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Creating a workspace to move and pause

Diageo India’s Evonne Eadie on why she keeps a travel kit ready in her home office

Evonne Eadie, Lead, National Advocacy and World Class, Diageo India.

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There are three cats in Evonne Eadie’s home. One of them invariably keeps her company while she attends back-to-back online meetings.

Eadie moved to India from Australia in 2019, after getting a job with Diageo India. She is the lead of national advocacy and the cocktail competition, World Class. Her calendar is filled with events, shoots and cocktail styling, and no two days are alike. She is mostly on the move and prefers ‘variety at work.'

In an interview with Lounge, Eadie talks about her largely mobile office. Edited excerpts:

How would you define your workspace?
I am based in Mumbai, our head office is in Bengaluru and my boss stays in Delhi. I hold a national role, and work closely with regional as well as brand teams. A typical day might involve two or three meetings with these teams to plan events and launches. I move around quite a bit within the city and there are outstation visits. To make it easier for me, I keep a travel bag ready to go. It has chargers, a notebook, pens and highlighters. It keeps me stress free, and helps to focus on the task at hand. When working from home, I have slips of paper next to my computer for notes. I like the old-school way of taking notes, instead of typing tasks on my phone.

You work from home?
Yes, I have been working from home for a long time. I am quite comfortable and self motivated to be up on time, have a schedule and meet deadlines. My partner, a web developer, has a large tech set-up. We have two work spaces at home. There are some houseplants and three cats.

Eadie's home office.
Eadie's home office.

How would you say your relationship with your workspace evolved over the years?
My relationship with what I enjoy in a workspace has evolved. For about 11 years, I spent a lot of time behind the bar working as a mixologist on-and-off. Then I moved to the corporate side of the drinks industry. Bars are dark spaces, and now wherever I work, the desk is placed next to a window. I seek (natural) light.

Have you had any eureka moments here?
I'm mostly out and about, and my inspiration comes from watching other bartenders or even street vendors. I like colours, flavours, and observing people working with recipes. I notice chaiwallahs, who make chai by pouring from one glass to another. It is similar to the way bartenders make Bloody Mary. The pouring—or throwing in mixology terms—aerates the drink making it smoother. I discovered ingredients in India that led to eureka moments. For example, the floral, aromatic mosambi went into a Moscow Mule. The classic recipe has vodka, ginger beer and lime. The one I created replaced lime with mosambi and a ginger concoction swapped ginger beer. It turned out to be quite a great drink. I had never heard of mosambi before coming to India. To find a new ingredient that fills the space of something I had previously used, forced me to move out of my comfort zone to create a new recipe. It's a really beautiful thing.

How is your relationship with a static workspace?
Probably love-hate (if I can say that). I go through endless back-to-back meetings often, which could make me feel a bit trapped. It's quite nice to have a variety of things to do that allows me to step out of home. But, if there are too many events, I crave to be in front of my computer. I like to mix things up: planning for a launch during a Zoom meeting, a shoot for Johnnie Walker in a studio or styling cocktails in a bar (which I absolutely love).

If you were to trade your workspace for another, what would that be?
To cultivate ideas, I would probably pick a workspace near the coast. Although Mumbai is a city by the sea, the hustle-and-bustle never subsides, and the mind is always ticking. A chilled-out seaside area where the food has incredible flavours, and I can spend more time outdoors is probably what's calling me next.

Creative Corner is a series about writers, artists, musicians, founders and other creative individuals and their relationships with their workspaces.

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