Spotlight on – Home office with digital team spirit
How Marc Steinhoff Sees Work-life Balance at Unic
As an expert application engineer at Unic, I advise customers and teams on topics related to campaigns and email marketing for specific projects. The role currently keeps me busy with a workload of 80%, spread over four days. I get to choose where I work from. In 2001 I joined Unic in Zurich, but since my move to Germany over ten years ago, I have mostly worked from my home in the beautiful Hanseatic City of Hamburg. My wife and son make up another huge part of my life.
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 in peripheral devices and tools 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 enjoy having the flexibility to decide when I work. Depending on the status and urgency of projects, days off or working hours can be moved around flexibly within a work week. Online meetings with customers and colleagues make planning a lot easier.
How do you achieve a good balance between working in the office and working remotely?
Three to four times per year, I spend time at the Zurich office. When I am there, I enjoy the face-to-face time with my colleagues and with customers. For me, these opportunities for dialogue in person create the right balance between focused work by myself and a lively social environment. You cannot fully replace face-to-face meetings with online meetings.
Which of the many technologies and tools available do you draw on for support?
Microsoft Teams helps us stay in sync within our team. The morning stand-up meetings boost team spirit. We use our dashboards in Jira and Confluence to structure our work. To-dos are split into smaller tasks, which helps us keep track of what we are doing.
To achieve a good balance between work and private life, you need to plan well and be prepared to compromise.
How do you personally achieve that balance?
The biggest challenge when you work from home: To my family, I am home and therefore appear available – regardless of whether I am in a meeting or focused on work for a project. Despite this challenge, we have become really good at coordinating and managing this as a family. So, Unic’s policy on working from home allows me exactly the level of flexibility I need for my family. And my work does not suffer. It’s all about managing your time responsibly. Plus, I am always around if my family needs me and I get to see my son grow up even when I am working.
Since I only work from home, finding the right balance between work and leisure time is really important. Every morning before work, I take a walk in a nearby park, and I go to the gym on a regular basis.
The company bicycle provided by Unic also comes in really handy, as we usually get around by bike in Hamburg.
Flexible Working Time Models
Fortunately, flexible working time models are no longer the exception.
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?
In peak phases, we do regular check-ins with our team to keep track of our workload. We try to reassign, prioritise or postpone tasks where necessary. In some cases, we also outsource or, worst case, even decline projects. I always feel that I am not left alone to deal with my workload. That is something I appreciate about our team.
Summing Up Work-life Balance at Unic
What’s your take on work-life balance at Unic?
It works really well for me because I can work from home. In the afternoons, my family makes up for the social contact I sometimes miss during the workday.
Which freedoms do you particularly appreciate?
Working from home, structuring my work myself, flexible holiday planning, flexible planning of visits to the office in Zurich.
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.