Balance & Freedom: The Perfect Blend

Posted by Esther van Staa on Oct 3, 2019 4:04:00 PM

During a busy day at the Xebia Hilversum office, Ellen Hartog and Hans Lindhout take a moment out to sit down together in the dining lounge to share a conversation over a cup of coffee. Although their roles and backgrounds are very different, both are at an age where they have a clear understanding of who they are and what’s important to them— balance and freedom. They’ve found both at Xebia.

Ellen is fifty-three years old and lives in Soest with her husband and daughter. She has worked in hospitality for most of her life, but she found the perfect position when she joined Xebia about two and a half years ago.  She tells Hans, “Working in hospitality is always quite intensive, but it’s the type of work I really like. And Xebia is a great place to do it because I’m given all the trust and autonomy to do it how I think it should be done.”

Hans nods, “Here you’re given the freedom to walk your own line, as long as it’s in service to the company, of course.” Hans is fifty-six years old and lives in Laren. He’s been at Xebia for seventeen years. “Early on, when Daan had just started Xebia, he needed someone to call prospective clients one day a week,” he tells Ellen, “So I started out doing that. Then we began organizing seminars. I’ve had many different roles since then, but my current position as a recruiter for the XITA unit has been one of my favorites so far. You’re really encouraged and supported to develop yourself here.” 

“Yes, I really enjoy the autonomy I’m given here,” Ellen tells him. “I used to work four days a week but when I decided I needed more time for my private life, I was able to change that to three days. Now I feel I’ve found a great work-life balance.”  

For Ellen, success also stems from her supportive husband and a happy relationship with her daughter Noëlle, who also holds a role in hospitality at Xebia (a side-job while she pursues her training and certification as a hairstylist).

Finding that work-life balance can be difficult, but for Hans, a catalyst occurred last year when he fell in love. “I have a tendency to immerse myself in my work, maybe a bit more than I should,” he confesses, “But since my new relationship, I’m doing much better. It’s been easier to make time to spend with my girlfriend. Going out or just stopping to enjoy the simple things, like sharing good food or spending time in nature. You like the outdoors, too, don’t you Ellen? I believe you’re a bit of a motorhead?”

Ellen’s eyes light up, making it clear Hans knows what he’s talking about.

“Yes, I have an awesome Harley Davidson,” she smiles proudly. “I got my license when I was twenty, so I’ve been riding for thirty-three years now.” 

Hans shakes his head in bewilderment and laughs, ”That’s definitely not for me. I’m not balancing on anything with two wheels— accidents will happen! And with my track record, I’m probably doing everyone a favor by traveling by car.”

Back on the subject of balance, their conversation shifts once again onto their experience of it at Xebia. “As a recruiter, I want to get to know the team as people, not only by their skills,” Hans explains, “and not just as Xebians, but also in their private lives. So, I might take them out for a lunch meeting to get to know what drives them on a personal level. That ultimately helps me to find the right people to fit into an existing team.”

“Sounds like you have a good blend of both balance and freedom,” Ellen adds.

Hans laughs again, “Yes, the perfect blend.”

Ellen smiles, “For me, being able to balance my job and my family in this way allows me to really be myself at all times. I can focus on looking after visitors and employees. It’s important to me that everyone is comfortable. It doesn’t even feel like work.”

“That’s exactly right,” agrees Hans. “It doesn’t even feel like work.”

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