Lewis Mitchell is the head of content for the Asia-Pacific region at Twitch, the live-streaming platform that draws more than 30 million visitors every day, according to the company.
Based in Sydney, Australia, he oversees a team of three people.
Mitchell — who’s in his mid-30s and moved to Australia from England when he was 15 — took a somewhat roundabout journey to working at Twitch. He originally wanted to be an animator but decided to go into coding instead, spending a few years as a developer before changing gears and going into radio broadcasting.
As a gamer himself, Mitchell had been aware of Twitch, which was launched in 2011. But it was when he discovered Twitch Plays Pokémon — a social experiment on the live-streaming platform where more than a million players controlled a single character — that he knew he had to try and get a job there.
“It was the first time I’d seen a digital platform that was content-based around video games, and I’m just like, I have to work here,” Mitchell said.
He joined Twitch in May 2016 and started his current role as head of content while Sydney was in lockdown this spring.
Mitchell works from his home in the Wollongong area, about an hour south of Sydney. Here’s a look at his daily routine.
8 a.m. to 9 a.m: Mitchell starts his day drinking coffee on his balcony while he scrolls through Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and news apps to catch up on current affairs.
Some “noisy but awesome” Kookaburras — a type of kingfisher bird native to Australia and New Guinea — often sit in the Jacaranda tree nearby, he said.
Mitchell said he’s appreciated being able to get more sleep while working from home in the pandemic.
“If left to my own devices, I would absolutely be waking up at 11 o’clock and going to bed at like 1:00 in the morning,” he said. “But having that little bit of extra time has been really helpful.”
9 a.m. to 11 a.m: His work day kicks off with meetings with Twitch employees in the US.
“I’ll grab insights of high-level decisions during these meetings, then take them back to the APAC teams,” he said.
During the pandemic, Twitch has seen record numbers. In June 2020, the number of people streaming on Twitch in the Asia-Pacific region was double the year prior, according to the company. Last year, the total minutes viewed on Twitch grew to 1 trillion minutes.
11 a.m. to 1 p.m: Mitchell has a couple of hours of team meetings with the Asia-Pacific group and one-on-ones with country leads.
Twitch has 1,800 corporate employees around the world, according to a spokesperson for the company.
2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m: In the afternoon, he takes a break to take his Goldendoodle for a walk. Her name is Old Bean, but he and his wife just call her Beanie.
“She loves a Frisbee, but hasn’t mastered the art of dropping it yet, so we take two Frisbee’s for the bribery,” Mitchell said.
2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m: When they get back, Mitchell makes a sandwich for lunch – “usually in the presence of a hopeful dog looking for cheese,” he said.
3 p.m. to 5 p.m: He has more meetings in the afternoon, this time with the heads of departments in Asia Pacific to talk about how to improve the region for Twitch creators.
During these meetings, Mitchell stands and does some stretches.
Working from home in the pandemic, Mitchell said he’s learned the importance of investing in a good chair: He used to use gaming chairs but recently splurged on a Herman Miller office chair.
“I will say so far, it’s felt amazing,” he said. “My back is not hurting anywhere near as much.”
5 p.m. to 7 p.m: Mitchell spends the last couple hours of his day catching up with streamers and going through emails.
“I find it important to make sure I’m up-to-date with the type of content and tools people are utilizing the most to engage,” he said.
7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m: Mitchell fits in a workout, either a jog outside or in the small home gym he put together during the pandemic.
7:30 p.m: For dinner, he makes some burritos.
After dinner, Mitchell spends time with his wife and they watch TV together. “Highly recommend ‘The Hour,'” he said.
From about 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m, he finishes going through some emails and does any reading he needs to do for the rest of the week.
11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m: Mitchell calls this his “old man time,” when he avoids looking at screens for the last hour before bed.
“I’ll get into my slippers and dressing gown, and sit in my old man chair,” he said.
He recently finished the works of fantasy writer Robin Hobb and has also been reading about stoic philosophy.
Caroline Rainsford, 39, is Google’s country director for New Zealand. She oversees about 50 employees in Auckland.
Rainsford, who previously worked at L’Oréal, Philips, and GE, got a recruiting call from Google in 2017. At the time, she was three months into her maternity leave for her second child.
