Balancing the Grind with Luke Shelley, Media & Visit Specialist at IKEA Group

Luke Shelley is an Australian-based Media & Visit Specialist at IKEA Group, working remotely for IKEA’s global headquarters in Sweden.

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

I have over 6 years of experience in marketing and communications across a number of different industries both here in Australia and overseas.

My side hustles include a freelance graphic design business focusing on working in the sports industry and a brand I have recently started on Instagram called Ball Made Me which aims to celebrate and elevate the basketball culture in Australia.

My current role is Media and Visit specialist working remotely for IKEA’s global headquarters in Sweden. My role consists of managing the strategy and content production for the @IKEAToday Instagram account, global media monitoring and reporting plus some additional content work with our other social media platforms.

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

My workday has changed drastically since COVID as since March I have been working 100% from home. A normal day for me normally includes a run or workout in the morning, a few hours of work with my day job, completing some errands.

Depending on the day I will sometimes have additional IKEA meetings of a night with the time difference between Australia and Sweden. When I have some free time after work I’ll do some design work for my own business or will be interviewing and creating content for my Ball Made Me channel.

As of late, I have also been building in time to read more and educate myself on things like financial literacy and the habits of successful people.

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

I am very lucky that IKEA has been very flexible with allowing me to set the working hours that best allow me to get my work done while still maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

The whole team at IKEA has been working from home for some time now so our team has needed to adapt and be quite flexible in our ways of working.

One such adjustment we have made is having a morning Fika (catch-up) every day at 8:15am Swedish time which gives the team an opportunity to catch up on either personal or work-related topics ensuring we don’t lose that social interaction within our team.

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

Work-life balance to me means being able to produce high-quality work while also having enough time to recharge the mind and body.

This is done with the use of open communication about workloads and expectations from both the employee and employer with an understanding of the importance of balancing work and personal life.

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

In the past 12 months, I have gone through a great deal of change. Moving back to Australia from Sweden, shifting to 100% remote working all while managing my own business and starting another brand.

I will focus more on the past 6 months as the three biggest changes I have made are:

  1. focusing on developing and educating myself in areas of successful habits and financial literacy
  2. developing my project and time management skills to be able to work more efficiently and better balance multiple projects
  3. focused on my eating and exercise habits.

In the past few months, I have been able to go from 93kgs to 85kgs. Running three times a week, exercising regularly, and watching what I eat has helped me drastically improve physically and mentally

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

I would highly recommend reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, I have just finished this and it is the book that has inspired me to learn what they don’t teach you in school about money and to become financially literate.

I have also just started reading Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. It is an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction.

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

Trello is an absolute lifesaver when it comes to managing my time and multiple projects. Working in social media, tools like Buffer are also a must-have for scheduling and reporting on social activity. The Adobe Creative Suite is something that I use on a daily basis and I am learning new things about it every day.

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

After starting his book I would say Matthew McConaughey, he has been able to achieve so much in his acting career while also pursuing other passions of his like the University of Texas and had some of the craziest, most bizarre life experiences I have heard of.

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

You will never have a perfect work-life balance, it is a constant pursuit to get better but that shouldn’t discourage you from getting started on this journey. It should inspire you because no matter where you start from it can always get better. You learn as you test and try new things so all you have to do is take the first step and get started.

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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.