When the pandemic hit, Internal Communications Advisor Eva felt confident handing over some of her duties to colleagues, freeing up her time to join the local communications taskforce, and focus on the crisis. Her team were ready to back her up. “If an issue arises, we home in on it,” she explains. Here Eva reflects on her experiences.

Alongside my daily role as Internal Communication Advisor Benelux, I am the crisis coordinator for our head offices in the Benelux. That mainly consists of keeping an up-to-date crisis plan ready at all times. A plan you never expect to roll out until suddenly, that dreaded moment arrives. Since March I’ve been a full-time member of the Benelux Covid-19 Taskforce. We closely monitor everything relating to coronavirus, communicate that as well as possible to colleagues, and report to the European team.

Some of my normal duties are on hold, others have been taken over by colleagues in my team. They are my heroes! Just like everyone else who is helping us. It’s a good example of the ‘Focus And Get Things Done Fast’ mentality we adopt across PepsiCo. If an issue arises, we home in on it. The taskforce, too, meets the tightest deadlines if the matter is urgent. It’s challenging, but that suits me.

I am working from home, as advised by the local authorities. That’s going well. An early start in the morning lets me deal with emails and questions while it is still reasonably calm. And throughout the day I take moments to disconnect. To spend time with my son, for instance. The mobile phone is put aside and I try not to talk about work with my partner. A typical topic would be the vegetable garden; the hobby that my partner, a cabinet maker who teaches at an art school for film and theatre, took up when the schools closed. These breaks take my thoughts to a very different place and when I get back to work, I’m raring to go.

Many people miss the social contacts of working in an office but I don’t feel that too much. Probably because of all the Zoom meetings that I join. I still see and hear my colleagues a lot. And being at home, I’m so much more involved with my little one growing up. He’s teething now, and can almost crawl and say mummy and daddy. I’m experiencing all that at first hand. By the time all this is over, he will have been completely spoiled, haha! I’ll soon have to take him to the nursery again, which will no doubt be difficult for him. And for me too.