#Iworkinproperty series with Robbie Dery

As the property industry adapts to meet the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis, Property Council Australia are calling out to members to share their stories of agility and innovation. This week they interviewed Robbie Dery – Chief Commercial and Product Officer at oOh!media


What do you love most about your job?

I work with fantastic people in a business that provides the freedom to challenge and innovate. There is nothing more satisfying than finding new and different ways to deliver more value that benefits our partners and our business. Creativity, data analysis and good hustle go a long way!

How has your work changed since Covid-19?

We have been adapting quickly to deal with the pandemic, keeping our fingers on the pulse of the industry while working with clients to drive the best outcomes – quite a challenge when working remotely. Internally we have had to make some tough decisions, while doing everything to preserve jobs for the long term.

How are you adapting to the “new normal”?

I’m communicating more than ever. Leading a team by distance requires increased connectivity to drive motivation, plus constant communication to ensure people are kept in the loop as conditions evolve. Personally, I’ve adjusted to having my office space at home, and being on the phone or video conference more than ever. I’ve leased my 10-year-old daughter’s bedroom for a $3 weekly increase to her pocket money! The upside of working from home and homeschooling is that we have lunch and dinner together every day.

What are your new workday essentials?

I’ve turned to the simpler things in life like a good internet connection, a cup of coffee from my local café, and Netflix to entertain the kids when homeschooling is getting too tough. The dog has also never been walked so much.

What is your most valuable skill in challenging times?

Having lived through the experiences of the GFC, SARS and now COVID-19, there are a few key attributes which are critical to not just getting through the challenging times while delivering, but can deliver strong competitive advantage. Remaining agile is crucial. There’s no rulebook for this situation so be prepared to make decisions quickly, act decisively and don’t be afraid to do things differently.

Stay connected to your teams, customers and partners. Having a well prepared and composed team means you can work through any challenges efficiently and effectively.

How businesses and individuals behave in tough times says a lot about the organisational culture and a person’s character. This is a time where everyone is finding it tough, showing some empathy has proven to not only delivers good business outcomes, but also brings us all closer together.

What is your biggest inspiration?

I have a few… I’m currently watching “The Last Dance” on Netflix – which is a documentary about the greatest basketballer of all time, Michael Jordan. Not only was he an extremely talented athlete, but his insatiable, competitive nature and absolute commitment to be the very best is inspirational. While he is famous for his individual accomplishments, he was a dedicated team man. Even the great Michael Jordan realized you can’t win without a great a team.

What’s one way you’ll work differently on the other side of this crisis?

I think this time working from home has opened my mind to working differently – I will be trying to manage the balance of when I need to be in the office and how to manage my time when I’m there.

What have you learned so far from 2020?

Well, working from home is actually really enjoyable – (and will be more so once the kids go back to school!) But really it’s that the Out of Home industry, more specifically oOh!media, is made up of extremely strong and resilient individuals. That’s what makes a business great – the people.

Through the events of 2020, our business has grouped together, as has the industry, to support communities here and overseas, playing an instrumental role through the challenges of bushfires and this current pandemic.


First published with Property Council Australia