Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Nelly Voukaki, Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer at Looper Insights

Nelly Voukaki is the co-founder & Chief Customer Officer at Looper Insights, a company that created the only dataset in the world that tracks any digital asset on Smart TVs, set top boxes, games consoles and streaming devices, across both paid and unpaid/editorial placements.

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

I moved to London from Athens, Greece to complete an MA in Interactive Media from Goldsmiths University of London. I then started my career in Marketing and moved on to work on several roles including Client Services and Business Development in the media industry.

Four years ago, my business partner and I created Looper Insights, and since then I have been heading the Customer Success team. Looper Insights tracks digital assets on Smart TVs, set top boxes, games consoles and streaming devices for the Film and TV industry.

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

We are a remote first company, therefore I work from home. My daily routine would be waking up, putting good music on (music is very important to me) and making my first coffee of the day. It’s essential for me to have 30 minutes to myself so that I can free my mind from anything work related.

Work starts around 8:45 am, when I’ll catch up on emails and then usually have a 9 am call with our teams to go through the status of several projects. My day is filled with video calls with our customers and team members as it is very important that we maintain the feeling of working together in the same space, despite all of us being virtually connected.

As I’m London based, my work day usually lasts longer than I’d like it to, as most of our clients are in the US, so I’d say it finishes around 7:30 pm. I make sure that on my lunch break or after work I go for a long walk or a Reformer Pilates session, to help me switch off and focus on myself.

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

I think for all of us that COVID made us think deeply about work-life balance. During the lockdown I found myself pulling 12-14 hour days of work with no breaks. I would even find myself checking emails during the middle of the night, disrupting my sleep.

This took a toll on me, and I had to reconsider my choices. As I love what I do and I’m very passionate about it, a work/life balance is very important, and I must admit that it’s still a work in progress but I’m making positive steps. This summer for example is the first time that I have taken 2 weeks off from work with 0 engagement on anything work related.

Emptying your brain from any concerns, ideas, stress that work can bring was the most rewarding feeling and I came back to work so full of energy, that has kept me going. So, I believe if you work hard make sure you have healthy breaks every 3 months where you take time for yourself only.

The ‘Do Not Disturb’ function on my phone was also a great revelation to me, as I realised that nothing is so critical that it cannot be worked on or addressed first thing the next morning.

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

I always loved having long walks, but COVID made me realise how much I love and miss nature. Living in a metropolis like London means a lot of concrete and minimal greenery but we are blessed to have several stunning parks where you can walk and observe the beauty of nature.

Another hobby I picked up during COVID that I love, being a DIY aficionado, is cane weaving! I have to admit it is the most meditative and therapeutic thing I’ve ever done – it takes time, but I highly recommend it to anyone who is into DIY!

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

My all-time favourite books are Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse. The former I read every year and it always feels like I’m reading it for the first time all over again.

Other work-related books that I’d recommend are ‘Speak Up’ and ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’. My favourite publication/podcast is ‘The Week’, and I like listening to the ‘Serial’ podcast while walking or running.

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

That’s a tricky one! For sure I’d love to read an interview from a nurse during the COVID frenzy – I think anybody working in healthcare during this time is a huge inspiration to us all and I would be fascinated to know their story on how they managed to keep themselves above water and survive.

I would also love to know what Jacinda Ardern has to say about how she handles her work life balance. Jacinda seems to have cracked the code to this, as her demeanour comes across as somebody who is very balanced. I think she is such an inspiration for all women.

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

I would like to answer this more for all the professional women out there. The working world, I believe, can be more difficult for women. Saying that, I think it is awesome to have a great career and as multitaskers we can tackle personal and professional matters better than anyone, so don’t be afraid to pursue your ambition. Always remember to love yourself and your body and the balance will come from this.

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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.