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At home with the licensing industry: Jetpack Distribution

How is business continuing for the industry now working from home is the new normal? Source talks to Dominic Gardiner, ceo, about how Jetpack Distribution has adapted.

With the licensing and related industries all working from home due to COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, Source talks to key companies across the spectrum to find out how they are keeping business going.

Today: Dominic Gardiner, ceo, Jetpack Distribution.

How is the team’s day now structured, with everyone working from home?

Jetpack does not have a permanent physical office space, so, as a team, we’re all adept at working remotely. Fortunately, technology allows us to stay connected on several platforms. We have team zoom, team WhatsApp, email, Skype and shared Dropbox files. All our video content files are stored on Amazon S3 servers and delivered via SIGNIANT high speed file transfers. We share screeners with buyers and each other via Vimeo. And the sales operation all runs via Salesforce.

Each member of the team structures their week and day according to the priorities set in our weekly meetings. It’s quite a flat structure and autonomy is key. As a leader, I have always encouraged the team to own their areas and set them targets to deliver, without too much influence over how they deliver!
We have a strong team who love to work this way, so there hasn’t had to be a major cultural shift required to adapt to the new environment.

We did regularly meet in person, which we all miss. Nothing really replaces human interaction. Now most meetings are done over Zoom. I will look forward to seeing my team again.

Could you provide a rough timeline of your day?

I wake up and check my emails normally, on my phone and spend the first part of the day dealing with anything immediate, before moving into my garden office to deal with the major work and various calls.

We are working with 29 producers so lots of things crop up. Our approach has been to partner with producers and IP owners so much of my time is spent ensuring we are doing just that. This includes support, feedback, advice and updates.

I check in with the sales team every day and stay on top of where we are with certain deals. Often a chunk of my day/week is spent approving marketing and PR materials as we are regularly communicating with the industry. It’s very important for our business.

I am also juggling home schooling currently as my wife is a key NHS management worker, so I need to set aside 2-3 hours to ensure that my daughter is getting a decent level of support and encouragement. This will often mean working later in the evening, into the night-time to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

I have never been one for set hours and am fortunate to love what I do, so this way of working is ideal for me.

How is the communication producers and buyers continuing? How important is it to continue keeping these lines of communication open during this time?

Regular communication with our producer partners and buyers has never been more important. We are very much open for business and the sales teams have had packed diaries of virtual meetings through the MIPTV period.

Nothing replaces a glass of rosé in the South of France and we miss the energy of the market. But business can be done anywhere now. So, we make the most of that.

Which projects are you able to move forward on right now?

We can move forward with our core business, which is finding homes for our catalogue of TV shows. It’s just how we do it that’s changed.

What piece of advice would you give about how best to continue to feel like a team while WFH? How are you keeping up morale?

We are blessed that Marie-Laure [Roche, global head of sales] is a yoga and meditation instructor. She has been delivering weekly wellbeing sessions via Zoom. Here we go through a series of yoga moves together and finish with some meditation. It’s been important in keeping us connected to each other but also great for managing stress and anxiety, which we are all feeling now.
I would highly recommend a virtual non-work related hang out, even better if it’s a stress buster, but even a beer on a Friday night helps us feel normal.

Best thing about WFH?

My dog and my view. From my desk I look out onto my garden. It’s great to take breaks outside and, of course, I get to spend time with my daughter as well.

What’s the one thing you’ve discovered about each team member since WFH that you didn’t know before?

We have always been a WFH company, so nothing new except perhaps that we can all feel confident that WFH works and is a viable strategy for businesses of any scale.

What advice would you give to people in the business who are worried about the future?

Try not to worry about the things outside of your control and stay focused on the things that have brought you success to this point. Be ready for some bumps in the road, but don’t panic, normal service will resume.

If you or your team would like to take part in this feature, simply email Samantha Loveday on saml@max-publishing.co.uk.

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