As our customers, communities and employees navigate new ways of living and working, Amazon employees and leaders across Europe have a powerful message to share: “We’re all in this together.”
Whether you’re a parent juggling bath time and home schooling, living on your own, experiencing the loss of a loved one or worried about the future – we want to help everyone to feel connected.
That’s why Amazon employees have created a new video series sharing their personal stories, tips and practical ways to deal with new challenges.
The initiative originated with Amazon’s employee affinity group Women@ UK and was led by Jacqui Chin, Director, EU Consumables, and Brigitte Ricou-Belan, Director, Entertainment Media and Consumer Electronics.
“Watching these videos, we were reminded how everybody faces a unique set of challenges,” explains Brigitte, “whether that’s childcare, living alone, caring for a family member, or trying to plan for the future. At the same time, we are all working hard to find solutions that work for us and our families. That’s something we all have in common.”
These tips and ideas cover everything from how to juggle work and home schooling, learning new hobbies, and even how to take over remote leadership of a team while confined to a holiday home in the Italian mountains.
To find out more, we also spoke to a few of the Amazon employees who took part.
Nishi Overton – Category Leader, EU Softlines, Shoes
Nishi has taken full advantage of the extra time spent at home with exercise, meditation and new culinary skills. She’s even learning a new language!
To help tackle the challenge of juggling work with parenting and home-schooling during lockdown, Nishi has been seeking out and sharing tips on how to stay positive during an uncertain time.
“Structure and routine are very important in the current situation,” she explains. “For me, it’s been really important to check in with friends, family and team members on a regular basis. Not just to ensure they’re okay – but also to have a chat and to create a sense of routine.”
Ralf Kleber – VP, DE Country Manager
Ralph’s team has quickly adapted to the new normal, with small changes making a big difference. Daily ‘stand-ups’, for example, bring everybody together to make working from home a smooth transition.
He also discusses why it’s important to be realistic about both the positives and negatives in the current situation, as we all face a unique set of challenges and come up with our own solutions.
“Everybody needs to learn how to separate home and work life – and that’s especially true when you’re working from home,” Ralph explains. “It’s important to find a way to fully switch off at the end of a working day.”
He adds: “Little things add up to a lot. Respect your team members, your colleagues, and remember that saying ‘thank you’ is always appreciated.”
Jacqui Chin - Director EU Consumables
For Jacqui, new social initiatives have been a great way to remain energised while working from home. Virtual breakfasts, online talent shows and team quizzes have all helped to bring her team together from a distance.
“Online Pilates has also been a great way to exercise from home,” she adds.
Like Ralph, Jacqui uses little tricks and routines to help her switch off from the working day: “I’ll make sure to change clothes during the day, to transition out of business wear to something more comfortable.”
Giorgio Busnelli – Director, ITES Consumables, ITES Retail Management
Giorgio spent the first part of lockdown in the mountains in Italy, before returning to his home in Milan.
To help juggle childcare and self-care, he uses a wellbeing plan that could also be adopted by friends, family or colleagues. This includes exercise, setting up his own office with the right equipment, time slots to spend with family and keeping connected with teams from afar.
Giorgio has also started a new hobby – he’s learning to play the violin, using online video guides to follow in the footsteps of Vivaldi, Bach or Brahms.
“After working through this hard time together,” Giorgio says, “I feel even prouder to work for Amazon.”