Anton Schiavello is the General Manager of Nura Space, a unified working platform (UWP) designed to understand, redefine and optimise workplaces of the future.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My career first started in workplace refurbishment and fit-out, where I was a contract administrator, assisting in the preparation of project tendering and subcontractor coordination.
I expressed interest in the estimating and negotiating aspect of the role, which I did successfully before moving onto project management of onsite trades.
At this point an opportunity to work overseas presented itself, so I moved to Singapore and ran Schiavello Furniture South East Asia for five years. In this role, I helped to grow the business, mature and develop the brand’s regional awareness, as well as drive the company’s international strategy.
On return to Australia, I had the opportunity to focus on business strategy, marketing, and product development, by leading an R&D and marketing team.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Since late 2019, I’ve been working remotely for around three to five days per week.
I’m up bright and early at 7am, to help my wife prepare breakfast for our daughter. I often don’t eat breakfast, however, I will make an almond latte at home.
Around 8am I’ll take a seat at my desk, read some global news, financial news, crypto news, and some local news.
From 9:30am Monday to Friday my team has stand-up meetings, which can run from 15 minutes to two hours. This really depends on how much collaboration is required.
Lunch is often at 12:30pm, and then an afternoon walk with my daughter around 3pm, with work and video calls in-between.
I touch base with all team members directly throughout the day. We use Microsoft Teams, which integrates nicely with various other productivity apps, and more importantly Azure, our cloud.
My workday can finish quite late, with breaks in-between for dinner and a glass of wine.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, it does, and it really works beautifully for the type of work my team and I are doing. I believe working from home definitely suits some personalities and some tasks better than others.
Right now I need a mix of working from home and working from the office.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Previously work-life balance didn’t mean much to me. I actually disregarded it for many years, and instead called it work-life-integration. Which in hindsight suited me as a young worker, however, now leading a start-up and growing a family definitely does require me to respect focusing my time intensely on one thing or another.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Yes, I’ve definitely started to uphold time for family, myself, and work. This has really fed into what I’m understanding work-life balance to really mean, and how important it is to give your brain a break from work.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Books I’ve read lately include:
- Homo Deus and Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
- Secrets of the Investment All Stars by Kenneth A. Stern
- Women and Leadership by Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
A great podcast I found last year is The Jolly Swagman, where Joe Walker holds fantastic chats with some very interesting and influential people.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I definitely cannot live without my coffee machine and my computer.
I built my computer when I was 14-years-old, and have continued to upgrade it since (most recently with three GPUs in 2020.)
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
That’s a really good question, probably Queen Elizabeth II. I’d be interested to hear things from her perspective.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I think it’s important to acknowledge that both work-life balance, and working from home are different for everyone.
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