Eva Ross is the Chief Marketing & Customer Officer at Sendle, a shipping service designed for small businesses, and Australia’s first 100% carbon neutral shipping service.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I love small businesses and the dramatic highs and lows of startup life. I studied maths, fine art and psychology, which at the time seemed like an odd combination but makes so much sense for someone so focused on the customer journey at a tech company in 2020.
When I studied Mathematics the work a data analyst does for marketing these days did not exist, but it’s such an interesting area of insights and analysis these days.
I’ve been fortunate enough to work all over the world – teaching in Buenos Aires, working in an animation studio in Barcelona and at an emerging art gallery in Berlin, and running Marketing and Ops at Airbnb APAC in Singapore.
It’s good to be back in Australia now and in the heart of small business entrepreneurial spirit.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Sendle’s USA team is up earlier than I am, so I often bring the team with me (virtually anyway) on my morning walk by the coast. Then I make a coffee and check-in with the Sydney and Manila teams on Slack – everyone sends a daily update so we’re all staying connected.
On Wednesdays, we have our mid-week meal club – recently my colleague got a new puppy so our lunchtime was dominated by his cute antics.
My job involves a lot of context switching from board meetings, budgeting and strategy discussions, to designing marketing plans, reviewing comms and reading customer feedback.
One minute I’ll be deep in a spreadsheet only to join my next meeting and find the Manila team in full flow in a Zoomba (Zumba on Zoom) session. All in all, working remotely is revealing many hidden talents at Sendle!
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
The great thing about Sendle is that we’ve been remote first from day one meaning that if there’s at least one person who has to dial in then everybody has to dial in, so we had already created an environment in which we all live on headphones.
Our remote first policy was established partly because our entire development team is remote – they live in all different parts of Australia – so it creates equality for those guys and means nobody is at a disadvantage.
I think our transition to working home during COVID was fairly seamless because Sendle was designed for our team to be able to work remotely.
I’m still trying to figure out when work begins and ends because when you live and sleep in your office it can feel like your work day starts when you wake up and ends when you go to bed, so as a team we’re all trying to create a few boundaries around that.
On the positive side, it also means that I can take my meetings while I walk along Bondi beach and enjoy the view and fresh air. So on the flexibility front, working from home has been wonderful.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
During COVID, and with the incredible growth that Sendle has seen, we have lost the separation of physical space between home and the workplace so I’ve been trying to create moments of pause and schedule in key routines.
For me, I love a walk in the morning and a coffee poured before opening up the laptop and starting my working day.
I’ve also been trying to create time to do yoga, read a book or just sit and paint – some things that help me break away from the screen to create a clear home-work divide.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
This time of year seems to be big for birthdays, so I’ve been doing some dress up Zooms and even a Dolly Parton lip sync – I’m not sure we’d go so far as to say that was a new habit. I used to draw a lot so with more time at home I’m trying to get back into it. I’m definitely rusty – where did all those nice clean lines go?
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
For books and blogs on management and marketing, I can’t go past:
- Radical Candor by Kim Scott
- The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
- The Growth Mindset by Carol Dweck
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
- The Growth Handbook by Elad Gil
- Tomasz Tunguz
I love Who Gives A Crap’s content team, they have such a wonderful tone of voice
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Hmm, the Internet? It’s incredible the access it has created and how it has levelled the playing field to allow anyone with access to all those amazing online resources to create a small business and live out their dreams.
We’ve seen the internet connect the isolated elderly, help people with severe autism start to communicate and connect and support families of people with rare diseases. All of that, who could have ever imagined.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Richard Branson – does he have a life? By all appearances he has an absolutely fabulous life and yet he gets so much done.
He’s actually a great believer in working from home. In his early career when he lived and worked on a houseboat with his wife and kids, he had to juggle meetings and nappy changes.
He said that particular moment in time really built a close relationship between him and his kids, and I love how he’s now a big supporter of flexible work at Virgin. Necker island anyone?
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Shut the laptop once in a while, create some ‘me time,’ and take your holiday! During COVID, it may feel like you’ve got nowhere to go but taking a holiday that’s truly a break away from the day to day and spending time with yourself is so important.
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