HR & Culture / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Jacqui Bradler, Chief People Officer at Bondi Sands

Jacqui Bradler is the Chief People Officer at Bondi Sands, where she manages the people strategy and operations for a team of 50 across three continents.

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

As the Chief People Officer of Bondi Sands, I manage the people strategy and operations for the global business, striving to cultivate a happy, healthy, motivated team working together to achieve our objectives.

I’m so lucky to have watched the team grow from 2 employees to what is now a business of 50 spread across 3 continents. I’ve been working in the HR space for almost 18 years (eek) and love helping businesses and people grow.

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

Extremely fast-paced and varied as the sole HR person within the business.

Today I interviewed a number of candidates for a role in our American team, completed some reference checks, researched some new benefits, wrote a job advertisement, provided contract advice, and delivered internal training on our new online performance review system – it was a big day (even squeezed in a lunch break).

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

Well right now in Melbourne we are still in lockdown and have been working remotely for the last 6-months, as have our teams in LA and London.

This new norm will trigger a lot more flexible working requests and that is a positive change for work-life balance. Many of us work global hours, and have the flexibility to manage our own work hours which is great.

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

Work-life balance is vital to a happy and fulfilled life, as there is more to life than work and it’s important to ensure we balance it out with quality rest and play, and enjoy our friends and family.

A good job gives you purpose and fulfils our need to learn and be of service, but it’s important to have other outlets and learn other things in life – which in turn will add value to your character.

As a mother of two kids, work-life balance presents an interesting challenge as I work full-time. By getting involved in their activities e.g. coaching their netball team, and playing sport myself, I feel like I am getting the best of both worlds and getting the release I need after sitting down all day as an office worker.

I also make sure I factor in some time for socialising with friends and family, which is few and far between but quality over quantity right?

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

Our lives have changed so much in the last 7 months as a Melbournian that my fitness routine has converted to an old-school simple run of the local oval.

Normally I would play netball weekly, attend F45 classes, and hot yoga, which I love as I am a real social exerciser. Working out on my own has been challenging but I’ve taught myself to run, and being outside is so therapeutic. Hopefully it will be something I continue post-lockdown.

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

I subscribe to a number of HR newsletters but I particularly love Harvard Business Review for their take on the modern workplace and suggestions on people strategies.

I wish I had more time for podcasts, but when I do it’s always something on life tips and work-life balance. I really like Offline, by Alison Larsen Rice, as she offers inspiring advice through her interviews which can change your mind and life.

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

I’m not very tech savvy and since I use a laptop and phone all day for work, I really like to avoid tech in my downtime. My iPhone would get a good work-out and I do all of my shopping on it, which has changed my life (who needs to go to the shops anymore?!)

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

I do like Arianna Huffington’s Thrive blog, as I feel like she is a living example of someone who changed her life with some quality work and life habits.

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

My advice is for people to try and enforce some boundaries and to separate the two, as with technology enabling us to be accessible 24/7, the lines are now blurred and it’s hard to switch off, and this is very unhealthy and unbalanced.

I also implore people to put as much focus and attention on their life outside of work as they do their job – as this is what will lead to a full and happy life.

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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.