Fionnuala Meehan is Irin. She studied European Studies in Ireland and completed a year of studies in Freiburg. That is why she speaks excellent German. After studying, she spent five years at Best Western Hotels, then joined AOL for another five years and has been with Google for 10 years. Meehan is married and has three children.
Google is well-known for the fact that employees are already starting work on the road: where do you start your job?
I also start on the road, on the train - with the e-mails. Because overnight, many e-mails have arrived from Mountain View, which I work off first.
When I come to the office around 8, I usually have meetings with Google's colleagues in India, because that is lunch time and therefore a good time for it. Meetings with colleagues from the USA take place in the afternoon.
How do you cope up with the requirements? Company as Google puts?
I am very tidy and organized and can make quick decisions. With 20 years of professional experience, I have also learned how to control my energy and to leave problems in the office, to switch off and continue the next day.
What tools and productivity methods do you use at work?
Google Docs I find ideal for collaboration. As I work with people from Asia, London, Hamburg and the USA, we can gather and discuss the many different views and opinions here perfectly.
In addition, I make lists to gain an overview of my tasks and prioritize. Every Monday I create to-do lists for the week and write down what is really important - and what a nice-to-have. Besides, I always have a notebook for new ideas. I also tried it with an iPad - but for me writing tasks is a very personal process, it works best on paper.
Where do you prefer to work?
In the office. I rarely take work home with me. If, then I do at most phone calls from home. I am important that I have a different life next to Google and for example every day around 18 clock with my family dinner. Therefore, 16 or 17 clock for me is evening. I do not work at the weekend.
Is not that difficult in a company like Google?
It is true that Google's demands on employees are very high. Is expected to do his work well and completely; on the other hand, there is no pressure to be a certain number of hours in the office. It is above all my own conscious decision how long I work and when I can be reached.
The colleagues accept this because I communicate it to them just as clearly. Because only when I shut down, I can concentrate fully in the office on Google. So I do not spend my free time with colleagues. Because I have children, the shutdown is also easier for me.
How do you manage a stressful workday?
I change the subject and let a problem rest until I have a better idea. Or I discuss the idea with colleagues from around the world - that's the great thing about Google, that we have very good people here. It is also important that you do not sit at the desk all day. I go in between to get some water or go for a walk.
And how do you manage to remain productive in the long term?
It is important for me to have a good energy balance - eg by taking breaks and holidays regularly. We also have seminars here in the office. In addition, my work experience helps me to organize my time better.
How many hours do you sleep per night?
I usually go to bed between 22.30 clock and 23 clock and stand around 6.15 clock. I sleep mostly 7 to 8 hours. Less does not work, then I can not work more efficiently.
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