Balancing the Grind with Deepesh Banerji, SVP Technology in Product at Deputy

Deepesh Banerji is the SVP Technology in Product at Deputy, an all-in-one workforce management solution that simplifies employee scheduling, timesheets, tasking, and communication.

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

I’ve spent my career transforming businesses through innovation and a customer-focused lens. 

Currently, I lead the design, engineering, and product team, as the Senior Vice President of Technology and Product at Deputy. In my role at Deputy, I lead technical development and innovation for our platform, ensuring that we deliver the best user-experience to our customers. 

Deputy is changing the way people plan and manage their work life. Deputy automates tasks, lowers the costs associated with people management and keeps businesses compliant with evolving workplace laws.

Previously I was the Chief Product & Technology Officer at Australia’s first digital wallet, Beem It, a fintech startup joint venture between Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and NAB, where I led the development of the product.

I’ve also been the VP of Product at CBS, the iconic US media business, leading a 5 year turnaround in its digital sports division. Prior to that, I was a General Manager at Everyday Health, a health media business.

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

My daily routine usually consists of a morning coffee on route to work whilst checking Slack, Asana and my emails to plan out what lays ahead.

I’ll check in with a customer or two to gain feedback and see how we can help simplify shift work for them, or how Deputy can be better. It’s incredibly important for me to meet customers regularly. It brings another perspective to our leadership team and helps drive strategy and direction for the company.

I also take time out of my day to mentor individuals within the team and discuss feedback they’re receiving from customers, such as particular pain points they’ve flagged and opportunities to create solutions within the design of the product. 

While working from home I’ve taken up cooking lunch squeezing in a mid-day gym session, or a walk in a park. I also carved out time to pick up my kids from school at the end of the day. 

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

The way we all work has transformed over the past year. At Deputy, we have a flexible work approach and the option to come into the office or work from home.

For me, I like the balance. If we’re solving a complex problem that requires an internal brainstorming session and mental horsepower, I love being surrounded by my team and I tend to head into our Sydney office. 

If I’m taking early morning or late night meetings with customers across the globe, particularly in the US and UK, I’ll work from home.

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

A healthy work-life balance is all about flexibility and discipline.

Having flexibility in the hours I work helps on both a personal and professional front. It means, personally,  I have time to pick up my kids from school during the day, cook lunch from scratch rather than picking something up on the go, make a mid-day gym session, or even walk in a park. If it’s a busy day, it could be as simple as taking a 30-minute break and unplugging from work. 

From a professional perspective, it means getting my work done during the most productive hours of my day.

However, discipline is crucial. Discipline to have a mental “on-off switch” between work life and home life. And discipline on managing professional and personal life in a sustainable way that keeps the energy flowing and my mind and body healthy. 

To achieve this discipline, I schedule in all my life requirements – waking up early, gym, picking up kids, walking, lunch, reading time, or quiet deep work time — into my calendar, which is visible to my entire team. That way, I can lead by example and inspire them to invest in a healthy work-life balance as well. 

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

The increased adoption of flexible working has given me much more time to invest in my health and family — particularly as my commute is about an hour into the office. 

In the past 12 months, I’ve started venturing to the gym 3-4 times a week, I also get out and go on a morning bike ride 1-2 times a week, I’ll cook for my family 2-3 times a week, and pick my kids up from school at least 2 times a week. 

All of these increased health and family habits have personally made me more productive, more creative, and happier whilst working.

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

I love content about my craft — building technology and teams. 

My favourite books include, The Hard Thing About Hard Things, Crossing the Chasm, and Rework

Podcasts that I listen to include: How I Built This with Guy Raz, SaaStr with Jason Lemkin, Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman and Software Engineering Daily.

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

Apple Watch has been a game changer for my health. Get all the rings! It’s a super helpful way to make sure I’m staying active. I’ve also found I spend less time on my phone with the ability to glance at notifications as they pop on my watch.

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

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square, two transformative technology companies. I’m interested in how he balances his professional and personal life while running two tech companies.

He’s an active proponent for a disciplined routine on self-reflection, meditation, and thoughtful time away from work (including walking 5 miles every day to work and 2-week silent meditation retreats). I’d love to learn more about how he does it.

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

Easier said than done, but be disciplined and invest in your personal life needs in tandem with your work requirements. Schedule it like you would a work meeting! 

This could mean going for a quick 15-minute walk around the block, stepping out for a coffee break throughout the day or even going for a midday workout can make a huge difference to your mental and physical state.

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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.