After a five-month interview process, Google offered her the role and asked how long she intended to take for her maternity leave. (In New Zealand, parents are entitled to one year of maternity leave — six months of which are paid.)
She told the recruitment team that she was planning on taking the full year, but for this opportunity she would end it early if necessary.
“And they said, ‘No, we’re happy to wait for you,'” Rainsford said. “And so I started in this company with just the best experience. Being a mother was always first. So in my approach as a leader, I feel like I’m this custodian to make sure that everyone has that experience now if they want to be a working mother.”
On top of her New Zealand duties, Rainsford has been managing more than 1,800 Googlers in Australia for the past several months while their managing director is on a year-long maternity leave.
“With working more closely on the Australian business, it was important that I got over to Sydney to get valuable face time with some of the team,” she said.
Here’s a look at Rainsford’s daily routine in Auckland while she oversees both Google New Zealand and Google Australia.
6 a.m: “On a weekday I usually wake up at 6 a.m. naturally thanks to two small children-shaped alarm clocks,” Rainsford said.
Rainsford said she tries to get eight hours of sleep each night so she’s at her best for a full day of parenting and working.
“The kids and I usually have Vegemite toast for breakfast — a classic in any Kiwi household,” she said.
7:45 a.m: Rainsford drops her son William, four, and daughter Olivia, six, off at school three mornings a week. “I love doing this as they tell me all the good stories in the car on the way,” she said.
Rainsford employs a nanny who takes the kids to school the other two days of the week.
As a single mother, Rainsford’s message to young women is that you can “have it all.”
“I think that it’s really about integration.” she said. “… Everybody at Google New Zealand and a lot of Australia know my two children. The nice thing about the last year and a half is it’s made us all way more vulnerable and it’s made us more open to who we actually are as people.”
On the days she doesn’t do school drop-off – or if the traffic isn’t too bad – Rainsford takes a morning walk around the waterfront of Auckland.
“The eastern bays are stunning and it hasn’t been too bad getting through the past 12 months with this on my doorstep,” she said.
On Friday mornings, Rainsford plays golf.
“I used to play golf before I had children,” she said. “One of my goals since joining Google has been to sharpen my skills, so every Friday morning I go and play. Sometimes I only have time for 40 mins of chipping but it is amazing mindfulness!”
9:30 a.m: Rainsford starts her work day by answering emails and preparing for the day ahead before her meetings kick off.
“I’m a huge planner so I always know the most important things I need to get done during the day,” she said. “I also have a sign above my screen in my home office that says, ‘Are you doing what matters?’ and it helps keep me focused on the important stuff.”
Since Googlers were allowed to return to the office in November, Rainsford is working three days a week from home and two days a week at the office.
10:30 a.m: Rainsford heads into the office and has a virtual meeting with Google leaders from the Singapore and US offices.
Rainsford said her number of daily meetings has increased by about 20% since she took over Australia, so she now has an average of eight to 10 meetings per day.
“This has been a really great stretch opportunity for me — something that I encourage everyone to think about in their career and work life,” Rainsford said. “It’s important to feel challenged … it can be where you see the most growth in your abilities.”
11:15 a.m: Rainsford takes 10 minutes to pop over and check on the progress of Google’s new office, which – like the current office – is in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter.
“The views are stunning from this vantage point, across Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour,” she said.
The building will be targeting a 5 Star Green Design from the Green Building Council of Australia and will feature a vertical planted green screen with native species and rainwater harvesting, she said.
Rainsford heads back to the current office for a client meeting before lunch.
12 – 12:30 p.m: Rainsford has lunch at the office with some of the Google New Zealand team. “Since we’ve been back in the office, I know the team (and I) have really appreciated this space again,” she said.
When she’s in the Auckland office, Rainsford schedules fewer meetings so she can spend informal time with her team. During the pandemic, she’s tried to be more open with them as a leader about how she weathers challenging times.
“I think there’s going to be a new breed of leadership,” she said. “We will see more vulnerability coming from leaders.”
The biggest lesson she’s learned during COVID-19 is how important it was to reset expectations for her employees, Rainsford said.
