Interview with Hygiene Expert Xenia Barth
We spoke to hygiene expert XENIA BARTH about her experience in the times of Corona, especially in her home office. She gave us tips about hygiene, cleanliness and health within our own four walls. Read the full interview here in sisterMAG.
On Home Office, Hygiene & Daily Routines
Interview with Xenia Barth
We spoke to hygiene expert XENIA BARTH about her experience in the times of Corona, especially in her home office. She gave us tips about hygiene, cleanliness and health within our own four walls. Read the full interview here.
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF. WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
My name is Xenia Barth, and I’m the General Manager for Germany & Regional Director for Germany, Austria and Switzerland and Nordics at Reckitt Benckiser (RB) in the business unit Hygiene. I’ve held this position for more than a year. I’m also the mother of an almost threeyear- old daughter and love outdoor sports.
WHAT IS THE EVERYDAY LIFE OF YOUR JOB LIKE? WHICH AREAS ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY?
As the General Manager, I am responsible for our daily business running smoothly. I take care of the business strategy concerning hygiene, make the corresponding decisions and plan the necessary investments. Next to this, direct management of our employees and promoting young talent are my central focus. And of course I also closely communicate with our global headquarters.
WOULD YOU, AS AN EXPERT OF DOMESTIC HYGIENE WHO WORKS FOR THE MANUFACTURER OF FAMOUS PRODUCTS LIKE CILLIT BANG OR SAGROTAN, SAY THAT HYGIENE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER IN THE TIMES OF CORONA? WHICH TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR OUR READERS REGARDING EVERYDAY HYGIENE?
All of us working at RB are extremely conscious of our responsibility in these times. We want to contribute to curbing the pandemic but also the »Infodemic« by providing the right information. On our SAGROTAN WEBSITE we currently share INFORMATION on the new Corona virus (SARSCoV- 2), as well as helpful tips for hand hygiene, such as regular and correct washing and the use of disinfectant when out and about where washing your hands may not be possible. Additionally, surfaces that are being touched frequently should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
YOU ARE THE DIRECTOR OF THE HYGIENE DIVISION OF RECKITT BENCKISER ( RB) FOR GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWITZERLAND AND THE NORDICS REGION. HOW ARE YOU CURRENTLY MANAGING THIS LEADING POSITION, YOUR CHILD AND YOUR HOUSEHOLD?
As we provide people with essential products for hygiene and disinfectant, I am one of the lucky few who were offered emergency childcare. That’s incredibly helpful. Like for many others currently working in their home offices, routine and structure are very important to me – both in terms of my working process and contact with my colleagues. Every day, I have the time slot »Give Time Varieté« in my calendar that was initiated by the young RBtalent to stay in virtual contact with each other – it gives employees the chance to show their hidden talents. Sometimes we have piano concerts or lunch – time meditations. I am astonished by how well the entire company has adapted to working from home.
THE PAST MONTHS HAVE BEEN A CHALLENGE FOR ALL OF US. IT’S NOT EASY TO STAY MOTIVATED WHEN EVERYTHING HAS TO BE DONE FROM HOME. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO ESTABLISH A HEALTHY STRUCTURE FOR EVERYDAY LIFE? HOW DO YOU TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF AMIDST ALL OF YOUR DUTIES?
I currently have very little time to myself, but I don’t want to complain about that. I draw motivation from the challenges we currently face. Luckily, my daughter often claims my attention, and I try to regularly go on short walks in the woods with our dog. Both child and dog take up 100% of my attention on the weekends, and I always feel energised for the next week after spending hours outside with the two.
WHAT HAVE YOU PERSONALLY LEARNED FROM THE PAST MONTHS – WHICH POSITIVE ASPECTS WERE THERE? WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAINTAIN FOR THE »TIME AFTER CORONA«?
Personally, I have learned that working from home works very well for me. I also think some of the upcoming business trips we had previously considered to be essential will not be necessary anymore. The same goes for my life at home: I want to focus more on local and regional things.
WHAT’S THE SITUATION LIKE AT YOUR OFFICE: ARE YOU ALREADY BACK TO »NORMAL«? ARE YOU BACK AT THE OFFICE OR STILL AT HOME?
We are currently working on a »Return to Office« plan for our employees. Slowly, we want to come back to our offices while also keeping in mind all of the essential regulations and communicating transparently. We are planning on re-introducing office work for some colleagues in phases. Those who want to keep working from home and are able to do so definitely should have that option. Health and safety are our highest priority.
ARE THERE ANY PRODUCTS OR TOOLS YOU CAN RECOMMEND FOR A HYGIENIC AND HEALTHY HOME?
Next to washing your hands thoroughly, it’s important to clean and / or disinfect surfaces and items from the home office like your phone, keyboard and desk. As a dog owner who also allows her dog to sleep in her bed, I also use a laundry sanitizer for my bedding. Of course, I believe in Sagrotan products. To get younger kids interested in washing their hands, I can recommend the Sagrotan No-Touch. My daughter loves it.
WHAT ARE YOUR WISHES FOR THE FUTURE – PERSONALLY AND FOR OUR SOCIETY?
Corona has shown how global our world has become and how much it thrives on the global trade of goods. This has many positive sides, but it has also shown how quickly the entire system can be disrupted. For my colleagues and everyone else around me, my biggest wish is health. It would also be great if politicians, companies and individuals were aware of the positive influence of the current situation on nature and how we can keep this impact up after the pandemic is over. In our society, it is important that we stand up for others – as a company, this means committing to specific causes. I am proud to say, that RB is dedicated to diverse action. Also currently with the RB Fight for Access Fund in the fight against COVID-19.