Spotlight on: Being There for the Kids Without Having a Guilty Conscience
How Nadia Meier Sees Work-life Balance at Unic.
I have various roles at Unic, for instance in content strategy and UX writing. What I do is usually related to words and impact in some way. At the moment, my workload is 70% and I usually work four days per week. I've worked from home since the pandemic, but I also go to customer locations in Zurich regularly. In addition to my paid work, I share parenting duties with my husband We have two children, and I’m now the shortest one in the family, if you don’t count our two cats.
Smart work has become a bit of a buzzword. What it means is optimising your own way of working while increasing job satisfaction. To do this, our staff use new technologies and new developments on peripheral devices they’re already familiar with to reduce their overall workload and create more breathing space.
How flexible can you really make your working time at Unic?
I have complete freedom to organise my working time. Of course, I take customers’ and colleagues’ needs into account. So I might have a meeting at 8 am even though it goes against my biorhythms. Or a workshop on my free day if it’s the only time that works. I see it as give and take. For instance, I often take the liberty of closing my laptop at 4 pm. Then my teenagers come home, eat their way through the contents of the fridge and perhaps want to talk to me (or I just talk to them). In return, I start working again at 6 pm, when the kids are at training, out with friends or busy with their homework.
To achieve a good balance between your work and private life, you need to plan well and be prepared to compromise.
At Unic, I never need to feel guilty when my kids need me.
How do you personally achieve that balance?
I feel very responsible for my own balance. When working on projects with several customers, I obviously plan everything very carefully. And then things will probably turn out differently. It’s actually just the same in my private life. You can’t avoid things getting stressful from time to time. But it always passes, like the sky clearing after a storm.
How does Unic support you as an employer?
With lots of understanding. At Unic, I never need to feel guilty when my kids need me. I was particularly aware of that when the schools were closed during the pandemic. I felt very looked after and supported. Then there are the various offerings in this area. For example, being able to adjust my workload at any time, purchase additional leave if required or compensate for overtime.
I feel very responsible for my own balance.
Flexible Working Time Models
Fortunately, flexible working time models are no longer the exception.
And yet we often see that people very much appreciate having the flexibility to adjust their workload to suit their private situation. How do you distribute your workload?
I deliberately choose to work 70%, even though I could manage 80%. Leaving a buffer means I can be flexible when it comes to my weekly working time.
When you work part time, you run the risk of taking on more work than your working model actually allows. How do you achieve balance in your daily life?
It’s actually normal for me to work 80–100% in a busy week. When your children are older it’s no longer a problem and you can fit it in. It’s then up to me to work a day less when things are quieter.
Leave and Free Time
At Unic, we see flexible workloads and working times as a given. As well as taking unpaid leave, employees can purchase additional time off.
This option has been very well received. You’ve made use of it, too. Is it a valuable addition to your existing leave quota?
Yes, I used it last year and really appreciated it. I don’t know how long our teenagers will still want to come on family holidays. Perhaps another two or three years? So for me, it was a good deal, although I can’t even remember what it cost. Either way, it’s a very fair offer.
Summary of Work-life Balance at Unic
What’s your take on work-life balance at Unic?
Unic is an extremely family-friendly employer. I appreciate not only the options provided by the company, but also the supportive atmosphere, especially among colleagues who are not parents themselves, or who have grown-up kids. A very big thank you to them.
It is the people who make Unic and drive it forward. The section "Spotlight on" gives an insight into what distinguishes our experts. They not only present their field of expertise, but also show their very personal perspectives and tell us what drives them and what fascinates them.