Geraldine Nankervis is the Director at Camden Collective, as well as the Head of People & Culture at Render Networks.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started my professional career in agency and in-house recruitment before landing what I would say was a defining role in my career as a People & Culture Manager with a global digital media company where the leaders were authentically culture-first, allowed for creativity and big ideas and put HR right up there at the table despite the fact that I was early in my career when taking on that role.
I realised that supporting employee experiences was my passion, completed my Masters to get the HR qualification and I now work with companies supporting them with people & culture leadership and projects and am the Head of People & Culture at Render Networks, a global digital construction management scaleup.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
The day generally starts with wrangling a small child with a coffee in hand, preparing breakfast and getting ready to head to childcare and start the workday.
I work off several calendars, inboxes and messaging apps which I check the night before and my partner and I share the load and plan who has meetings and when they may impact childcare drop off and pick up. Working from home has really helped ease the sense of chaos.
Depending on my calendar, I’ll exercise before or during the workday and often chat to a friend in the same profession who is also doing the childcare run or who is on a break. We share ideas and it’s a good way to spend the time.
Working across several companies, I prioritise my time and I have a rhythm where I know what is important and where I need to be at certain times of the week. If I need to move meetings or re-prioritise, I make sure I’m communicating with as much notice as possible.
The beauty of my work is that I’ve worked with most of my clients for a long time, so we’re well versed in each other’s working styles and preferences.
As my work is both operational and project based, I’ll prioritise the operational work and internal team meetings during the day and actually enjoy completing project work at night when the emails are quiet and after my daughter has gone to bed. This isn’t for everyone but works for me currently.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I’ve intentionally shaped my work around flexibility as this is what’s most important to me right now while still being able to do the work that I love.
Render Networks, where I spend most of my time as the Head of People & Culture, is an outcomes driven business that allows for flexibility. We have employees who flex between part-time and full-time work to accommodate their studies and our executives are family-oriented that filters through the organisation. This has been especially important during the pandemic.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance is all about making choices that support what you need at the time.
Working in HR for 15 years, I’ve seen the huge impacts of when the balance is off and how this impacts mental health.
For me, while the work week can be sometimes chaotic, my laptop is closed on the weekend which is for spending time with family and friends and for rest.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I’d often walk and talk with peers and clients to get away from the screen time.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I’m currently listening to the audiobook, Utopia for Realists by Rutger Bregman which really flips how we’re doing things on its head.
The Dropout podcast about the Theranos story and trial of Elizabeth Holmes is so intriguing.
And I love Inventium’s How I Work podcast with Amantha Imber.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Xero, Slack and the Notes app on my Mac for lists.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Rutger Bregman – whether you agree with him or not, he’s thought provoking.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Communication solves everything.
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