Chris Hall is the Head Of Marketing at FloodFlash, the first parametric flood insurance available to the mass market.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started out life in marketing agencies, learning my trade at Spark44 and Ogilvy, before moving to growth agency Forever Beta. I made the switch from agency to marketing department when I joined FloodFlash in 2019, where I’m now the Head of Marketing.
FloodFlash is a B2B insurance technology company specialising in commercial flood cover. Setting up the marketing function has been a real thrill and a fantastic learning experience. I couldn’t recommend it enough for those considering a similar career move.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Occasionally I’ll set up breakfast meetings with partners or colleagues – particularly our Commercial Director Brent. Otherwise it’s a bowl of cereal and a cup of coffee in the office kitchen on arrival (I’ll be in roughly 3 days a week).
After that I checked my email and set out my plans for the day before joining our morning department stand up at 9.15. I typically use the morning for meetings, when everyone is still awake and engaged. It’s roughly a 50:50 split between internal and external meetings – external would be our broker distribution partners, agencies, or press contacts.
I like to take lunch at 1PM which involves a walk to a local market. I like to end meals with something a little sweet and FloodFlash recently invested in a box of Star bars, potentially the worlds most underrated confection.
With a cup of builder’s tea and the chocolate in hand, I’m ready for the afternoon. This is the time I get most of the more detailed work done, whether that’s strategic thinking, research or writing content. The day ends around 6PM when I hit the tube to go home (unless it’s a Thursday – it’s very hard to walk past the Pride of Spitalfields pub when all your colleagues are beckoning).
When I get home, if motivated, I’ll do a workout from the Fiit app (which is fantastic, and included in our HR package) in the kitchen. If it’s my turn to do dinner, I’ll dust off the Gousto instructions before sitting down to eat with my wonderful fiance, Chelsie. In the evening it’s a combination of TV, video games, music or reading before hitting the hay (and doom scrolling for a bit) around 11PM.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
FloodFlash is fully flexible which is fantastic. I typically work in the office for three days a week, but the role also involves travel to brokers across the UK too. Being able to work from home helps with the parts of my life that I love – making time for exercise, rugby and (let’s be honest) lie-ins. Remote working is even more important for mundane things like being at home when a window needs to be replaced or when packages arrive. Life is just a bit easier.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me, it means that the stress of work does not impinge on time with friends and family. I went to a mental health training course recently and they described it as stress being like water filling a tank. You need outlets to release water to stop the tank overflowing.
You can deal with more water being poured in at different times provided that you have a corresponding release in the pressure. You might have an imbalance in one moment, whether that’s a campaign launch or a big event. That’s fine, provided you have a release soon after.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I have chronic eczema (which sounds more dramatic than it is). One of the key things that improved my wellbeing is getting on top of the treatment. I underwent a course of phototherapy which is a fancy way of saying medical sunbeds. It didn’t work for me, but it provided the impetus to better medicate and look after myself. My skin, and how I feel, is much better as a result.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I alternate between non-fiction for work and fiction for myself. I’m currently interspersing books about flood insurance with the Terry Pratchett Discworld series which is very witty escapism. If you want to feel a little better about the pandemic or global climate disaster than Doom by Niall Ferguson is a good place to start.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Lastpass is a very handy password manager – without it I wouldn’t be able to log in to anything which would dent my productivity somewhat.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
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