Dr. Ben Hamer leads the Future of Work market for PwC Australia, and is also an Adjunct Fellow at Swinburne University’s Centre for the New Workforce.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’m all about the Future of Work. I’m the Lead for the Future of Work at PwC Australia and am an Adjunct Associate at the Centre for the New Workforce at Swinburne University.
2020 was a bit of a strange one for me, as I also worked for six months remotely to the World Economic Forum in Switzerland on their future of jobs, education, and skills agenda.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
My work days are super fluid and change day-to-day. I’m an anti morning person and so tend to sleep in until the last possible minute, quickly try my best to look half presentable, and then jump on the first virtual call for the day.
I do a lot of research and thought leadership, oversee the development of digital tools and assets, and play a lot in our Future of Work media space- Look out for PwC’s Future of Work podcast that I host!
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Totally. At the moment, I spend about two days in the office and three days at home. I’m given the trust and autonomy to work my own hours as long as the work gets done, so I’ve been spending a lot more time getting back into the gym and doing other bits and pieces during the day, while working a bit later in the evening.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance is more important than a salary. The biggest thing I’ve learnt is to say ‘no’ – I’m someone who would overcommit and so I’ve gotten a lot better at prioritising my time and learning what goes beyond that threshold, and realising that the world doesn’t stop spinning and people don’t hate me.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I’ve been able to use the greater flexibility to focus more on my health and wellbeing. I’ve started listening to podcasts, reading more, and getting through a heap of solid Netflix shows. It sounds small, but it speaks to having balance, supporting positive mental health, and ultimately having a big life impact.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Obvs Exploring the Future of Work with PwC Australia (always looking for an opportunity to plug). I’m currently reading Originals by Adam Grant, which I can definitely recommend.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
No product, gadget, or app could give me the same feeling as my dog, Schnitty!
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
I wouldn’t go about recommending any particular person, because I think work-life balance is so different for everyone.
Some people have kids or caring commitments, others are trying to launch a start-up, others are trying to balance study and a sporting career.
I’d recommend finding a mentor or someone who has well rounded interests and hobbies, but not judging anyone who gets a whole heap of satisfaction from investing most of their time in their work.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Just do what makes you happy.
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