We all work with people who do the impossible. As a finalist for our Office Hero of the Year Award, Dana Brown is no stranger to hard work and productivity. Dana is currently the Office Coordinator at Weebly, and has had stints at Apple and Infusionsoft. We got in touch with Dana to discuss her favorite productivity hacks, why it helps to have a strong connection to the role you’re in, and the importance of stopping every once in a while to play with a puppy.
Name: Dana Brown
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Current Job Title: Office Coordinator
What’s your favorite time-saving trick?
I use Google Sheets to automate a lot of the processes I do frequently. For example, Weebly provides free catered lunch to employees during the 363 days a year we’re open. With each of our 12 teams taking their lunch breaks at different times over a four-hour period, Google Sheets has simplified my lunch process by crunching my daily headcount numbers for me. This would be impossible to leave to memory, so these systems save me a lot of headaches.
What is your workspace setup like? Is there any tool or device that you can’t live without?
I run on a 13″ Macbook Pro with Retina Display and a Samsung monitor. Because I sit at the front desk, my desk is often cluttered covered with all of the things I’m working on at any given time; catering menus, handwritten notes for employees celebrating their “Weebly-versary” (work anniversary), and an endless supply of candies for employees to grab on their way in and out (Hi-Chews are the office must-haves!).
In our experience, office heroes are constantly busy and wear a lot of hats. How do you stay focused at work?
I think most office heroes—including office managers, executive assistants, administrative assistants, etc, are all very passionate about the role they play. Often, our problem isn’t how to stay focused, but how to step away for a few minutes and allow ourselves a break. For several months, I would go home on my lunch break to play with my new puppy, Lil’ Stevie (@lilsteviebrown on Instagram). Despite the time crunch, seeing him put me in a great mood and got me energized for the remainder of the day.
Office snacks: sweet or salty?
My office tends to prefer salty over sweet, although in these Arizona temperatures, they go wild over a good ice cream truck! A favorite savory treat was giant German pretzels with warm beer cheese fondue from a German restaurant right down the street.
How do the personal relationships you have at work help you maintain your office hero status?
Here at Weebly, I feel extremely lucky to have the coworkers that I do. They’re kind, animated, and incredibly friendly. I trust that when I’m away from the front desk and a visitor walks in, someone will greet them warmly and see to it that they’re helped. Often times, a visitor has already been brought water or a cup of coffee by the time I return to my desk. Coworkers like that make my job a lot easier!
“I like to steal ideas and little nuggets of wisdom from each of my leaders. My favorites are: assume positive intent, do the right thing for your customers, and tell those around you, ‘I appreciate you.’”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
About 3 years ago, I was having a tough time figuring out my next career move. I respected and admired my leadership team, I was incredibly passionate about the company and I adored my coworkers, yet I didn’t feel a strong connection to the role I was in. A coworker and I were discussing my situation and he said, “Dana, you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole.” Despite loving the company, the role wasn’t making me happy. It took that conversation and a super simple expression for me to realize there was nothing wrong with me; the job just wasn’t the right fit.
Who’s your hero?
I’ve never really had a hero, but I like to steal ideas and little nuggets of wisdom from each of my leaders. My favorites are: assume positive intent, do the right thing for your customers, and tell those around you, “I appreciate you.”
Office heroes aren’t made overnight. Tell us a little bit about your career path and how you ended up where you are.
I was fortunate to start my career with Apple. I was an inaugural member of the Apple Store Leader Program, a 24-month immersion in all positions within an Apple Retail store. After finishing the program, I found my passion in Preservation & Operations, a role in the Apple store that allowed me to focus on caring for the physical store environment while creating and managing process. After nearly four years at Apple, I left to become an Executive Assistant to the VP of People at Infusionsoft. Just over a year ago, I came to Weebly to be the Office Coordinator. It’s been a fun journey!
The winner of our Office Hero of the Year Award will be announced on Wednesday, April 27th. Check back soon for the announcement!