Balancing the Grind with Bronwin Freke, Head of People & Culture at Midnight Health

Bronwin Freke is the Head of People & Culture at Midnight Health, a company on a mission to democratise healthcare through our patient centred digital platform.

Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?

I’ve been working in the HR Leadership space for a number of years, working with both large and small businesses to build and drive high performance and engaged workplace cultures. I have a particular passion for the tech industry, helping businesses to scale through purpose-driven workplace culture initiatives as well establishing coaching and leadership frameworks.

I’m currently working as Head of People & Culture for Midnight Health – a health tech business making patient-centred healthcare simple and accessible for all. We’re in an exciting growth phase and proud to be part of a passionate and innovative team!

We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?

Generally I like to do something active in the mornings 3 times a week, so it’s either going for a run or a PT session scheduled around getting my daughter ready for school. Depending on the day of the week, I’ll either be in the office or working from home as we value hybrid working and the benefits it brings.

Life in a business scaling up is busy! My days currently are scheduled around talking with candidates about our current job vacancies, providing advice on team structures, remuneration or job roles, HRIS management and reporting, leadership and development planning and helping to organise engagement activities. After the work day finishes, it’s dinner and unwinding with my family and a bit of couch time. 

Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?

One of the talks that has stuck with me very early in my HR career was about work/life integration rather than work/life balance. You can only achieve this by bringing your authentic self to work. There will be times where I need to see my daughter get an award at school during the day, and other times where there might be a tight deadline to meet at work.

My work is very much an important part of who I am, as is my family and other interests. Achieving the right balance between both work and home life requires constant planning, flexibility, review, trust and honesty with my management team at both home and work.

Change is constant, and it’s essential for growth. Have you made any lifestyle changes in the past year to improve your work-life balance?

After years of lockdowns, cancelled events and also being on-call often to manage the impacts of these on the workplace, I had let my fitness levels slide. Health and wellbeing is important to me, and as the Event Director of Kedron parkrun, I advocate in our local community for the importance of physical activity on our physical and mental well-being.

These past couple of months I have been much more intentional in prioritising this in my life by planning and setting aside time to get out and do a run or a walk a few times a week amongst the morning hustle. I’m lucky that our team at Midnight Health also values health and we have a run club and share together our successes in our fitness journeys. Finding like-minded people definitely helps your motivation! 

We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?

Work-wise – I love the work by Dr Jason Fox – particularly How to Lead a Quest: A Guide for Pioneering Leaders.

Fitness – I enjoy the social content by Ben Carpenter – he’s a no BS Fitness Trainer debunking a lot of the misinformation circulating on social media

Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Sometimes you may not get the work, family and life balance right, it’s important to not beat yourself up about it (because Mum guilt is real!), but get up, plan and go again! 

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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.