HR & Culture / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Junlie Siegert, Head of HR and Sustainability at Mawson

Junlie Siegert is the Head of HR and Sustainability at Mawson, a digital infrastructure provider with multiple operations throughout the USA and Australia.

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

I originally started out in IT within the Tourism industry, was really unhappy spending the days talking to non-responsive machines and eventually discovered HR. I have been working within HR for more than 15 years across different industries.

I am very much a generalist and love every aspect of HR. Not too long ago, I joined Mawson Infrastructure Group Inc. which is an ESG focused bitcoin mining and digital asset company with operations across Australia and USA.

It’s an exciting role as Head of HR & Sustainability, based in the head office in Sydney and responsible for all things related to people, safety and sustainability for the group. We also have an office in the USA where some of the HR team are located.

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

My days start off usually at 6am, preparing school bags and lunches for my kids so it’s ready to go. If I have early meetings with the US, that’s when my workday begins and I tend to stay working from home for the rest of the day.

My days are varied, recently I have been doing some financial planning and analysis, developing/refining policies, and defining the HR strategy. I can then be doing some work related to sustainability or safety.

In between I would be talking to various people within and outside of the business. In a varied role like mine, I need to be flexible and be able to prioritise. I make sure I finish at a decent time – before I close my laptop, I check my diary for meetings and agenda for the next day.

If I’m working from home, I have the pleasure of having dinner with the family. If I’m in the office, I’ll go home and spend some time with the kids before the bedtime routine.

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

Yes we do have flexible and remote working for roles that can, which is very important as we talk to people in different locations and time zones. It’s very much up to the individual how they manage that.

We have a collegiate environment that is also very busy and in an industry that is dynamic, so we know what we need to do and are trusted to get it done. This works perfectly well for me, I usually have set days I go into the office but that can change depending on business or personal needs.

The benefit of working from home is the time I would usually spend commuting, can be spent on life admin or something a lot more productive than sitting in traffic.

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

For me it’s about being the best version of myself at work and at home. I try to achieve this by managing my time to ensure not one is sacrificed to the other. This was a steep learning curve when we were sent home during the pandemic.

The lines blurred between work and personal life and it took a while to break out of that cycle. So now it’s very important to me that I am ‘present’ once work finishes. I have to be very mindful, especially when at home with my family, that when I’m with them, I’m not checking my phone constantly or half listening when I ask my husband or kids how their day was.

As a full time working mum, the only way I can achieve this is really through time management. I rely heavily on my to-do list and calendar.

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

I started regularly doing mindfulness exercises. I underestimated the impact that even a 5 minute daily meditation can have on yourself. The clarity I gain and the ability to reflect is eye opening. 

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

These are one of the things that go by the wayside for me. I am currently re-reading Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – very slowly – and trying to implement what I’m reading into my life. I first read it early in my career, however this time around having had more experience, I have a different mindset so the learning is different. 

As an introvert I highly recommend books by Susan Cain such as Introvert Advantage

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

I always wear my Fitbit – having a sedentary job, I love that it buzzes me every hour to remind me to get up and move. This happens a lot more than I like it to. 

Spotify is also great – it keeps me sane during peak hour traffic!

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

Full time working parents in the emergency services – ER doctors/nurses/first responders. 

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

I’m not sure if one can achieve the perfect work-life balance. Work-life balance means different things to each person, so be kind to yourself. What works for others will not necessarily work for you. Try different strategies until you find one that suits you. 

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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.