Amanda Fuller is the Managing Partner at advertising agency DDB Remedy Australia and is also Omnicom’s APAC health lead reporting into the global team.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started out in a small country town in Queensland and like many Australians couldn’t wait to get out and explore the world so found myself in London at about 24 years old.
I fell into healthcare communications out of desperation to stay and my flatmate needed an Account Executive – this started off my career agency side and in healthcare some 15 years ago.
I have worked for Omnicom and DDB for almost that entire time in both London and Australia for the best global pharma companies, local health start-ups, NFPs and government departments and love it.
I hold dual roles; Managing Partner for DDB Remedy Sydney and Omnicom’s APAC health lead reporting into the global team. And I’m a single mum to a 2-year old boy.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Generally involves lots of check ins with the team, creative director, clients. So meetings and phone calls. I take a few late night global calls several times a week also. So something like this:
Cycle or walk to work to start at 8:30 – coffee! Team meeting to kick off. Catch up on emails for 30 mins and decide on the next day or so’s priorities.
I am generally in meetings for at least 4 hours of the day so I schedule only really important tasks to achieve – one management task and one strategic task or proposal for the other 2 hours left.
Meetings will be anything from client workshops, briefing sessions, new business, internal creative reviews, client WIP meetings etc. etc. Or we could have a shot to prepare for so it’s extremely varied.
Leave at 4:30 to collect my son from daycare, go through the evening routine with him. Then generally switch on again from 8-9:30 to regroup and finish a few easy or important things for the day.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I would say there is a little flexibility but not a great deal given all the functions of the agency we have found collaboration is much better and better strategic and creative thinking happens when together.
However, saying that, we did find our groove during the pandemic and a lot of fantastic work and ideas were created. Moving forward we have the ability to work remotely if it makes sense depending on the team and the day’s requirements. My preference is a 60/40 split in and out of office.
The benefits of working from home are the quiet space to focus on those bigger tasks and to get greater balance generally with work-life.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I think for me it means having the right amount of energy in order to achieve and feel satisfied in my personal and work life.
Usually it means a good routine for myself and my son and good work habits. Crystal clear communication helps, setting boundaries around logging on and off from work, exercise, a decent diet and most importantly fun.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Listening to more general interest, human behaviour, and topical audiobooks and podcasts while walking, running, cycling.
Shopping once a week rather than every few days (saves time and money).
Cycling or walking to work instead of catching the bus (such a great way to fit in exercise when you’re time poor).
Stopped working til midnight so often! It’s not sustainable!
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
- Love anything Brenne Brown writes (and her podcast)
- Drive by Daniel H Pink (currently listening to this)
- Also love the Jack Reacher series and other light reads
- Maggie Dent’s parenting podcast, Parental As Anything
- The ABC Australia’s Ladies, We Need To Talk (for feminist issues)
- Grounded by Louis Theroux
- The Imperfects by Hugh van Cuylenburg
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
- My wireless earphones
- My Breville Fast/Slow Cooker
- My coffee machine
- Nike Running app
- Calm meditation app
- For Australia with little kids, the SunSmart App
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
That’s a really hard question! I’ve read many interviews in particular by working mums – they all hold a lot of value. I’m not sure who I would single out next.
However, for me it would possibly be an entrepreneur with primary carer responsibilities – juggling a new business and family life – what a tough gig!
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Don’t over commit yourself. My approach of achieving 1-2 big things a day seems to work – the rest of the to do list are generally small and happen by themselves without overthinking them.
This way you feel like you’ve achieved something each day and don’t burden yourself with a list that’s unachievable and leaves you stressed! You can apply this logic to your personal life also (although that list is a weekly list not a daily one!).
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