CEOs / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Natasha Giannetti, CEO of Snacks With Bite

Natasha Giannetti is the founder and CEO of Snacks With Bite, a healthy corporate snack delivery company making life healthier, cheaper and easier for Aussie offices.

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

I began my career as a Customer Service Representative at a fast-growing online gift company, Hampers with Bite after finishing my studies in Journalism and Business.

I was eager to learn and was lucky enough to be exposed to the entrepreneurial style of working, learning everything that had to do with growing a business from the day-to-day operations to the implementation of growth marketing strategies.

After a year I quickly moved up the ranks and was promoted to Marketing Manager and then General Manager. My career transition allowed me to pivot my passions, building high performing teams while maintaining my creative outlet in digital marketing, copywriting, and business growth.

Hampers with Bite took off with a 100% sales increase YOY alongside, 300% growth of our incredible Head Office team.

After 5 years as GM, I utilised all my experience and learnings to launch Snacks With Bite, an online subscription snack delivery service for Australian offices and now homes.

As CEO of Snacks With Bite, my responsibilities are vast, in addition to overseeing the day-to-day operation of the company and strategic decision making, my main goal is to maintain a highly motivating work environment to ensure my team are proud of their work, persistent about kicking their goals and passionate about what we do.

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

The entire Snacks with Bite team are all currently working from home, including myself. I try and keep my day to day routine as close as possible to a normal workday pre-COVID, to ensure I maintain healthy habits.

I like to start my day with exercise! I rented a cross-trainer to help keep myself accountable and keep up with fitness during this period. I also chuck on a fun TV show or podcast to help motivate me to want to train.

From there I get ready for work and sit down at my computer before a 9am daily zoom meeting with my team. From there my day varies, it usually consists of jumping from project work to overseeing creatives and any data reporting from the day.

After lunch, which I usually consume at my desk, which I know is a terrible habit, I spend the afternoon checking in with different team members and departments to ensure they are on track if they have any roadblocks, etc.

During the work from home period, regular check ins with staff are extremely crucial as it is more important than ever to show support during these unprecedented times.

Finding ways to motivate staff from home is extremely important too, so organising fun initiatives like sending the team healthy snacks at home to help break up the ‘Groundhog Day’ feel to WFH.

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

Snacks with Bite is a highly collaborative working environment, and my team are an absolute joy to work with, they are the reason why I love coming to work each day.

After a period of WFH during the first round of restriction in Victoria, we began to introduce collaborative days that coincided with easing restriction, every Monday and Friday we would work from the office, social-distancing of course.

This allowed essential meetings to take place and set us up for a productive week. I really recommend companies having collaborative days, it gets everyone on the same page and fulfils the need for social interaction.

Now with tougher restrictions in place in Victoria, we are all working from home again. When people ask me if, I can personally work at home, my answer is yes, but as a people person, I thrive in a collaborative environment working alongside others.

I cannot wait to get back into the office with my team! Whilst working from home I ensure that I stick to a normal work-day routine as much as possible, except for Fridays where a 4:30pm team wine and snack session is essential!

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

Work-life balance is extremely important to me, although I must admit it has never been harder to maintain, especially with technology allowing us to be accessible around the clock.

At Snacks With Bite one of our core company values is work hard and play harder, there are periods when we are extremely busy and we expect all heads to be down hustling hard.

On the flip side, we like to ensure we carve out time for the entire team to have fun together, we have gone to wineries, participated in team go-karting and had a table tennis competition or two.

Working from home means the boundaries between work and home life are blurred and I know I am personally not as productive if I don’t have time to switch off. It took me a few weeks to identify habits I had formed that were not serving me well.

My biggest tip is to try and continue as many good habits from pre-COVID days, as possible. Also ensure you have strict work and non-working times and areas; these areas and times should not mix!

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

Some simple routines I have started since working from home is using my usual commute time to exercise, I never use to have enough time to incorporate daily exercise and I am really loving the benefits.

Another routine I have started during WFH is meditating or listening to a mindset podcast after a workday, it really helps me to decentralise from the day and a great cue to my mind that work is over and it is now ‘home-time’.

In saying this I had formed some terrible habits when lockdown restrictions were first introduced such as sleeping and rolling out of bed in my trackies to start my workday.

To combat this I ensured that I stick to my normal working routine post-COVID as much as possible, waking up at the same time, getting dressed in something other than a tracksuit and working to a normal workday.

At Snacks With Bite, we introduced several communication channels so the team stayed connected, these can become a distraction so I recommend scheduling ‘blackout time’ in your calendar to delve into project work in peace.

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

I love to read, although I find podcasts are more efficient, you can listen to them as you are making dinner or completing work around the house. My go-to podcasts are ‘No Bullshit Leadership by Your CEO Mentor’ and ‘The Mindset Mentor’.

Some of my favourites books I can recommend are The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Leoni, Scaling Up by Verne Harish and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.

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

We have been known to overdo it with apps, although if I would say the following, I cannot live without.

Slack – is a great communication tool and we introduced it initially to open the communication between the head office and our warehouse. I couldn’t believe just how much it cut down the number of emails in my inbox, especially during peak periods. It allows you to get the answers you need faster.

Asana – is an online teamwork-based management system, this is my ride or die of applications. I don’t know where we would be as an organisation working remotely without this amazing application providing all of us with visibility and accountability checkpoints.

Headspace – one of the most well-known mediation apps, but great if you are new to meditating as they have a great range guided meditation.

Zoom – I know this one isn’t a ground-breaking new platform and I am sure most people would have used this at least once in their professional lifetime, given majority of us are working from home this app has never been more useful. We use Zoom for daily huddles, weekly KPI/WIP Meetings and Friday Night Drinks.

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

I would say Jacinda Ardern, not only has she shown the importance of kind leadership, she juggles family life and running a country during a pandemic like a superhuman – she’s a fantastic role model.

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

The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented times which has to lead to a lot of changes not just in the way we work. I would like to say, be kind to yourselves and take care of yourselves. It is ok to feel unmotivated, unenthused with everyday feeling the same. But get outside, stay connected and remember we are all in this together!

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.