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Today’s Office: Threepipe’s Jim Hawker on working from a vintage campervan

Jim Hawker, chief executive of Threepipe reveals why he decided to buy vintage campervan at the start of lockdown

Thanks to the pandemic, the world of work is changing – and it looks very different depending on where you’re based. In The Drum’s new series, Today’s Office, we ask adland to share what these new normal routines look like. This week, Threepipe’s chief executive Jim Hawker tells us why he decided to park a vintage campervan outside his front door at the start of lockdown.

For the past four months, I’ve been working from 1985 Talbot Express motorhome, parked outside of my house.

Just before lockdown hit, I decided to buy the van for £1,000 to create an office space. My wife and I have two small children, so we needed an alternative place from which to work.

These days, I start work earlier and finish earlier, which suits my natural way of working anyway. I walk 10 steps to the campervan and I return to the house for ‘comfort breaks’, or to my local café, which is two-minute walk away, for a great cup of coffee and a chat with local friends.

I was working more remotely anyway and I’m up to speed with all the platforms we now use every day, so personally I have adapted to the working from home life pretty easily.

As I mentioned, I have a two-year-old and five-year-old at home, so one big thing that has changed about my days is that I’m now able watch a little more Peppa Pig in the mornings. I’ve also tried my hand at some home schooling in the campervan, because my older child thinks it’s amazing to sit in there and learn.

From my new ’office’ I can usually see my living room and the kids jumping up and down. When my neighbours walk by, they usually give me a smile and a wave.

Luckily, the wifi in the living room stretches out nicely, so I can work from the van with no connectivity problems. But there is one drawback — this retro model can get really hot in the sun, and really damp in the rain.

I stay inspired now through local walks with local interesting people. I have a few clients and work friends who live nearby and it has been great to meet up for an hour’s walk and chat after work.

Beyond my work routine, I am definitely exercising more, eating better and drinking less. No commute time has really helped with the fitness regime and I’ve been able to play a lot of tennis, which is my sport.

Pre-coronavirus, work and home life were blurred for me. I’d say having the van does provide some ‘distance’ which is helpful.

As far as returning to the ’normal’ office goes, I miss seeing my colleagues in real life, but I’m not in a rush to go back. When all this is over, I look forward to a better balance between working from home and time in the office.

Jim Hawker is the chief executive of Threepipe, which counts Panasonic and Liberty among its clients.

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