Lily Hristova, Product Associate, Southampton, UK
Could you say a little about yourself and your background?
Hi everyone, I’m Lily and I'm originally from sunny Sofia, Bulgaria. I have always been fascinated by the rapidly developing technology market and have a keen interest in science.
I completed my Bachelor’s degree at Sofia Technical University in Telecommunications Engineering and subsequently moved to Southampton in 2012 to embark on a Masters program in Wireless Communications. I loved the city and the country so much that I decided to settle here permanently with my partner, building a career in IT and innovative technology.
Why did you decide to join Senseye?
Throughout my career I have worked with several start-up companies, enjoying the freedom and the spirit that such ventures offer their employees. With previous experience in online advertising and automotive-related products, I wanted a change of industry to one with deeper technical focus and orientation, leading me to Senseye.
I had never heard of Predictive Maintenance before and was intrigued by the complexity of engineering, machine learning and data science involved. So when I had the opportunity to join Senseye and work on such an innovative software product that can benefit industry by drastically reducing unwanted downtime, that was a chance I didn’t want to miss!
What is your role at Senseye?
As a Product Associate at Senseye, I help to shape the various features and functionality of the product. I work with a fantastic product team, including an UX designer and user interaction specialist, on the development and management of the product’s roadmap, using agile methods for software development. Acting as a liaison between the management, science, and engineering teams, I aim to deliver the highest quality of software features for our current and future users.
The product team provides expertise and makes strategic decisions on how our product will look in the future. Coming up with ideas, developing them into features and planning their implementation and wider promotion are some of the steps that we take to keep pushing the product strategy and in turn our business forward.
What does remote working mean to you in terms of your work and life?
I think remote working gives you the unprecedented ability to maintain your work-personal life balance, reduces stress and helps me achieve so much more in both my professional and private life. You no longer have to choose between doctor’s appointments and work assignments, you can organise your day in such way that you can do both and much more, without putting any excess strain on yourself.
I personally live quite far away from the office. It takes me a couple of buses, and typically an hour and a half to commute each way. Being able to work from home cuts out this tiring commute and helps with my general well-being. I have more time to spend with my partner and my friends in the evenings, the ability to exercise during the day and generally a lot more energy and motivation. I have noticed a huge change since I started working at Senseye. I’m far happier, healthier and more productive than before.
What are your top tips for successful remote working?
As someone who had always worked a standard 9-to-5 day in an office environment, I did struggle at the beginning with the flexibility I was given to shape my own day and build a routine that fits around my specific personality and needs. After some trial and error, here are a few things that really helped me to feel motivated and focused on my work, whilst maintaining a good balance with my personal life:
- Have a clearly separated workspace at home. It can be just a desk under a window, a whole corner or separate room, but you do need an area where you can switch to “professional mode”. Working from the sofa or on the dining table can be convenient periodically, but entering a part of your home that you usually associate with work can help to set the professional tone and let you smoothly return to your personal life when outside of it;
- Do not take breaks at your desk or in your work area. Go for a walk, cook yourself a proper lunch and not just a sandwich, do the laundry or watch Netflix – just do something for 30-60 minutes that completely takes your mind off of work. It helps to clear your thoughts and gives you energy for the rest of the day;
- Try to keep to similar working hours every day. Of course, you can be flexible, but getting up, making a coffee, and sitting down at your laptop at a regular time in the morning gives your day structure and routine. Also, don’t get tempted to work all evening after a long day, just close the laptop and finish what you’ve started with a clear mind the next morning;
- Keep in touch with your colleagues. Being physically distant can lead to unwanted distancing and losing important personal rapport. Check in with how they are doing - a 5 minute chat about the latest TV show will not diminish your productivity but will help you keep that human touch which makes work contribute towards our well-being.
Read more about remote working at Senseye with other articles in the series: "My Top Tips on Remote Working".