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Balancing the Grind with Laura Hill, Managing Director, Australia at Sendle

Laura Hill is the Managing Director Australia at Sendle, Australia’s first and only 100% carbon neutral shipping service.

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

Certainly! I grew up in regional NSW and couldn’t wait to get to the big city once I completed my degree in Business and Communications. I first joined Channel Nine in the hay day, it was nothing short of amazing — the people, the partners, the product and the parties!

At the time I was also witnessing the digital disruption of the media industry and decided to make the move from television to Fairfax Digital, who were leading the charge in digital content at that point.

Since joining the digital landscape, I’ve never looked back. I absolutely loved the fast paced and constantly changing environment. No year was ever the same at Fairfax Digital and we were constantly being challenged and learning something new as the industry evolved. 

While working in digital I also saw the rise of online marketplaces and that sparked my passion for eCommerce. I then joined the rapidly growing Gumtree business — first leading their advertising division and then branching out to be responsible for all business monetisation as their Commercial Director.

I love everything about eCommerce and online marketplaces and realised at Gumtree just how important the delivery component is when making a successful transaction. No transaction is a success without a seamless delivery.

This led me to join 100% carbon neutral shipping company, Sendle in 2021 as VP of Partnerships, and most recently stepping up as the Managing Director for Sendle Australia. I’m so excited and energised by this opportunity, and look forward to leading the company as it enters its next phase of growth. 

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

Thursday is my favourite day of the week and generally my most busy and meeting heavy day. Since COVID started, my husband and I have started a ritual of a “brekky date” where we have breakfast somewhere, usually a local cafe, each Thursday morning. It’s the calm before the storm, both in terms of my usually busy work day, and living in a seaside town before all the weekend visitors turn up. It’s nice to stop and have this time together. 

After breakfast, it’s straight into a morning of calls to connect with my US colleagues followed by calls with our Australian team. With a global team, keeping communication lines open is super important and having regular calls so that our growing team feels connected. 

Towards the end of the day, as long as everything is going to plan, my husband and I love to go for an evening walk or a swim before cracking open a bottle of wine — after all, it’s Friday eve! 

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

Definitely! Sendle is a remote-first company. It’s a huge draw card to candidates, and means that we have a really flexible working environment, enabling our employees to work whenever suits them best. 

Working with a global team also means that sometimes your day might start earlier or end later, so having the flexibility to modify your schedule around this is really great, especially for creating a healthy work life balance.

For me, mornings are my prime time and when I feel most productive, so I love to wake up early and make the most of the day! Instead of rushing to the office in peak hour, I now always have time to exercise and never have that feeling of panic to get the bus and be in the city. It’s a much more enjoyable and energising way to start my day. 

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

Work life balance means different things to different people but for me it’s all about early mornings — it’s my favourite time of the day! It’s my time where there are very few disruptions. 

You never know what your day might bring so I love being up early. Typically that involves a morning run with my husband and dog, followed by a swim at the beach and then a coffee , all before 8am! If I can do this everyday and manage to sneak in an evening walk or swim post calls — I’m happy. There is no better way to clear my mind and boost my energy levels! 

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

I’ve always been a pretty structured and routine person, so much so that even my dog gets anxious when we haven’t done certain things by certain times. Without having to commute to the office, I’ve used this extra time in the morning to take better care of myself and cover off some personal tasks that normally would have been pushed to the bottom of the to-do list for weeks.

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

Personally, I love a good true crime podcast, and as the Treasurer of Kiama Community Radio, it would be remiss of me not to give our radio podcast a plug available where all good podcasts can be found! Although it’s rare for me to actually finish a book, when I do it’s usually a historical fiction on WW2. 

If you’re working in a global business like me, I highly recommend the book Culture Map by Erin Meyer. After years in media and ad tech, I still enjoy listening to Download This Show by Marc Fennell. It’s a weekly recap to the world of media, culture, and technology covering everything from social media, streaming services, and privacy issues.

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

In the light of remote working and video calls, excellent wi-fi is key and given my love for all things digital, the internet is definitely something I couldn’t live without.

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

This is a great question! I would love to read about Gladys Berejiklian and how she managed fires, COVID, floods, and COVID again while Premier of NSW. Would love to know how she approached balancing all of this and turning up everyday to run Australia’s biggest State during one of the most challenging times in living memory. 

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

You never regret a swim! Prioritise taking the time to do what gives you energy — whatever that may look like for you! Everyone is different.

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About Author

Balance the Grind is a work-life balance publication on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.