Our Women In EVA Global series continues this week as we highlight female leadership here inside the company, to better understand what inspires our colleagues through their professional journey, and build a more inclusive world that helps shape our workplace. This week we explored the theme of work-life balance and especially being a working mother.
While work-life balance is not a new concept, it is taking renewed priority for many people, as general trends toward improving that balance through technology are acknowledged and encouraged.
This week, we spoke with Tanya Obretenova, Team Leader for Greece, Hungary, and Poland here at EVA Global. Tanya is known on the team for inspiring enthusiasm and displaying professional and empathetic leadership. Here are some of her thoughts on work-life balance, especially after becoming a new mother.
We understand you are a new mother; while every situation and family is different, what are your thoughts on managing a healthy work and life balance?
Having a child for the first time is something you can never be fully prepared for. It brings you to a whole new world where multi-tasking and good time management are essential if you want to survive! (joke). On the other hand, working for a company in the eMobility industry sounds challenging due to the ever-changing environment, round-the-clock innovations, and events where you have to stay up-to-date. Here I would like to point out that mothers are some of the most resourceful employees because they are forced to problem-solve. Naturally, because of our nesting instinct, we tend to create good relationships with co-workers and transform the office into a pleasant and secure place. A mother has a sixth sense in many situations and simply follows it. One of the most essential things about work-life balance is learning how to reduce distractions and remove time wasters. Stay focused on the to-do- list for the day at work and genuinely dedicate the time with the family after work – that is my golden formula for a healthy work/life balance. When you have balance in your life, work becomes an entirely different experience.
Many companies are increasingly flexible on work-from-home possibilities. What are your thoughts on working remotely? Are there different ways you stay productive at home?
I am truly blessed to work in an international company focused on the efficiency and well-being of its employees. In many aspects, we feel support, especially the possibility of working remotely with the recent Covid19 health crisis or, in my case, having a toddler. Working from home as a mother definitely has its pros and cons. The most significant benefit is the time you save. Work-from-the-office routine means finding a proper outfit, catching the bus or traveling, or searching for a parking place with a car. This is simply skipped, and I can enjoy that extra time cuddling with my baby, doing some workout to energise my mind before work, or preparing a healthy breakfast. One other advantage of working from home is that you never risk forgetting something you need for work, like a document folder, a USB stick with your presentation on it, or your PC charger. Everything is near at hand.
The tricky part of working from home is staying focused and concentrated, being relaxed, but not too much, and not getting distracted from home noise or the neighbour's house renovations for instance. It's essential to set goals, follow a regime to stay as productive as in the workplace without the control of the direct supervisor. My tip for a good concentration at home is a separate room when possible, sit on a comfy chair, not in bed or on the couch, and reduce distractions like smartphones and TV. Working without distractions takes a little planning, as they say, balance is not something you find, it's something you create.
Do you have any thoughts and tips on balancing taking care of a child at home and working from home - what are the things to consider?
Working from home and taking care of a child could be challenging, especially if for example you are breastfeeding and this is the only source of nutrition for your baby. The demand for an excellent daily plan agenda for meetings, presentations, and even breaks needs to be adjusted to a newborn's needs and vice versa. The ability to juggle at work is essential. I need to be very adaptive and used to doing many activities at once, so it is not a problem to review scorecards for my team while checking the real-time analytic dashboard, all while enjoying the morning coffee at the same time. The sooner this kind of way of maintaining a consistent balance becomes a habit, the better. The child is growing, and by simply observing their working mother balancing things so well, an infant learns multi-tasking and responds better to stress later in life.
Also finding time for yourself is crucial in maintaining inner peace and balance within the hectic environment of work and home life. Moms have a natural habit of putting their own needs last, in order to take care of everyone else first. But if we think about an air crash emergency, we need to first put an oxygen mask on our face before assisting others. Self-care and good mental health are also vital for a good balance. Overall, balancing is difficult, but you will never be satisfied by work until you are satisfied with life.