What does a typical day in the life of an Urban Development & Regeneration Lead (and Lovinklaan Board Member) look like?
I’m a bit of an early bird and now that we are fresh out of lockdown in Sydney, I am back to starting the day with either boxing or training at the gym, then home for breakfast with the family – which may sound serene but is invariably quite the opposite!
Occasionally, I’ll have early morning Lovinklaan related calls, be that with the Board or the Roots of Arcadis team, and then I’ll commence my day job leading the Urban Development team in Sydney. My role is mainly a mix of operations, people, project delivery and clients, so my calendar is constantly full. The variety that comes with moving from one to another throughout the day is what I really enjoy about my job. Once the workday is done, I like to enjoy the balmy Sydney evenings with my two children (Edie and Louie) in the park or down at the beach. Once they are tucked up in bed, I’ll normally wrap up any loose ends from the day and that’s also when most of the Board meetings take place. The meetings can sometimes finish later than I would normally go to bed because of the time difference, and it’s hard to just switch off, so I unwind by catching up on the EPL football, and occasionally some mindfulness for when my head is spinning.
How do you apply your expertise from your Arcadis role into your role as a Board member for Lovinklaan (or vice versa)?
I have been fortunate in my 19-year long career with Arcadis to work across multiple regions and to lead and work with many people of differing backgrounds and cultures. With this experience, I can bring a unique perspective on Arcadians to the Board. Conversely, the global context that I have from the Lovinklaan Board provides a broader perspective to my Arcadis role.
This is your first year as a Board member… what are some of the challenges you have faced so far?
The biggest challenge in my first year on the Board has undoubtedly been the virtual environment in which we have had to operate, due to the COVID restrictions. I have yet to meet any of my fellow Board members face to face. Although we have spent nearly a year getting to know one another virtually, and spent extra effort in doing that, face to face time would undoubtedly provide a deeper connection. The better we understand each other, the more effective and successful we are, like most teams. I am therefore extremely excited that we will be able to get-together in the coming months.
How do you stay motivated?
I am very much about how things can be done better or differently, constant improvement, and I am always looking for ways to achieve this which drives me forward. Also, Arcadis’ focus of ‘maximizing your impact’ resonates with me, as each day I challenge myself to increase my positive influence on those around me and hopefully inspire them to do the same.
What’s your top tip for working from home?
Invest in an adjustable desk! I bought one early into our first COVID lockdown and have not regretted the flexibility it provides. Mobility is critical for our body and adjusting your working position throughout the day will pay dividends both in the short and long term.
What are your ambitions for Lovinklaan in the future?
To keep increasing the level of awareness around Lovinklaan programs. I hope to have more of our Line Managers armed with the information about our programs, and able to promote the benefits to our people. The programs are a real differentiator for Arcadians which can benefit both our people and the business.