Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Carla Glavonjic, Head of Marketing APAC at Asana

Carla Glavonjic is the Head of Marketing APAC at Asana, a work management platform that helps teams organise their work.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I have been working in marketing for a little over 15 years and the last 9 years have been working in marketing for SaaS organisations.

I have spent my career working in Australia. I love working in high growth multinational technology companies and have been lucky enough to work for some amazing brands.

Today I’m Asana’s Head of Marketing for APAC. Asana is a work management platform that helps teams orchestrate their work, from daily tasks to strategic initiatives. It reduces work noise and “work about work.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

My day usually starts around 8am with the odd earlier meeting here and there due to time zones.

My role is very cross-functional so my morning is usually spent meeting with teams in our head office in San Francisco. I then leave my daughter with our nanny and head into our office in Sydney.

Usually, my first half of the day is spent in meetings. I try to do as many of my meetings before lunch so that the second half of my day is a time in which I can focus on tasks and marketing. The afternoon is also a great time for me to have face to face meetings with our local team. It’s a nice break from video meetings!

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

At Asana, we believe that you cannot replace the importance and value of in-person connection and the power of co-creation that happens when employees are in the same place. That’s why we created an office-centric hybrid model. 

Asana recognises that we are a growing, global company with distributed teams and we have always had flexibility whilst being office-centric.. As a full-time worker and mum to a toddler, this is something that I really appreciate.

This balance allows me to take early morning calls and do some work from home before our daughter’s carer arrives and then I head into the office.

This flexibility means that I can be home in time for the end of the day and dinner. It also means that I can stay connected to my colleagues and my work whilst being able to spend precious time with my daughter.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work life balance to me means finding a balance that enables me to present in the moment. If I am at work, I want to be entirely present and not distracted, and when I am at home I want to have the headspace to be present and enjoy the time.

For me, being able to exercise is really important. It helps me clear my mind, renew my energy and get back at whatever I was working on at the time. During the day I find it helpful to block periods of time for me to focus my time on work and reduce other distractions. 

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

My work is busy and I have a toddler so it is difficult for me to find time, particularly during the week. But I have recently taken up pilates which I routinely do each week. It has been great for me; not just from the physical benefits but mentally having an activity to look forward to where I can switch off completely and just focus on the exercise.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

For work/professional listening, I enjoy listening to Marketing Over Coffee, a podcast which is recorded in a local coffee shop and covers a vast array of marketing topics. For downtime I can lose track of time listening to true crime podcasts.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

My Fitbit for sure. It is a nice reminder to get up and move and try to keep my steps up and also is a good motivator to be consistent with my exercise routine.

And I would have to say Asana! Of course I use it at work but we also use it at home to help manage our schedules and projects around the house.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

Jacinda Ardern would be a fascinating read on how she balances the demands of being New Zealand Prime Minister who has led her country during a pandemic whilst being a mother to a  young child.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

It is important to find what works for you and find where you get your energy from. For some people that may be exercise, for others that might be carving out time to socialise with family and friends.

Work on figuring out your working style; do you prefer to have meetings in the mornings and focus time in the afternoon? Or maybe you aren’t a morning person and meetings are better in the afternoon.

It won’t always be perfect or possible but if you are aware of what works for you – you are one step closer to finding better balance.

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.