J. Walter Thompson's Alissa Kaplan on hot desking, planners, and FaceTime

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Alissa Kaplan is executive director, healthcare, at J. Walter Thompson.

Most distinct aspect of your personal office
At J. Walter Thompson, we moved to hot desking, which means no one has an office or personal desk. I usually find a spot in one of our lounge areas, which lets me chat with many people.

Time spent on the road per year
I travel a couple of days per month to attend meetings, pitches, and conferences.
 
It's always hard being away from my family, especially now that my girls are older and more aware of when I am not present. Tech, especially FaceTime, helps me stay connected.
 
Number of meetings per day
My days are usually filled with back-to-back meetings, starting at 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and going to 5 p.m. 

I have an old school notebook and planner that is my bible. I use it to keep track of meetings and to-dos for each day, week, and month. 
 
Commute difficulty on a scale of one to 10
Nine. My commute is the worst part of the job. If everything is running as planned, it's around one hour and 15 minutes, but there are many times it's two-plus hours each way. 

Average wake up time on a weekday
I usually wake up at 6:30 a.m. I've always been a morning person, so I rarely need an alarm clock. 
 
Biggest lessons learned on the job
A true leader leads by example. It's not enough to be smart and strategic. A leader needs to be empathetic and inspiring. 

Best tip for putting work away after hours
I keep my phone and computer in my bag, out of sight, out of mind. 
 
Mentor
One of my former bosses, Eva Heyman. We worked together for eight years. I learned so much from her professionally, and how to be a working mom. 

Book I'm reading 
Beauty in Broken Places by Allison Pataki.

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