#WFH Series: Evelien Van Ekert

November 17, 2020

This week, meet Evelien Van Ekert, Ph.D., Scientist III, Crop Protection at GreenLight. Evelien shares her work from home tips, some special art from her kids, and ways to stay connected to coworkers. Read more below!

Do you have any work from home tips/hacks you’d be willing to share with others?
I have two kids – a 9yo girl, Lia and a 6yo boy, Torin. My husband and I found that setting up a consistent schedule and routine for the entire family has helped a lot. This included getting up around the same time, homework with dad every morning (even in the summer), Wednesday electronics day (they get to look forward to it instead of having constant access), Tuesday and Saturday “coronavirus-tag” with mom, etc. I have also tried taking the same breaks each day to spend quality time with them. This helped the kids understand what to expect and when to expect it and it has made life a lot less stressful and chaotic.

What has the GreenLight team done (or plan on doing) to keep the great culture intact? What has worked best to keep everyone connected?
Andrey’s weekly All Hands meeting has been a great way to keep the company connected. I believe GreenLight in general has been conscious about its culture, how this pandemic impacts the culture, and how we can continue the great culture now and in the future.

On a local RTP level, the DBM and FAW bioassay teams have met a couple times (socially distant) outside the RTP building to celebrate a birthday, to have a planning meeting, or just to connect in person.

Send a picture or describe something from your home office that has significant importance/relevance to you? Why is it important? What does it remind you of?
All the art and notes I get from my kids are very important to me. They inspire me to set a good example of what it is to have a career, love the job you’re doing, and have a work-life balance. 

What are your must-have items for working at home?
Internet speed faster than 1.5Mbps. In “normal” times, I have tremendously enjoyed living in the woods with limited internet availability as this has allowed me to get disconnected from my computer and has given me the opportunity to spend more time reading books, playing music, playing with the kids, running, etc. However, throughout this pandemic it has become extremely challenging and often very frustrating (hence the note from my daughter) to have horrible internet speed, especially now that virtual school has started. 

Are there any GreenLight work from home “scenes” that you’ve found interesting? Recipe swapping? Pet photos? What fun things are happening in the GreenLight Slack channel?
Towards the end of the summer, we found a very inspiring spider in our home-grown vegetables that was killing an armyworm, which as you may know is my GreenLight arch nemesis.