Productivity Across Borders, with Christiane Kenny – TPW234
Published March 20, 2019
59 min
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    Christiane Kenny and her family have made several international moves in the past few years. She shares her thoughts on making a home, and being productive, across borders.

    Making a life across borders

    Christiane Kenny is a Chartered Company Secretary working for a corporate services company affiliated with a law firm that provides services to Bermuda companies in the insurance and reinsurance space. She is originally from Canada but currently lives in England with her husband, daughter, and pets. They are planning to relocate to Bermuda soon for her husband's career.

    A typical day

    On a typical weekday, Christiane is up by 6:30 am. She spends the morning getting herself organized; she gets dressed, makes herself a cup of coffee, does a few things around the house, and reviews her plan for the day.

    Around 7 or 7:30, she wakes up her daughter and makes her breakfast and gets her daughter to finish up any homework or violin practice that didn't get done the night before.

    Around 8:30, she drops her daughter off at school. After that, she'll either go for a run with a friend, walk the dog, or go to the gym if she didn't go for a run, or work out at home. After her workout, she takes a quick shower, sits down with her coffee and breakfast, and gets down to work for the day.

    Her job entails overseeing a team of 10 based in Bermuda and working directly with clients as well. She emails with her team, reviews the work her team had done, is on many board meeting calls, prepares minutes of the meetings, and has strategic management discussions. Because of the time difference between England and Bermuda, her mornings are quiet, but she can get very busy in the afternoon.

    With her upcoming move, she's cut her work back to part-time. She got a lot of her work done ahead of time so she can focus on moving preparation such as school paperwork for her daughter, preparing all the necessary requirements to move her pets overseas, getting movers quotes, and tying up all her living arrangements such as utilities. Preparing to move internationally is almost a fulltime job in and of itself.

    Around 4:30 in the afternoon, she picks her daughter up from school, supports her daughter to do her homework, practice music, go to swim practice, and they are back home by 8 pm. Once her daughter is in bed, she'll spend some time with her husband, and if she's had a particularly rough day, she'll stay up a little later to watch a tv show. Usually she'll drink some herbal tea and be in bed by 11 pm.

    On weekends, she is still up early to take her daughter to swim practice, and she runs with a friend one day and goes on a walk with her husband and dog to grab coffee on the other.

    Tools Christiane uses to manage a team from overseas

    To manage a team from another country, Christiane uses Zapzap Chat messenger app, Skype, Zoom, and email. Her firm is on a Citrix server, so her laptop looks exactly the same as her desktop computer in the office. When she visited the Bermuda office, she maximized her time there, almost like time-blocking, bonding with her team members by going to lunch or having coffee so she could still have that relationship with them when she was back in the UK or Toronto.

    Biggest productivity challenges

    The biggest productivity challenge for Christiane was allowing her work to take over her life. She felt personally invested in the company as she had pretty much grown it from the time it was set up, and it felt good to her to do anything for her clients at any time.

    But once she became a mom, and once she started working remotely,
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