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Remote Work / Work Life Balance

13 CEOs Talk About How Remote Work Impacts their Work-Life Balance

According to Buffer’s State Of Remote Work 2019 report, it’s safe for us to assume that remote working around the world isn’t just a trend, it’s here to stay.

While it can be hard for us to imagine leaders of a company working remotely from home, Balance the Grind had the pleasure of speaking to a number of CEOs who talk about how remote and flexible working options have positively impacted on their work-life balance.

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1. Stacey Bedford is the CEO of Bandzoogle, a platform that helps independent and DIY musicians build websites and manage direct-to-fan marketing and sales.

Bandzoogle has always been a fully remote, distributed team. I have worked from home for the last 12 years straight! We don’t have a central office and it’s a big part of our workplace culture.

Working from home isn’t for everyone, and as an extrovert I definitely have to make a conscious effort to work socializing into my schedule.

That said, I wouldn’t say remote work is exactly flexible. When you work from home it’s important to create a routine and commit to it. That’s important for your own productivity, maintaining healthy lifestyle habits, and also to set a good example for your team.

It’s easy to fall into bad habits when you work from home, and following a set routine is key to being an effective remote worker.

2. Lija Wilson is the Founder & CEO of flexible work platform Puffling, helping businesses source senior off-market talent, delivering flexible work options and promoting gender diversity.

My life has now been designed around flexible work which means I work different hours but also do a lot more remotely – using video calls, phone calls and condensing meeting and face time as much as possible. Generally, I’m offline between 4-8pm and will do a few hours of catch up in the evenings.

3. Gina Lednyak is the Founder & CEO at L&A Social Media, an independent social media agency with offices in Sydney and Los Angeles.

I love our office and often prefer to spend my days working in the office and spending time with our amazing team. If I ever need to do head-down work I will do this from home.

We have a monthly Friday where everyone works from anywhere they want (ROWE Friday’s), and in the summer time we have weekly ROWE Friday’s. L&A Social is a flexible workplace and we have a work remotely program.

4. Cortina McCurry is the CEO & Co-Founder of Caia, Australia’s first online on demand health and wellness clinic for women and their families in the workplace.

I am a huge proponent of flexible and remote working. For me the most important thing is that the work gets done, how and where are less critical factors. I’ve always found that my happiest teams are those where I let them work in the way and environment that is most comfortable with them.

I work from Melbourne most weeks of the month, and then try to spend at least a week in Sydney with the team there. My co-founder Rob, usually comes down for one week out of the month to Melbourne as well.

As a working mom, I find this flexibility of the utmost importance. It means that I am never too far away if my husband or daughter needs me (her school is at the end of our street) and at least a few days a week I am able to pick her up and walk home – if meetings allow.

It really is the little things, by being able to work remotely I am able to be present both at home and at work and I am able to tailor my schedule so neither party sees too little (or in some cases too much!) of me.

5. Aaron McDonald is the CEO & Founder at Centrality, a decentralised eco-system that connects different applications together using Blockchain powered technology.

I travel overseas so often, about 40 percent of each month, it is impossible for me to do my job without remote working. If I’m travelling I’m usually preparing for a speech, presentation or organising events. Business travel isn’t a vacation for me.

We make sure there is flexibility for the team – when you spend days, nights and weekends working there needs to be flexibility to help avoid burnout.

6. Ashik Ahmed is the CEO and co-founder of Deputy, a homegrown workforce management solution pegged to be Australia’s next tech unicorn.

The way we all work has transformed dramatically. Previously, employees would clock in at 9 am then head home at 5 pm on the dot and this was a standard day for them. Now, though, businesses and workers around the world are moving towards flexible, hourly-based work.

At Deputy, we believe every worker should be given the opportunity to choose how they want to work and the evolution of the workforce has helped to support this.

7. Lorena Sumich is the CEO and co-founder of KIXXFIT, a new health and fitness app that has recently just launched in Australia.

The beauty of starting your own company is that you can (and should!) design it in a way that suits the needs of your lifestyle, which for most people these days, requires accommodation for remote working.

So at KIXXFIT, because we have set ourselves up to work “in the cloud”, and are very comfortable with VCs for communication. I can work from home (and do so at least one day a week), and not be scared to head interstate or international as required (holidays included!) as long as there is a reliable wifi connection at the destination!

