Sarah Mathews is the Head of Marketing & B.I.G. Foundation at multi-disciplinary property advisory group EG Funds.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
My career has centred around marketing and communications across various industries (consulting, NFP, education and financial services), but I have always had a passion for seeing my work impact social change.
I am committed to using my skills to support social entrepreneurialism, develop effective teams, and improve the world around me.
In my current role, I split my time between leading the Marketing and Communications for the various EG business streams and projects and heading up the establishment of B.I.G (Build in Good) Foundation, funded by EG. This NFP is focused on talking loneliness through our vision for a future in which people enjoy kinder, happier and healthier lives.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Splitting my time means the days are varied. I start early at the gym (otherwise, it doesn’t seem to happen for me in the afternoons), followed by a quick informal stand-up with each of my two teams.
Following that, the day could be any combination of working on a new brand, coming up with a community-engagement initiative, discussing how we can measure social impact or meeting with community members at one of our developments.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I have been taking up my company’s offer to work one day a week from home since before the pandemic. For me, this is a perfect balance. The week is packed with meetings, and Thursday, I catch up on writing, thinking, and actioning things that came out of those conversations.
The great thing about our flexible policy is that everyone is in and out on the same days making scheduling collaborative time easier.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance for me is being fulfilled and challenged but still having time and energy for my home, important people in my life and myself.
To achieve this, I make sure I have goals inside and outside of work and celebrate the progress towards them. This stops me from getting into the negative mindset of “I’m too busy to see that friend/take that class/book that holiday”.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Waking up early and exercising in the mornings. It’s not easy to do every day but once it is a habit, it just happens. It really sets me up for a productive day. When I’m particularly motivated, I get up and read or write for half an hour before the gym – although I don’t think you could call that one a habit just yet.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Becoming by Michelle Obama. Get it as an audiobook and feel like you are having a conversation with the former first lady herself.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Just my phone, headphones, and laptop – I rarely leave home without them.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Any small business owner! This is the holy-grail of achieving work-life balance and not something I have experienced. You have so much skin in the game that getting any separation must be another level of challenge.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
For me, it is essential to schedule some quiet into my week. I’m an introvert who has learned to be extroverted in a work context, but I still need to recharge. Ensuring I get a least one day a week to be alone with my thoughts works wonders on managing my stress.
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