Menu
Interviews / Marketing & Advertising

Balancing the Grind with Siobhan Hayes, Director of Marketing at Float.com

Siobhan Hayes is the Director of Marketing at Float.com, a resource management platform that gives you the most accurate view of your team’s capacity.

Interested in talking about how you balance the grind? Get in touch with us here!

1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Currently, I’m the Director of Marketing at Float.com. We’re a fully distributed remote SaaS organisation of 25+ folks working asynchronously around the world. By fully distributed remote I mean we have no physical head office, and we’re a truly global team — 25+ people working in the US, UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa!

My role leads and manages the entire marketing domain at Float, covering acquisition, brand, content, and product marketing. In our team we have a growth marketer and content lead, and we work closely with the design, product, and operations teams.

I joined Float in February 2019, and was living and working in New York, our hometown city. When I came on board, there were just 14 people, so in the last 2.5 years our team size has nearly doubled.

Whilst our business and team growth has been an exciting journey so far, I’m even more pumped about the road ahead. We’re building a best-in-class resource management software, a work culture that is both inspiring and supportive, and a brand that is genuinely an evangelist for its company values. It’s a marketer’s dream!

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Today, Tuesday 20 July has been a special one. It’s our Float quarterly Town Hall, which is when the entire team gets together online to hear about a business update from Glenn our CEO, and from team leads across customer success, product, engineering, and marketing. 

As a fully remote team, the opportunity to get everyone together is always inspiring and motivating.

Float Town Hall meetup in July 2021

An average and ideal work day for me generally looks like:

7am – Wake up and get a coffee. Walk down to Bondi Beach to check out the surf and get some fresh air!

8am – Log on to my computer and check-in on my Slack messages or relevant updates.

8:30am – I get sent a daily status report request via our team’s Geekbot on Slack.

8:30 to 11:30am – Deep work.

11:30am – Head to the beach for a surf! I’ve just started learning this year and it’s been the best way to break up my work day, and to practice!

12:30pm to 1:30pm – I usually will come home, shower, and make some lunch.

1:30 to 5:30pm – Deep work.

Usually I’ll work an extra hour or two either side in the morning and/or evening. I get a bit of a buzz if I’ve done an hour of work before status at 8:30am, and evenings can be good if I want to sync with a team member in the northern hemisphere who’s just logging on for the day. Overall we measure our productivity by output and impact, not by overtime and other archaic indicators.

Because we work asynchronously, I have very few meetings. We’re big believers in time accountability and creating time blocks for deep work. On an average week, I don’t spend more than 1 hour in meetings. I wrote a blog post about it here.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Remote and flexible work is in our DNA. In fact, we don’t even require each other to work the standard 9am to 5pm hours. Everyone is empowered to work the hours that they work best. So, if you’re a night owl and prefer to work between 8pm to 12am, or perhaps after the kids have gone to bed — you’re able to.

So that we can set some general expectations with each other, we ask that everyone adds their standard work hours to their profile on Slack, but to work those actual hours every day is not binding.

There are some pretty cool stories of folks in our team who make the most of this flexibility too. For example, Kristen, our APAC account manager runs a farm with her husband on the Central Coast of NSW. She works 9am to 5pm Mon, Wed, and Fri, and 11am to 7pm on Tuesday and Thursdays. On the mornings that she starts work later, she’s out tending to duties on the farm!

For myself, especially with the recent lockdown in Sydney, having the flexibility to get out for longer periods of time during the day has been really important to me. I’ve been able to take longer lunch breaks to go running or surfing, which are less accessible after 5pm when it’s already getting dark.

A sunrise walk along the coast before starting my workday

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance to me means that I am consciously choosing how much and when I participate in each. It’s about choice, and having the agency to choose the mix that is right for you.

Personally I’m happy with my relationship between the two. I love my job and the constant learning opportunity, and I also have hobbies and interests outside of work that I enjoy. There are times when I might have some adrenalin and start over indexing in the work arena, and I have strategies to keep myself in check and set boundaries when I need to.

I know that most of these things ebb and flow, so if it still feels healthy and I happen to be on a work roll, I’ll let myself run with that too. Conversely when I’m feeling more flat or perhaps less motivated, I know the things I can do to get some energy and inspiration back, e.g. listening to a podcast or getting some face time with a colleague.

The same applies on the life front. I actively set non-work related goals, whether it’s running a certain distance, training for a touch football tournament, or more passive goals like just telling myself to make some time to read, practice some creativity, or literally just do nothing  — I’ll clear a time block that’s for no plans!

Recently I was in the Northern Territory and spent 10 days completely offline from work. It was the longest break I can recall having in years, to go completely off-grid from emails, Slack, or any work related messages.

The best bit was that by the end of the trip, I was genuinely looking forward to reconnecting and working again. I mean sure, a couple of days longer is always a little indulgent and nice to have, but overall I felt ready and recharged to return to work—and had more to give because of it!

Off grid for 10 days in the Northern Territory. #SeeAustralia

At the end of the day our work-life is just life. I’m fortunate to work for a company that wants to support us to live our best work life.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Since moving back to Australia in October 2020, I’ve been working from home. Prior to that, I was working from a co-working space in New York.

There have been times that I’ve found the blend of my home and work space challenging. I now make sure that every day I get outside before I start my work day, and do something for myself.

Ideally it’s a run, yoga, or a surf. However if I’m not up early enough (it’s harder in winter!), then I get a coffee and go for a walk around the block. Doing something for myself first thing in the morning has a huge impact on my mental outlook for the work day.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Marketing:

Some Good Content, Patreon subscription by John Bonini. There’s so much good stuff in here. I’m a new member and have thoroughly enjoyed sponging on the podcast episodes!

Marketing Examples by Harry Dry. Lots of great examples, explained simply.

Inside Intercom blog. Intercom set the bar on building their brand reputation through sharing their expertise on what works.

Newsletters:

I’m subscribed to a tonne of newsletters, but the below three are the ones I always open.

Creative Mornings global weekly highlights. Sign up and browse the archive here.

Dense Discovery by Kai Brach

Extraordinary Routines by Madeline Dore

Books:

I’m currently reading Belonging by Toko-pa Turner which has been a lockdown spiritual bible for me.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Spotify. I can’t even imagine what I would do without it. My Deep Work Playlist is currently at 9 hours if you need some tunes to get you in the zone!

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?  

Jacinda Arden.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Find opportunities to cross pollinate the two. By that I mean find ways to bring some life into your work, and work into your life, healthily of course.

Bringing some life into your work can be as small as sending a personal message or asking a colleague how they’re doing, and that isn’t a courtesy add-on to a work related question or message.

Creating conversations around general topics is also a nice way to get a little window into each other’s outside of work lives. For example, recently someone in our team asked everyone what activities they do to keep fit. It was such a great way to hear not only what everyone’s fitness hobbies are, but also what people do to keep motivated!

There are also ways that we can bring work into our life, without it feeling like work! I’ve found that engaging with and sharing your craft outside of your regular job is helpful to keep inspired and to recognise your skills are transferable.

For example, I’m always happy to talk to friends who want to learn a bit more about marketing, or perhaps who want some advice on how to start their own venture. Sharing your craft, skill, and areas of knowledge with others is a great way to not only build your personal brand, but also to remind you how much you know, and probably don’t realise!

Running a launch marketing workshop for a community garden in the Philippines in 2013

Before you go…

If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here.

Join our community and never miss a conversation about work, life & balance – subscribe to our newsletter.

Start-up Founders, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Accelerators – hear them all talk about their stories where they went wrong, what went right and what they learned!
About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.