Balancing the Grind with Grant Meyer, Managing Director – Asia Pacific at HireVue

Meet Grant Meyer, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at HireVue. In our chat, Grant walks us through his varied career path that’s taken him around the globe.

From being an organisational psychologist to leading HireVue in the APAC region, he’s got plenty of insights on juggling a high-powered job with family life and personal well-being. Grant talks about the art of balancing work and home, his morning routines for staying sharp, and how he fits in those precious moments with family amid a busy schedule.

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

My background is extremely varied not only by industry, but also by location. My most recent roles have been in the fields of general management, human resource management and consulting where I have provided consulting advice, business development expertise, and service delivery to senior levels of client organisations across multiple business sectors.

These roles have taken me around the world, from South Africa to New Zealand and now to Australia and the APAC market more broadly. 

Something not everyone knows about me is that I’m also a registered organisational psychologist. In my newly appointed role of APAC Managing Director at HireVue following the company’s acquisition of Modern Hire, this is particularly helpful and helps me see our hiring strategies through a science based as well as a business perspective.

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

Working for a global organisation requires flexible working hours to ensure I get time zone cross over with our US and EMEA offices. As I generally work from home, I usually start the day early (around 5:30 am – 6:00 am) reviewing emails and seeing where immediate action is required, especially if I need to communicate with US based colleagues while they are still online.

At around 7:30 am, I usually try to fit in some exercise in preparation for the start of the local business day. I find doing daily exercise – either going to the gym or for a bike ride – is really helpful in clearing my mind and being ready for the day. 

Then at around 8:30 am I’m back online to continue the work day as my colleagues in Australia start to log on. Most days I have a number of internal and external meetings so I try to spread them across the day. This allows me pockets of time to revisit emails where required, complete work assignments, and to deal with any new issues which may arise during the day.

While scheduled breaks are not always possible, spreading my meetings out gives me the flexibility to pop out to get a good coffee from my local cafe mid to late morning, which is always a welcome break and ‘reward’ for the early start. 

I don’t have a strict routine when it comes to lunch, and much like the rest of my day I like to keep it flexible. Some days I’ll take a walk outside and listen to an industry podcast, or some music. Other times I’ll opt for a working lunch, catching up on and pre-recorded meetings or training that I may have missed.

For the remainder of the day, I dedicate a solid block of time to administrative activities or client delivery work, ensuring my colleagues both in APAC and globally have everything they need to start and end their working days.

To me, family is everything. Once my wife is back from work and the kids are home from school, I like to catch up with them on the events of the day and sit down together to eat dinner as a family. 

Occasionally there might be cause for me to check-in with my colleagues in Asia before they finish up for the day or EMEA at the start of their day, but more often than not, you’ll catch me watching something sport-related on the TV to wind down after a long day.

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

The first thing that comes to mind when I consider work-life balance is doing both well. As much as I give 100 per cent in my role, I equally strive to emulate that deduction in my home life and I’m a true believer that with a little discipline, it can be done. 

My role is regional, so it often requires travel away from home. Over the years I’ve learnt to apply some structure to the way I work and allocate time in order to get this balance right. Working remotely has been a huge part of this. If I have to go away for a few days, what follows is a period of time where I’m at home, working flexibly, and spending time with my family when it works best for them.

I can work around their schedules to ensure our quality family time isn’t impacted. What’s more, I don’t have to commute to an office, which gives me back hours every week with my wife and children.

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?

I have made some changes, although like with any growth journey, they’re very much a work in progress. While I’ve worked hard to establish an exercise routine in the morning – and feel so much stronger mentally and physically as a result – being ‘healthy’ is multifaceted.

I’ve recently started paying more attention to my eating habits, consciously trying to consume the right food groups and nutrients at meal times to ensure I stay focussed and energised throughout the working day. I have used a variety of Apps to help with implementing exercise, eating and general healthy lifestyle plans. 

Having said that, the most important change I have made is being more structured in allocating my time evenly to work and my personal life – and being disciplined about it. While I am not normally a highly structured person, this discipline is important to ensure that I don’t slip into bad habits and I tend to spend more time on work related activities at the expense of everything else.

While I tend to use my free time for family, I have also been encouraged to have a bit of ‘me time’ where I am able to really focus on what I would like to do. This has resulted in me getting more time on the golf course this year, which has been fantastic.  

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?

There are so many resources available to help with establishing balance in your life. While I’ve dabbled in podcasts and apps, there is one resource I find you can never beat – people. 

I tend to learn best from speaking to others and find it helpful to source ideas from colleagues or clients on what they do in terms of getting the balance right between work, getting the necessary rest, exercise and healthy living habits to be effective in all aspects of life. That said, what works for one person may not work for another.

So, I listen, adopt the advice I think will work for my lifestyle, motivations and personality, and park the bits that won’t. It’s all trial and error. There is no such thing as a “perfect” work-life balance, only what tends to work for you.

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?

I feel the world of work has changed so much recently and the expectation to be available online all the time has resulted in many leaders falling into unhealthy work habits. Working from home has only exacerbated the situation as there is a tendency for employees to put in significantly longer hours, without leaving themselves appropriate time for breaks, exercise, and quality time with friends and family. 

To avoid entering into blurred lines territory, being structured and disciplined with your schedule is paramount. Block out time for regular brain breaks, exercise classes or even just 30 minutes to eat lunch with your partner or children. For me, my family is the most important aspect of my life, so while I do put time aside for exercise and fun activities, I tend to gauge whether my life is in balance by whether the dedication and focus I’m spending on my work is mirrored in my home life at any moment in time.

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.