ANTHONY Cotter is the creative director for a software company called Workvivo, an employee experience platform whose main focus is on internal communication and engagement for large companies.
Workvivo are headquartered out of Douglas in Cork but have offices in Boston, London, and Dublin to name a few.
It was founded by fellow Corkonians John Goulding and Joe Lennon in 2017.
Here, Anthony tells us a bit more about his chosen career...
In the Beginning
I started out direct from college in a printing company called Cola Design and Print - the fabulous Norman and Conor Coleman were kind enough to start me while I was finishing college, and I spent a year on the print floor there.
I moved to Snap Printing, where I spent six years learning my trade in customer service and a graphic design role. Mick Fitzgibbon is still at the helm, and I always counted him as a great influence on me.
However, in 2004, I helped start our business Coolgrey with John O’Sullivan and Justin Cronin. I spent a very rewarding 15 years building the firm and growing it into one of the most respected design agencies in Cork and Ireland to what it is today.
In 2020, an opportunity arose to work with a global start-up like Workvivo, so I went for it, and here we are today.
I started with Workvivo in January, 2020, right before the pandemic hit. I had around eight or nine weeks in the office before our CEO John had the foresight on a Thursday before lockdown that we would all take our equipment home and trial a work-from-home scenario. We never looked back.
The thing I remember most out of the lockdown is that I gave myself close to 18 haircuts; each one I felt I was getting better, but I ended up looking like someone from Peaky Blinders, tight at the side, mop at the top! Kinda still do, really.
The Joys of Work
The most rewarding thing about my job - The People - it’s the welcome, the recognition, the respect, and the help I receive daily. I’ve learned so much here due to the renowned Workvivo culture.
I manage the creative and branding of the company. The design team creates campaigns to go to market to show Workvivo as the correct tool for internal communications and engagement.
My role is to manage the team, manage projects, and keep the branding of Workvivo consistent while constantly trying to keep it relevant and modern.
My Day to Day
My day-to-day can vary depending on whether I work from home or head into the office.
At home, it’s a case of being woken up by two lunatic dogs that try to look for treasure in the bed to get comfy next to me.
I nearly always start the day with a breakfast of two boiled eggs, brown bread, and an espresso. If anyone isn’t buying ‘Adam’s Eggs’ they are losing out... a great local business in Glanmire.
I tend to start work between 8.30am and 9am, have team meetings, plan the week ahead, and don’t look up until I’m done.
When I head into the office, I will drop the kids off at school. My eldest, Ella, is in third year in Colaiste an Phairsaigh, Glanmire, and my other two girls, Juno (12) and Cali (10), are both in Gaelscoil Ui Driscoill in Dunkettle.
I tend to tackle the dreaded new road lay-outs in Dunkettle and make my way to Douglas via the tunnel.
At work, you could find yourself meeting any one of our 140 employees. There might be colleagues from America, Dublin, etc, and it’s a coffee chat before starting the day’s work.
Lunch is very varied; there’s so many good places to eat in Douglas - If I’m in healthy mode, I tend to go to Here’s Health cafe in Douglas Court Shopping centre - a lovely new spot - or I try to get into ‘12 Tables’ which is right around the corner to us here at Workvivo - it’s a staff favourite and run by the great Dave Farrell of Rubyhorse fame - sound chap!’
We’ve recently formed a running club in the Cork office, so you might see my large bottom running around Douglas of a certain Thursday night.
There are no two days the same in Workvivo - it’s a very cool working environment, and I’m lucky to say that I really enjoy the day job.
I’m a member of the White Horse Guitar Club, which is an 11-piece band based out of the venue of the same name. We came together one night in March, 2012, and there could have been close to 20 people all sitting around jamming and singing. All had various levels of musicianship and it became a weekly session.
It quickly became a more serious practice session with four or five songs we would have to learn and perform in unison.
The group of 11 that enjoyed this process and each other’s company formed what is now known today as the White Horse Guitar club. We’ve sold out the Opera House twice, the Everyman, we love playing in Coughlans, Levi’s, Connolly’s of Leap is another excellent music venue. We’ve toured France, Italy, Germany, and Holland.
It’s great fun bringing our take on old American classics to new audiences.
We have a lovely national tour kicking off tomorrow, February 9 in Whelan’s Dublin, with two sold-out shows in Cleere’s, Kilkenny, The Spirit Store, De Barra’s, and Coughlans, to name a few.
It’s a significant part of my life for various reasons; obviously, a vehicle to get to sing and perform, but also the bond between us is solid. It’s much more than a band.
When there are no gigs on, it’s family time. I love chilling with my wife and three girls, fire on - movie night - get out the treats!
You may see me with my nails painted if you called to the house. The little ladies go full-on beauty salon mode, and I just have to go with it, it’s good fun.
We have a busy household, so it’s full-on being a taxi service to camogie, piano, swimming, skating, violin... I’m tired even listing them out.’
I love cooking and really got into it over the last few years. If you ask the family what’s my favourite show, they would say MasterChef.
We have a lovely local pub across the road, and I catch up on the news there when I can. Brian and Louise Kenny run a great ship, and it’s one of the old houses where you can sit back, have the chat, sing songs, play darts, watch the live sport... and no taxi home.
Shout out to the Cork office who will rush out to buy the paper now that they’re mentioned in it. To John and Joe, who’ve built a great company and continue to push the product to the next level. I’ve been lucky in my career to work with great people, and this part of my life is no exception.
Shout out to my Mother Dearest, too, she loves a good nose at The Echo.
What does the Future hold?
To help take Workvivo to the potential of the people that work there and to keep building great design teams and leading Workvivo into the next phase of creativity.
On a hobby front, keep fit and to keep trucking with the White Horse Guitar Club, Christmas number ONE, maybe.