'Together, you’re a team. On a large scale at NN and on a small scale in my family'

Stephanie Braun -
Performance Speciliast and mother of two

Creativity is thinking in possibilities

'I live in Amstelveen with my two teenagers, Freek and Guusje, and our dog, Bo. At first sight, it’s an average family scene, but Freek is a child with care needs. So, as a single mother with a busy job and a child with care needs, I’ve got a lot on my plate. That’s why creativity is important to me. To be able to organise everything and to be a good carer to Freek, I need to think in terms of possibilities. That’s what creativity is to me. I firmly believe that there’s a solution for everything. Sometimes I have the solution - because I’m a real go-getter - and sometimes the solution comes from surrounding yourself with the right people. I also see that reflected in my work.’

Making the right connections

'People always know where to find me for advice and help, at work and at home. It enables me to make the right connections, and that’s creativity too. I really see it as a challenge to bring people together to achieve a great result. That’s why I’m genuinely at home in my job with Facility Management at NN. The work is really dynamic, in contrast to what people often think. My job involves taking care of department communications. I try to convey the true image of FM by showing what we do, because we do so many great things. To give you an example, we designed the refurbishment plans for the offices in The Hague and Rotterdam along with colleagues from the relevant departments. They and we believe that sustainability is important and that’s reflected in the recycled materials, the abundance of green and our smart approach to waste streams. The facilities need to change with the residents of the premises, so we’re constantly innovating. In five years’ time, it will be different again. Now that we’re working from home more, for example, the office is taking on a different role. It’s becoming even more of a meeting place. That’s how we are constantly developing.’

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Together we can achieve so much more

'Everyone is different, but precisely for that reason, we complement each other well. It helps to be open with each other. My powers of persuasion can sometimes turn into nagging and then I’m challenged. Sometimes by my children, sometimes by colleagues. That’s good because it creates a bond and makes you a better person. Together, you’re a team. On a large scale at NN and on a small scale in my family. We’ve all got different characters that look at the world through a different lens. By knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses and sometimes by holding up a mirror to each other, you get the best out of people. So much more is possible when we work together. That’s a real gift because the road to our common success is never without bumps.’

At NN there’s room for balance  

‘Of course, not everybody understands what it’s like to keep so many balls in the air. I’m also not someone who complains a lot. Thanks to my positive attitude and the fact that I’m a real go-getter, I can take a lot. I stay strong, but at the same time, I understand that I also need to think about me. If others have to rely on me, I need to look after myself, so I make sure that I take time to do just that. It’s all about balance. I walk the dog in the woods, go to a good dance party with friends (once we can do that again), or sit on my own behind my easel. That’s when I switch off, let go of all my worries and recharge completely. Wonderful. At work, they’re fortunately very understanding and I’m given the flexibility and space I need to create my own balance and that’s how I’ve done my job here enthusiastically for over 18 years.’

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