Balancing the Grind with Audrey Geusselin, Head of Community and Culture at Workit Spaces

Audrey Geusselin is the Head of Community and Culture at Workit Spaces, which provides eCommerce co-working Hubs across Sydney.

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

I migrated from French Polynesia to Australia when I was 18 and I knew back then that I was going to spend my life here. I loved the lifestyle, the people and the opportunities. As a young foreigner, your chances to stay in Australia are very small, unless you have the skills that Australia requires at that particular point in time.

I wish I knew this when I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing with no experience in this industry but lots of experience in Hospitality! It made it very complicated for me to stay (no Marketing experience + a degree that everyone has) – but I was very motivated, so I went and did my farm work and then got back into studying (so I could stay in Australia longer). Fortunately, I was working in a hospitality group at that time (as a front of house) and they decided to sponsor me in marketing, I would be doing all the marketing for their venues as well as their tech startups. 

I worked there for about four years, doing everything from marketing campaigns, branding, social media as well as some Ops for their catering and events arm. I managed to finally apply for my Australian Permanent Residency right when COVID hit and, because I was no longer tied to a work visa, I finally got to decide what I really wanted to do.

Unfortunately at that time, because of the COVID and lockdown situation, the job market wasn’t in my favour at all and for 4 months, I was jobless and unable to land the Marketing role that I wanted. I decided to go for a temporary role as a Community and Office Manager role in a coworking space.

Two years later, I still work for the same company, I got promoted as the Head of Community and Culture at Workit Spaces. Within these two years, we opened a third coworking space, an in-house cafe, we launched a SaaS platform, a same day delivery service and we’ll soon open a fulfilment centre. We’ll also be launching in Melbourne and Brisbane by the end of this year. 

As the Community Lead, my role is to make sure we provide the necessary support and the best possible experience for our members, through onboarding, events, collaborative work, strategic workshops, etc. 

Overall, it has been a roller coaster ride, to say the least! But I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunity Workit has given me over the past two years. I absolutely love what I do and the people I work with and I’m glad I took that turn during lockdown!

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

I generally arrive at the hub around 8:00 AM. The space is quiet and I usually walk around and make sure that everything is tidy (this is probably a habit I got from Hospitality) and then I check-in with my team.

After that, I walk to my desk and go through my emails. Then, I generally have meetings with other team leaders (Sales, Technology, Finance and HR), tenants or potential partners. Then at lunchtime, the team usually all sits and eats together at our in-house cafe, Miscreants.

In the afternoon, I will have some focus time and plan future events, collaborations with members, improve processes, work on different ideas, etc. Then, I will probably have other meetings, either with the leadership team or 1:1 check-ins with the Community team. 

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

My role is not really suitable for remote working as it’s mostly an in-person job. It’s a lot easier to deal with on-site situations by being there and I actually love it. Sometimes, I work from home and I feel disconnected from what’s happening in the hubs. I love being on the ground and talking to either the team or our customers. 

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

Work-life balance for me means prioritising your happiness and health above everything. Once these two are impacted for a long period of time (by work), then something has to change. Life is too short to be unhappy, especially because of work.

There’s so much more to life than just work. For me, work should somehow be enjoyable (or rewarding) and should allow you to pursue what you enjoy in life, like travelling or purchasing your dream house. For me, I make sure I nurture my happiness (and health) by disconnecting whenever I can and doing what I love – being outdoors and enjoying the simple things in life.

Sounds cliche, but we made it possible by purchasing a small campervan and going away at least once every month. It was the best decision we made last year and we have been to so many beautiful places already. 

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

I have been eating a lot healthier, avoiding snacking all the time and trying to work out at least once a week.

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

Thrive by Arianna Huffington. Arianna is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, in this book, she talks about redefining success to include your well-being, balance and healthy view of working. 

The Diary Of A CEO with Steven Bartlett podcasts is great! 

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

Slack, and Canva are the tools I use the most. I also love my phone strap from Louve Collection (that serves as a cross-body handbag) – it is so useful when I walk around the coworking spaces. 

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

Melanie Perkins, the CEO of Canva.

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

It’s always good to have different perspectives on your work, from a colleague, manager or client. We tend to be hard on ourselves and it’s good to be reminded that we are doing the right thing!

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.