“I have this amazing exec business coach and he said to me, ‘OK, you’re in lockdown now across Australia and New Zealand. How are you thinking about resetting expectations with your team? Because they’re not going to be able to achieve like what they would normally, given this pandemic,'” she said. “And so we spent ages in the teams talking about really leveling expectations.”
After lunch, Rainsford heads to a session of a week-long director training course she’s taking through New Zealand’s Institute of Directors.
“This was a one-off course so I can learn about governance,” she said. “I really want to join a few Australia-New Zealand boards in the coming years to support New Zealand business growth and transformation.”
Google helped cover the cost of the course.
3 p.m.: She dials into a Women & Google panel held in Sydney, where she was one of six women participating in a Q&A.
“We spoke about the intensity of work in the first few months of 2021 as well as some of our career highs and lows,” Rainsford said.
Then Rainsford heads to watch her daughter Olivia’s after-school activity: rugby.
“Since COVID I have learned that it is possible to make time to attend my children’s most important moments,” Rainsford said. “Like when my daughter got player of the day at rugby. She is six and plays in an all-girls team. She is very good at chasing the other team!”
5:45 p.m: Rainsford speaks at a Digital Boost Launch Event at The Mind Lab, an education center in Auckland.
In New Zealand last month, Google searches for “online learning” spiked more than 600% from the year before, showing a growing appetite to learn new skills, according to Rainsford.
5:30 to 7:30 p.m: Rainsford spends time with and has dinner with her children.
“I have a tradition that once a week we have a family roast and the kids have to sit at the table with me,” she said. “It means we talk about the day. I cherish it.”
Rainsford tries to limit her kids’ screen time throughout the day, but while she’s cooking dinner, she lets them watch YouTube Kids on the tablet. “Some of their favourite local creators are Rainbow Learning and BBC Earth for the volcano content,” she said.
After the kids are asleep, Rainsford gets back on her computer and takes some time to get any “life admin” done.
“That’s birthday presents for friends, or ordering flowers for my Mum to say thank you, or even booking our next New Zealand staycation,” she said.
Before bed, she spends some time watching Netflix (right now it’s “The Queen’s Gambit”) or reading. “I am currently reading a book called ‘Mental Fitness — Build Your Mind for Strength and Resilience Every Day.’ It’s so relevant given our current environment.”
Rainsford said that despite her busy schedule, her two young children, and the pandemic, she doesn’t regret taking on the challenge of leading Australia for a year.
“Sometimes doing these things that are out of your comfort zone are really, really good, and you should embrace them,” she said. “But I think a lot of particularly young females would say no to a lot of this. So I’m hoping that Australia will convey that you can take on these additional challenges even at the most unusual time.”
Wee Luen Chia, 43, is a Singapore-based executive at ServiceNow, an American software company with a global team of 14,000 people.
As Managing Director and Area Vice President in Asia, Chia oversees a team of more than 100 people in his home country of Singapore. He joined ServiceNow, which makes software that automates business processes to help its customers work more efficiently, in 2019.
He previously worked at Oracle, Red Hat, Qlik, and the Singapore government’s Infocomm Media Development Authority.
He told Insider that despite the pandemic, “2020 has been the best year of my working life.”
While he used to fly around Asia for work on a weekly basis, he said he now has more time to spend with his four-year-old daughter, Chloe. Here’s a peek into his daily routine in 2021.
Editor’s note: This is a look at a typical day in Chia’s life before May 16, when Singapore reimposed COVID-19 restrictions like closing public schools and instructing most office workers to work from home.
6:45 a.m: Chia wakes up, showers, and drinks his coffee. Then he has breakfast with his wife, Susan Tan, and their four-year-old daughter Chloe.
“I try to get up at least 15 minutes earlier than my four-year-old daughter so I can prepare for the day before I wake her up,” Chia told Insider.
On weekends, the three of them often go out to breakfast for more family time.
In the pre-pandemic days, Chia woke up at 4 a.m. about once a week to catch a flight to meet with customers and other ServiceNow teams across Asia.
8 a.m: It’s time for Chloe to head to preschool. Chia sees his daughter off and his wife takes her to school.
“She is currently attending full-day pre-school, so we’re very fortunate to be able to have the time to concentrate on work,” Chia said.
Tan, Chia’s wife, also works in the IT industry for National Computer Systems.
