Birgitte Lauritzen, Copenhagen

This week, the OWL has spoken to Birgitte A. Lauritzen, an HR consultant from Copenhagen

Birgitte Lauritzen

Monday mornings (and Wednesdays and Fridays) I usually get up at 5.15 am and start the day with a run, otherwise I won’t get it done – I am incapable of picking up my trainers after a long day at work. Most mornings my husband joins me.

After my run – feeling great, as always – I hurry up, get ready for work and ride my bike to the station where I catch the train to Copenhagen. I’m usually in the office by 8 o’clock at the latest.

I always eat my breakfast at work, we have the most wonderful canteen staff who prepare meals for us throughout the day. Breakfast consists of organic bread, porridge, fresh, diced fruit and a selection of cheeses and homemade jam.

I work in a professional firm in Central Copenhagen. For Denmark, the company is fairly large with approximately 230 employees. This year, I celebrated my 25th anniversary with the firm, the last 12 years of which I’ve been in human resources. There’s never a dull moment. No two days are the same.

This Monday is the first workday of the month, which means that we are welcoming new colleagues – this month 3 new staff are joining. I begin the day by making an announcement on the intranet to remind everybody of the newcomers. Another task at the beginning of every month is updating company reports and key figures.

Four months ago, we conducted an employee survey for which I was responsible. We presented the results to all employees during a company trip to Italy. These weeks we are meeting with partners, employees and departments to kick off implementation of the changes we are introducing as a result of the survey. Today I have two meetings with department heads and the employees we have elected “agents of change” to prepare the kick-off meeting in their departments. These are good and constructive meetings where all involved pitch in with useful ideas as to how we can successfully implement the changes.

Every autumn, all employees are offered an influenza vaccination. Today I arranged for the vaccination with the company we normally use and offered the vaccination to our employees. Come the end of October, the company will send a nurse around to immunize the employees that accepted the offer. Personally, I decline but I think it is a nice opportunity to have.

All workdays have an element of answering questions and queries from staff and partners. Other parts of my job consist of drafting contracts for new employees and making sure that they are properly welcomed into the firm when they start their new job.

We have an HR computer system for which I am responsible. I make sure that all data on our employees are up to date. The HR system is an important tool for me in my job, e.g. pulling reports on different groups of employees when I prepare for new salaries, bonus plans and performance appraisals. I also look after agreements on leave of absence – both study and maternity leave.

This particular workday ends with preparing four new meetings about the survey tomorrow, editing presentations etc.

Just after 5 pm I catch the train home. I spend my time on the train working – both mornings and afternoons – replying to emails or reading documents. It is time well spent! At home, my bike awaits at the station.

I often shop locally for a few things for our dinner. Most weekdays we stay in, as we have to get up quite early in the morning. Nevertheless, it does happen that we eat out, or – depending on the season – take a walk on the beach, which is just a few kilometers away.

In the summer when the sun sets late in the evening, I often spend time in our garden when I arrive home from work. I love my garden. Actually, I spend time in my garden every day – these days, however, wearing a big overcoat and just for a short while!


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