Eva Lægdsgaard is Co-Founder and Chief People Officer at Podimo, a Copenhagen-based podcast and audiobook subscription service with a hyperlocal approach, available in 7 countries and expanding to more soon.
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
I grew up in Copenhagen, starting my career as a project manager at a digital advertising agency, and eventually project management at a small record label, driven by my passion for music. Moving to London, I found myself at Last.fm.
After two years there, I experienced an early build of the Spotify player and immediately thought, “This is it. I need to work here.” I spent eight years on their Label Relations Team, having a hand in launching the app in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, and Denmark.
In 2018 I was introduced to a new podcast and audiobook subscription service startup called Podimo through C.E.O. and Co-Founder Morten Strunge, joining as Co-Founder and Chief of Strategic Relations at the company’s inception.
After the company doubled in size in 2021, I pivoted to becoming Chief People and Culture Officer, building out Podimo’s People Strategy and company culture, implementing our values, and creating an environment of inclusivity and empowerment where our employees around the world can personally thrive and achieve at the highest level – while having a ton of fun!
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
Every day is very different, and that’s the way I like it. We’re a startup, so I am usually working on whatever is needed at that moment. In the morning, I wake up and have breakfast together with my family, my partner and I drop the kids off to school together, and I bike 11km to work with a podcast in my ear in the temperamental Danish weather.
I come into the office and meet my team and colleagues, always starting the day with good energy. Then it’s usually a mix of hands-on meetings with various employees on different needs, as well as strategic planning meetings on the direction of the company.
Around 11:30 or 12:00 our Copenhagen HQ eats lunch together every day, which we provide to our employees in the canteen, and it’s nice to mix it up with people from different departments that might not always be talking to each other. Our employees are spread across different countries around the world, and many of them often travel to us here at HQ, so myself and the People team make sure they feel welcome and we can all spend quality in-person time together.
Our podcast hosts are also always coming in and out of our studios to record their shows, and we love to see them bring their energy and community to their audiences week over week. We also have our cross-market company call that I typically host once a week, where we get to share our learnings and remind ourselves that we’re a global company with different cultures and different perspectives, and we often have Friday bars at 14:00.
One thing I promised myself when going on this journey was that it had to be fun, and Friday bars are a great way for everyone to get away from their desks for a bit and hang out together as they ease into the weekend.
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
I am very driven by passion, flexibility, freedom and trust. That’s how I thrive. I need autonomy and independence. I’ve also learned to listen to my own signals. I was down with stress for a period of time previously in my career and learned a lot from it.
Some weeks will be all about work, but then I’m lucky enough to be in a position where I can then scale it back and have down time after that. I know work can come in waves. I go all in when there’s a need for it, but I also take time to relax and be with the family, pick up the kids early, go to our summer house, and chill.
Work-life balance is, of course, different for everyone, and I find the best thing you can do as an employer is give your team the flexibility and freedom and trust to find and support their own rhythm and structure. If you honor that, I find you can really get the best out of people.
Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?
We’ve introduced “Meeting-Free Wednesdays” so that we can focus and spend time on the work that requires head space, but also have time to do the things that are important for each individual.
My one rule I try to stick to is working from home that day. I drop the kids off late and pick them up early, and then have me time at home. At the office I spend a lot of my energy meeting and connecting with people and absorbing their energy. Wednesday is my day where I can take time for myself and recharge. It’s recharging my batteries at home with my computer and having extra time with the kids.
We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?
I use Headspace as guided meditation and it really helps in times when the pressure is on. I also listen to various HR and People podcasts like How I Built This, Digital HR Leaders, and Redefining HR. I also have a business coach with a spiritual mindset who is focused on potential and positive energy.
Her name is Rikke Hertz and she helps guide me when it comes to leadership, career choice and personal choice. She also has a podcast with us called “Spirituel.” Books on corporate and company culture I like are Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord from Netflix and Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard from Patagonia. Both Patagonia and Netflix have some exciting cultures that I am inspired by in certain areas.
Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
My approach in life has always been to go into things with a positive mindset and practice gratitude. I’ve always tried to listen to my instincts and focus on positive energy. Meeting people with this mindset has opened a lot of doors for me, and made my journey a lot more fun.
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