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Balancing the Grind with Jennifer Lecomber-Peace, HR Manager at Adzooma

Jennifer Lecomber-Peace is the HR Manager at Adzooma, an award-winning digital marketing platform that helps businesses of any size grow by making online marketing easy.

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

I’ve been working in HR for the last 10 years. I started my HR career in a retail company and gained lots of exposure to a broad spectrum of HR. I worked my way up, studying part-time whilst working, until I was ready for a step-up into HR management. In more recent years my career has seen me leading the HR agenda for UK tech companies.  

In my current role, I am the HR Manager for Adzooma – a tech scale-up which provides an all-in-one marketing platform that helps businesses of any size grow by making online marketing simple. 

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

Most days start with the biggest challenge of all – getting a 5 year old ready for school on time!

Once that challenge has been accomplished, I like to start the day by taking our cocker spaniel for a morning walk. I find my mood and productivity is always better when I’ve had that morning exercise. It also helps get my mind into gear to start the working day. 

One of the things I love about my profession is how varied it can be so the days can really differ. I only joined Adzooma 3 months ago so a lot of my time has been spent putting a HR business plan together and planning how we’re going to implement it.

Typically my days involve checking in with my team, taking the time to ask after their wellbeing and making sure priorities are clear and they feel appreciated. HR impacts all corners of the business so I also allow time for checking in with other departments and maintaining collaborative relationships wherever possible.

Then I can be working on anything from recruitment strategy, to engagement plans, to considering how we foster a development culture, how we can promote and encourage employee wellbeing, making sure we’re keeping up to date with legislation changes whilst also keeping an eye on the bigger picture to understand what’s going on in the world of work.

The day tends to get carved up into time for moving people’s projects forward and then time to make sure BAU activity is on track and keeping all the plates spinning. It can be really busy and varied but one of the great things I like about working at Adzooma is the genuine desire from our business leaders to have a strong focus on the people’s agenda, the company culture and making sure we’re offering a great environment for people to work in. 

Then I like to finish the day having already planned how I’m going to start the next. But inevitably, sometimes those plans have to go out the window. 

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

It allows for both and I love it! It means I have extra time in the morning and evening to spend with family and helps to make the morning less hectic. I also don’t have the pressure of having to be at my desk for a certain time. I can start work when I’m ready to. 

Additionally in the evenings, I don’t have to worry about the commute and have the time to plan for healthy meals, exercise or just some chill time too. 

It also means if I want to finish a little earlier one day to go see my daughter’s gymnastics class or for me to head to a yoga class, I can do that and just plan my working time around it. 

On the flipside when work is a little hectic or I just need to get something over the line, I can work what hours I need to in order to get the job done without being forced out of the office at 5pm. The flexibility works both ways. It really helps to create the time for both work and life.

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

I think it meant different things to me at different points in my life. I think the balance is always in a state of flux. Sometimes the balance tilts towards family and home life and sometimes it tilts towards work and career development. 

I believe that true work life balance is having the flexibility to be able to fit into this ever-changing dynamic. Working for a Company that understands this has helped me massively in achieving a better balance.

And personally, I’ve had to work at understanding that it’s always going to evolve. I’ve had to learn not to beat myself up for not being able to neatly divide work and life up evenly all the time. 

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

Well I joined Adzooma 3 months ago and transitioned into a flexible, remote role. Prior to that I commuted for 2-3 hours a day and had very rigid work hours. So no longer losing time to commute and having flexibility over when I work has really helped me invest more time into doing the things I love whilst being able to give my best to my job. 

I also gave up caffeine 9 months ago and it was one of the best things I ever did. The first couple of days felt horrendous but once you get past that it’s so great not to need caffeine in the morning anymore. 

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

I read a book recently by Emily Austin called Everyone in this Room will Someday be Dead. It was a really good read and although the title sounds a little morbid at first, I also found it quite liberating when I started to think about it differently.

As the saying goes, the only thing certain in life is death so we might as well get on with trying to enjoy our time here and caring less about what everyone else thinks.  

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

This is going to sound random but when I work from home I get really cold feet and I don’t think I am alone in this. So I have a couple of pairs of alpaca wool house socks. They’re a bit pricey for socks but definitely worth the investment. My feet have never felt a chill since. I recommend them for anyone who struggles with cold feet whilst working from home. 

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

Hmmm, probably Jacinda Ardern. I think she’s proven herself to be a really authentic leader who cares about her people. It’s refreshing in the world of politics. So I’d like to hear about how she balances anything and everything, not just work and life.   

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

It’s not for anyone else to tell you what your work-life balance should be, it’s different for everybody. Work out what’s important to you and do what’s right for you at the time.

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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.