time of departure
Too late: 6:30 to 6:45 p.m.

Tip for transitioning from work time to personal time
Someone gave me this advice recently, and it really stuck with me: When you get into your driveway, stay there for two minutes and transition your mind before you walk in.

Weekends: How much work?
Nothing is ever scheduled. It’s not the nature of my job. I am always on and checking in to make sure nothing has popped up. Sometimes I end up working the whole weekend with an acquisition, launch, or story. Other times, I’m able to have a quiet weekend at home with my family.

Most distinct aspect of your personal office
Paper. It’s a mess. I love newspapers, printouts, and drawings from my kids. 

Biggest perk of Cisco’s office
The culture. We really care about people: We get our birthday off and time off to volunteer. Saying hello to Phyllis at the front desk every day. Our culture is real and warm.

Thing you miss most about working or studying in the U.K. or Germany?
Cumberland sausages, my mom, and British newspapers — not necessarily in that order.

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