Chia said he and his wife have tested out different ways to balance their work and family lives.
“What has worked best for us — I get up early to prep our daughter for school while Susan prepares for her work day,” he said. “We have breakfast together as a family. Susan takes on sending Chloe to school so that I can get an early start on planning for the day ahead.”
Chia’s meetings typically start between 8 and 9 a.m.
He uses any free time to go over emails that have come in overnight, which are usually from colleagues in different time zones.
Before he started working from home last year, Chia didn’t have a proper work-from-home setup, but he slowly built one up. Both he and his wife have dedicated home office setups and work in different areas of the home.
8:30 a.m: His first meeting of the day is a one-on-one with Albert Li, ServiceNow’s Managing Director for North Asia, who joined the team in March.
They brainstorm ideas and check in about onboarding progress.
“These one-on-one catchups really help when the agenda is not too structured – there’s an opportunity to build rapport, share challenges and experiences, and work together to learn from one another,” Chia said.
Throughout the pandemic, Chia said he’s continued to hire and onboard team members virtually across Asia.
9:30 a.m: Chia has a meeting with a customer in Malaysia, market expansion services company DKSH, for a “go live” event.
“The ‘go-live’ event is the moment in time all of the hard work is realized and the product is ‘live’ in the hands of the consumer – either consumers, citizens, employees, or business partners,” Chia said.
11:30 a.m: If he’s home and not traveling between meetings, Chia tries to fit in some exercise.
He keeps weights and other exercise gear in his home office to work out between meetings in short, two-to-three-minute intervals.
“It’s not a lot, but a little goes a long way over time,” he said.
12:30 p.m: Chia has lunch with his team at a sushi restaurant in Singapore’s Bugis neighborhood.
“I make it a point to bring my team out to lunch once a week, when it’s possible,” he said. “I like the opportunity to meet in small groups, connecting employees from different functional areas.”
They talk about how they’re adapting to the changes in where and how they work, how they’re dealing with the pandemic, and how their customers are adjusting.
Chia said he values face-to-face interactions more than ever. “Each moment I spend with someone is focused on building our relationship,” he said.
1:30 p.m: After lunch, he heads into ServiceNow’s office in downtown Singapore, which is the company headquarters for the Asia-Pacific and Japan region.
ServiceNow transitioned to remote work in March 2020, a company representative told Insider.
“The Singapore team, much like the other teams globally, will continue to be allowed the flexibility to work in a way that is most productive to them – and this will look different for different people,” the spokesperson said. “The hybrid workforce is definitely here to stay for the foreseeable future.”
Last year, the company hired 3,000 people in 25 countries, growing its global workforce by 25%.
4 p.m: Chia leaves the office to head to off-site meetings.
One of those meetings is with SGTech, a trade association for the tech industry in Singapore.
“I joined the committee as a means to use my years of experience to give back to society by helping Singapore-based companies accelerate their digital transformation journeys,” he said.
6:30 or 7 p.m: Chia is home for dinner with his family.
Tonight, the group includes his 69-year-old father, his 32-year-old brother, and his 43-year-old brother-in-law.
7:30 p.m: After dinner, the family plays Monopoly and Chia has to console his daughter after she loses.
“Sometimes there’s a teaching moment – it’s OK not to win every time,” Chia said, adding that he teaches her to be humble when she wins and gracious when she loses.
“This is currently one of my key focus areas in her development so she grows up to be able to take failure in her stride and be a good sport about things,” he said.
8 p.m: He reads his daughter a bedtime story, which he says is one of his “favorite moments” to spend with her.
“Her favorite book is ‘Rapunzel’ but I try to change stories when it’s possible to introduce new ideas,” Chia said. “She loves the classics including ‘Snow White’ and ‘Hansel and Gretel.'”
8:30 p.m: In the evenings, Chia goes on a run around his neighborhood.
He lives in Serangoon, a residential area in northeast Singapore.
“Each time, I change something in my routine,” he said. “Sometimes I listen to recorded Zoom calls during the run or listen to lectures on Udemy on different topics like AI and design thinking. I like to fuel my body and my mind.”
9:30 p.m.: Back at home, Chia showers and catches up on the news on TV and prepares for the next day’s meetings.