8. Kyle Ladewig is the Founder & CEO of Out Of Office, a company with a mission to help remote workers get out of the house and meet people while they work.

Not only is Out Of Office a distributed team, but we’re also building apps for remote work, so our mission and our lives are all about flexibility. We start every day with a 15-minute video standup at 8:45AM. Most days, between the morning standup and Slack/Asana, everyone is clear on priorities and what they’re responsible for.

We hire domain experts with 8+ years experience who are comfortable with the ambiguity and unpredictability of a startup. That means I spend very little time worrying if mistakes are being made, and almost no time worrying if everyone is being productive.

9. Victoria McLean is the Founder & CEO of City CV, an international career consultancy focused on guiding professionals at all levels with career transition and development.

I’m passionate about work flexibility. It’s something every employer should offer – in fact, needs to offer if they’re going to attract and retain brilliant and talented people.

Only a few years ago, flexibility was seen as something that only applied to working mums. That attitude is changing – fast.

Men are demanding it, people without kids are demanding it. And, why not? Healthy, engaged employees need the flexibility to lead full lives. We all have travel dreams and personal ambitions, as well as family responsibilities.

Every single member of the City CV team has a bespoke contract designed to accommodate their specific lifestyle needs.

Everyone chooses their hours and location. Some work remotely (from various countries around the world) and some base themselves in our Kent or London offices – all on different days. We are completely flexible and agile.

10. Tina Tower is a high performance business coach working with entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and helping corporates to become more entrepreneurial.

I put this to the ultimate test last year. We went on a 9 month trip around the world. We travelled to 28 countries with our two sons and I maintained my business coaching clients and online courses while we were on the trip.

The most challenging part was finding quality internet connection! But apart from that, it was wonderful. It really proved to me that you can work from anywhere as long as you’re delivering massive value. I think the old days of measuring peoples work by time spent should be gone.

If the work allows for it, it should be on outcomes and deliverables and then if you’re really productive, you can get in, do your work to a high standard, close the laptop and go off and live a life of massive adventure.

11. Dr. Bailey Bosch is the Founder & CEO of Remotestar Consulting, which helps individuals and team make informed decisions around recruitment, development and management of their remote workforce.

As a business owner I have full flexibility over my work. This means that I schedule client appointments to suit my family responsibilities and because much of my work is done remotely, I can utilize most of my child-free time rather than waste it, commuting back and forth to an office.

Even if I have meetings scheduled I have the flexibility to block them together to ensure I get as much done as I can when the kids are at school/daycare.

12. Michelle Bourke is the Founder & CEO of Foresight Digital, a plug & play growth team for companies that need their marketing and sales functions to scale fast or go global.

I’ve always loved working remotely. PJs are the best kind of office-wear don’t you think? Actually the other day I called one of our new recruits to let her know she’d got the job.

The first thing she asked me was “So what’s the office dress code?”. I told her “Oh mostly we just wear pyjamas to work” and she was ecstatic until I quickly told her it was a joke. After a brief moment of devastation, she’s now advocating for a “PJs At Work Day” which I must say I’m partial to!

In all seriousness though, when I was a solo consultant, working from home was a daily reality. But as a leader of a fast growing business at the moment, I feel it is important to be present as much as I possibly can be with the team in our office. We humans are social beings, and there is something that physical presence does to create calm and inner confidence in the team.

That being said, across all of our business (myself and our staff included), flexibility is held up as being an important component of how we operate.

For example, one of our staff comes in an 10am each day as he drops off his kids in the morning and works until 6pm instead, another group of team members choose to work from 8am to 4pm to beat the traffic, another individual works part remotely during school holidays to spend time with his kids, and others might work from home for rent inspections when they need to.

I take advantage of this flexibility for various parts of my personal life too. These little things can make all the difference in creating a sense of balance.

13. Yanir Yakutiel is the Founder & CEO at Lumi, a fintech start-up launched in 2018 and Australia’s fastest growing small business lender.

My wife’s work demands mean she never gets to work from home, or utilise flexible working – so I wanted to make sure I was doing something flexible so we could spend more time with our son.

Building my own business meant I could call the shots on my own life and make my work as flexible as I wanted. I’ll often work from home in the late afternoons so I can be around my son after school if I’m not required in the office.

Flexible working also means I get to work around my wife’s schedule when I’m needed to, which definitely helps to find pockets in time to spend together as a family.

If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!

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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.