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Balancing the Grind with Dean Robinson, Managing Director at Versent Managed Services

Dean Robinson is the Managing Director at Versent Managed Services, an Australian technology company building solutions centred around AWS and best of breed technology.

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

I started my career working at an Australian based medical imaging company. There were approximately 20 employees when I started so I was one of the first hires.

I spent 10 years at the company working in technical support before I moved into management in the later years. I was also lucky enough that I got to travel, spending time in the UK, USA and Canada.  I learnt a lot about having to be dynamic whilst in this role.

After that, I went to NAB where I worked across the digital online channels, which included running internet banking, mobile banking, wholesale transactions and its website. Following that I went to JBWere for 18 months.

I joined Versent towards the end of 2016 so I’m approaching the five year mark. Since I joined the business, the managed services team has grown from a team of 4 to over 100 employees.

In my current position I am the managing director of the Versent Managed Services business. As part of my role, I am involved in everything from sales activities to managing financials, setting team structures to marketing and operations and vision and strategy.

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

Every day is very diverse and different. Using Friday as an example, my day started with 1-on-1 people coaching, followed by marketing exercises in which we discussed video content for the Managed Service division and two customer meetings.

The day ended with an hour-long session, which I ran with all the team leads, discussing business operations. The variety within my role means that things are always interesting. 

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

Yes absolutely. Versent has always offered flexible working, even pre-COVID. The way we operate and are set up as a business means that our employees can work from anywhere, all they need is an Internet connection. 

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

To me, work-life balance means getting enough downtime to start afresh each day. Taking time away from work allows for clarity which I think is really important. 

It can be so tempting to reply to that email on the weekend but sometimes you need to be strict with yourself in order to switch off. Scheduling blocks of time away from work, to disconnect or to reframe things, can do wonders. After all, as long as you’ve done what is needed for that day, there’s always tomorrow. 

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

During lockdown, I started a routine whereby I would go for a walk first thing in the morning. I really enjoy starting and finishing the day with exercise. I’m aiming to continue that habit even when I go back into the office. 

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

To be honest, I try to avoid inputs in my down time. For clarity of thought, when exercising, I try to disconnect.

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

I really like Strava. As well as following friends, the app allows you to follow professional athletes and Olympians. I follow a guy who competed for Australia in the Paralympics this year and I find his dedication inspiring. It’s incredible to be able to track and see the work that goes into the training for big sporting events such as the Olympics. 

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

I recently read an interview with Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, and it really resonated with me. He talked about how he structured his day by completing the tasks that require the most ‘brain power’ first.

My brain functions best first-thing in the morning, so like him, I try to set my tasks around that. 

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

In a world of working for home, ensure you maintain structure. Plan out your to-do list at the start and end of each day and think how you can close out the current day, around lunchtime, so you can finish work with the knowledge that there is always tomorrow. 

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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.