Around 11 p.m., he usually spends an hour reading a book or watching a Netflix show with his wife. Recently, they’ve been watching “The Last Dance” on Netflix and Chia has been reading Simon Sinek’s “Infinite Game.”
Before the pandemic, Lilian Rincon woke up at 5:30 a.m. every weekday to fit in a quick workout before dropping off her kids at school and driving to her office at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.
As the senior director of product management for the Google Assistant, Rincon managed a team of more than 30 people, and each day was packed with up to 12 meetings. Back in 2018, Rincon shared a look into her daily routine with Insider. Nearly two-and-a-half years later, we caught up with her to see how her day-to-day has changed because of the pandemic.
Like many other workers who are able to do their job remotely, Rincon has been working from home for a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She lives in the Portola Valley area of California with her husband, Nik, and their two children, Hudson, 7, and Bela, 4. Google extended its employee work-from-home option to September 2021, so Rincon will keep working from home until there are further updates, she said.
Here’s a look at her new daily routine, from fitting in a morning Peloton workout in the garage to helping her kids with their online schooling.
Lilian Rincon is the senior director of product management for the Google Assistant, managing a team of more than 30 people.
While other teams handle the speakers and hardware aspects of the Assistant, Rincon’s team thinks about what types of things the Assistant should be able to do.
In 2018, Rincon gave Insider a peek into her daily routine. She would wake up at 5:30 a.m. to fit in a workout before dropping off her kids at school and driving herself to work. At Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, she would get her morning almond milk latté at the free employee cafe, attend up to 12 meetings a day, and sometimes take a slide down to a lower level instead of the stairs.
Now, like many others, Rincon has been working from home for a year, and her daily routine looks different in almost every way.
She lives in California with her husband, Nik, and their two children, Hudson, 7, and Bela, 4.
Like many other families, Rincon and her family relocated during the pandemic. Rincon said they had considered remodeling their current home but found that remodeling prices had doubled, so they found a new home that fit their needs instead.
They moved from San Carlos to the Portola Valley area. Both towns are roughly 15 miles from Google’s headquarters in Mountain View.
As she did pre-pandemic, Rincon starts her day with some exercise. But now, she gets a bit more sleep and gets up at 6:00 a.m rather than 5:30.
“To help me show up as my best self both at work and with family, most mornings I take some time to work out — often with a little yoga,” Rincon told Insider.
Other days, Rincon’s morning workout is cycling on her Peloton bike.
She converted her garage into a workout space during the pandemic.
During the pandemic, as more people have stayed home and commuted less, Rincon said her team has seen more people using the Google Assistant for things like their morning routines.
She has her own Google Assistant set up to turn on her kitchen lights, read out her calendar for the day, and play the news after she says, “Hey Google, good morning.”
Before the pandemic, Rincon typically picked up her coffee from the free employee café at Google’s Mountain View campus. Now, Rincon has her coffee at home and sometimes drinks it outside while watering the plants.
“One of the many things I’ve learned is that the slower pace in the morning has made a difference in my productivity and sense of well-being,” Rincon said.
For breakfast, she usually has a pre-made smoothie or some eggs with fruit and toast.
On this particular day, she had avocado toast.
Rincon said she and her husband wake up their kids between 7:00 and 7:15 a.m. and “tag team” getting the kids dressed, fed, and their teeth brushed so they’re ready for their online schooling.
“When I have trouble getting them moving, we play either the ‘The Descendants Soundtrack’ or the ‘Kidz Bop’ station to get them dancing and in a good mood for the day,” Rincon said.
Rincon’s children have oscillated between in-person and online schooling over the past year.
The new prevalence of online schooling inspired Rincon and her team to create a new Google Assistant feature called Family Bell, which allows parents to add bell reminders throughout the day that announce when it’s time for a child to start an online class, take a break, or have a snack.
“I can’t tell you how much Family Bell has kept the kids on track throughout the day and evening routines (and has helped my husband and I keep more sane)!” Rincon said.
When Rincon first started working from home, she often worked at the dining room table. But as it became clear she’d be working from home for an extended period, Rincon realized she needed a proper setup.
