- Amazon had a workforce of over 500,000 people as of March.
- Brittany Stanton is one of those employees.
- Stanton, a renewable-energy manager, is based in the online retail giant’s Seattle headquarters.
- Business Insider spoke with her about what it’s like to work at Amazon.
Brittany Stanton knew right away that the job at Amazon would be a good fit.
The renewable-energy manager told Business Insider that she wanted to work with “extremely smart and passionate” people. She also said she was “driven by Amazon’s commitment to reduce our carbon emissions and environmental impact.”
And the idea of living in Seattle didn’t hurt either. Stanton said that as a Midwesterner, she was excited to be close to the ocean and the Cascade Range.
“The Pacific Northwest is a great fit for me, and that’s what drove me here,” Stanton said.
She began working at the online retailer’s headquarters in May 2017. As of March, Amazon had a workforce of more than 500,000 people, The Seattle Times reported.
Stanton recently spoke with Business Insider about what it’s like to work at Amazon, as well as her strategies for staying productive and achieving a work-life balance.
Here’s a look inside her daily routine:
Stanton works out in the morning.
Stanton typically rises around 5 a.m. and heads over to her early-morning workout class. At the gym, she sometimes opts for a spin class, but she prefers a boot-camp-style workout. Several gyms in Seattle’s South Lake Union area offer Amazon employees discounted membership rates.
After exercising, Stanton will usually whip up some hard-boiled eggs for breakfast before walking to work, she said.
“Luckily, because I’m one of the first people in the office, no one can smell the hard-boiled eggs,” Stanton told Business Insider.
While the office doesn’t usually start buzzing until 9 a.m., Stanton isn’t alone when she gets into work around 7 or 8. Rexi – Stanton’s German shepherd, Chihuahua, and rat terrier mix – clocks in with her.
She uses the morning to organise and prioritise.
“I like to spend my mornings at the beginning of the week organising what I want to accomplish throughout the week,” Stanton said.
She added that she tries to prioritise her weekly tasks based on urgency and difficulty. She said she also likes to set aside some time in the morning to think about “the big picture.”
“I save a few hours every week to think about what’s next for Amazon and sustainability,” she said.
She said Amazon has a “results-oriented” culture.
Stanton described Amazon’s culture as “results-oriented” and customer-focused.
“This sounds a bit cliché, but it ties back to our leadership principles and our culture of innovation,” she said. “As long as you can tie your project or your program back to something that’s going to relate to our customers, you can get a lot done. Everyone within Amazon understands that, and it’s such a core part of our culture.”
She added: “The thing that really drives me and the thing that I like about our culture is that it’s full of really smart people that have a lot of pride and passion for what they do.”
When she needs to supercharge her productivity, she’ll shut off her internet.
When it comes to getting stuff done and staying on task, Stanton is an avid Microsoft OneNote user, she said.
“I like that one because it can connect to the internet and it can be available offline,” she said. “Sometimes when I know I have a big project or something that needs a lot of focus, I like to turn my internet off and turn my Outlook off and just sort of set a timer and say, ‘I’m going to stay focused on this for one hour and not look at my email and not look at anything else.'”
It’s a simple enough strategy, but it can be tough to implement at times, Stanton said.
“That’s one trick that sounds really easy, but it’s hard,” she added. “I make myself do it.”
Rexi has a place to play with other office dogs.
Amazon runs a famously dog-friendly business – about 6,000 canines are free to chill in the workplace, according to CNBC.
Stanton said Rexi spends the workday hanging out by her desk, napping, and playing with two other office pups.
“We just put up this nice little gate so they have a fun area by our desks to play and sleep when they want,” Stanton said.
Rexi can get bouncy in the workplace.
But Rexi doesn’t stay put the whole day.
“Although she is little, she has quite the vertical jump,” Stanton said. “She can jump from the ground onto my standing desk. It’s crazy.”
Rexi will even use her jumping talents to hop onto a bookshelf dividing Stanton’s workspace and visit the employees who sit on the other side, Stanton said.
Stanton and Rexi often stop by one of Amazon’s banana stands.
When Stanton takes Rexi on her daily workday walk, she usually stops by one of Amazon’s two famed banana stands.
There isn’t any money in this particular banana stand, though. Its visitors, whether or not they are Amazon employees, can snag a free banana or two, or even a dog treat.
“It’s super funny,” Stanton said. “Rexi tugs towards the banana stand because she knows she’ll get a treat.”
Stanton alternates between going out to eat with coworkers and bringing in lunch.
When it comes time for lunch, Stanton likes to mix things up. She said she usually brings lunch three days a week, while the other two days she’ll go out and grab some food with a coworker.
One of her favourite spots is Cascade Coffee Works.
“It has a giant garage window door that they open when it’s nice out,” she said. “It’s fun to go over there and sort of get inside slash outside. It has a fun atmosphere.”
After work, Stanton coaches a lacrosse team.
In the spring, Stanton tends to leave the office early to coach a lacrosse team. She played the sport in high school and college.
“Coaching has been a really fun way for me to get involved again,” she said.
Lacrosse season can get intense, Stanton said. It also occasionally forces Stanton to adjust her schedule and stay flexible; some games start as early as 4 p.m.
When she’s not coaching, Stanton departs work at different times, she said. She’ll head out at 4 p.m. “if it’s really nice out” some days, while “if it’s really busy” she’ll stick around until 7 p.m.
Once she’s back home, Stanton unwinds by experimenting in the kitchen or spending time outdoors.
“My fiancé and I both like to cook, so we try different recipes,” she said. “We enjoy cooking together. In the summer, I just love being outside. Even if it’s a nearby hike or going to the dog park, just getting outside when we have the Seattle sun is wonderful.”
Stanton said she then turns in at the “embarrassing” early hour of 9 p.m.
“That allows me to get the proper amount of sleep,” she said. “I prioritise my sleep, for sure.”
Stanton told Business Insider that achieving work-life balance is contingent on flexibility and understanding.
“I think not stressing yourself out about your routine is just as important as creating a routine,” she said.
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