“I created my home office by first thinking about the type of environment I wanted: simple, calming, and uncluttered so I can focus on work,” she said. “Then, I gathered inspiration online and bought furnishings like my desk and chair — along with a new rug to spruce things up.”
She bought a ring light to create better lighting for her video calls.
Because Rincon and her husband both have jobs, they’ve worked out a system to balance their work and family lives.
In the early days of the pandemic, Rincon’s husband took the morning shift with the kids, while Rincon looked after them in the afternoon. That meant she scheduled all of her work meetings in the morning.
Now, the family has a caregiver to help out with the kids, she said. When Hudson and Bela are doing in-person school, the caregiver looks after the kids in the afternoon through early evening. When the kids are schooling from home, the caregiver helps out in the morning through early afternoon.
“Not everyone has this privilege and we don’t take it for granted,” Rincon said.
As before the pandemic, Rincon spends most of her day in meetings – only now they’re virtual.
“I try to block out some time on my calendar to pull myself out of the day-to-day and spend some time thinking about the bigger picture and product strategy,” she said.
She said she’s been able to slightly reduce her average number of meetings per day from 12 before the pandemic to eight to 10.
“Like so many families, working and having kids at home has forced major prioritization,” she said.
Rincon said she keeps coloring books near her work space for the times when her daughter, Bela, interrupts her meetings.
“Like many parents working from home, this happens fairly often,” Rincon said. “My team is very familiar with seeing her on our video chats.”
Rincon said it took some time for her team to adjust to working from home. “But my team is now in a really good rhythm in terms of remote collaboration,” she said.
Rincon shared two tips that have worked for her team:
They created a working document that enables them to do reviews for new features and updates offline — often making it possible to cancel meetings that not everyone can attend.
Rincon schedules regular 15-minute, one-on-one meetings with her team members to stay informed of any important updates.
Rincon said her team has also been focused on making the Google Assistant more inclusive.
“For example, when tension was mounting around racial injustice last summer, we launched thoughtful responses to queries like ‘Hey Google, do Black Lives Matter?’ and ‘Hey Google, do All Lives Matter?'”
Lunchtime is another part of Rincon’s day that looks much different from before the pandemic. “One thing I greatly miss is having lunch with colleagues,” she said. “The silver lining is I usually get to eat lunch with my family.”
Rincon said they typically eat something that’s quick and easy to make, like a salad or sandwiches.
“This day we had one of my favorites — a homemade burger and fries,” she said.
Rincon takes a break in the afternoon to review flashcards with her daughter, who’s starting to read.
One of her daughter’s daily lessons is going over the alphabet, so Rincon reviews flashcards with letters with her.
Rincon said she tries to be intentional about taking breaks, even though it can be hard to disconnect from work.
“Most days my family and I find something to do outside that allows us to expel some energy and get fresh air,” she said.
“Whether it’s playing tag in our backyard or going for a quick walk in the neighborhood, anything we can do to keep from going to stir crazy is welcomed.”
A few times a week before dinner, the family video calls both sets of the kids’ grandparents.
“It’s special to connect with them regularly as we miss seeing them in person,” she said, adding that “Bela is always the one making everyone laugh.”
The family typically has dinner together around 5:30 p.m.
“Pre-quarantine, my husband did a lot of the cooking,” Rincon said. “But since I no longer commute to and from work, I’ve been able to brush up my skills in the kitchen. It’s almost meditative and allows me to get creative — that is, when I’m not rushing to get a meal on the table.”
After the kids’ bath time, it’s story time for about 30 minutes before they go to bed around 8:00 p.m.
After the kids are in bed, Rincon often gets back online to follow up on any urgent items or give her team guidance for the following day.
Other evenings, she relaxes with her husband by watching a TV show on Netflix. (Naturally, they watch on a Google TV.)
“Over the past year, I’ve found myself needing more comedic relief than usual — so I love catching up on Schitt’s Creek,” Rincon said.
To wind down after a busy day, Rincon meditates with Headspace or pulls up a sleep meditation on YouTube.
“My routine has changed pretty drastically due to quarantine, but a couple of items have remained consistent: carving out time for family and mindful moments,” Rincon said.
She goes to bed between 10:30 and 11:30 p.m.
“I’m grateful to have a few moments to center myself before getting my Zzzs.”