Remote Work

Flexibility & Structure: What 24 People Think About Remote & Flexible Working

Remote working isn’t going anywhere. In fact, the trend of companies letting employees work from anywhere in the world might just be on the upward.

The momentum is shifting towards more and more companies adopting remote and/or flexible arrangements in the workplace as they begin to recognise the benefits for themselves and employees, such as:

  • Less time spent commuting
  • Access to a wider pool of talent, outside of the company’s local area
  • Increased autonomy
  • Lower costs for office space

The more people we interview at Balance the Grind, the more we see remote and flexible working options becoming a staple in workplace culture.

Diana Nadebaum is the Chief People Officer at Opteon

“I feel that working flexibly is about making sure that your work and personal life are in harmony. My husband and I have an equal arrangement, where we both work long hours and travel as required, but we support each other.

Working from home, making sure I can get home in time for bath time as often as possible, not feeling bad about finishing something after dinner to ensures I can spend time with my family when it’s important.”

Read Diana’s interview here.

Alex Zaccaria is the Co-Founder of Melbourne-based startup Linktree

“Flexibility in the workplace is something that’s really important to us and a foundation of our work culture.

I sincerely believe that allowing your employees to work remotely and around their own schedules is empowering and sends a very clear message — we value you and your time, we trust you to get the work done and understand that you have your own life outside of our four walls.”

Read Alex’s interview here.

Isabella Hynes is the Founder & Director of Arch Rivals Marketing

“For the first 4 months I worked from home which was great a the start but soon the boundaries between personal and professional were becoming even more blurred and I decided to move into an ‘office space.’

Now based in a co-working space that was a natural next step! It offers flexibility, a sense of community and collaborative minds which are all great when it comes to building a business.”

Read Isabella’s interview here.

Stacey Bedford is the CEO of Bandzoogle

“When you work from home it’s important to create a routine and commit to it. That’s important for your own productivity, maintaining healthy lifestyle habits, and also to set a good example for your team. It’s easy to fall into bad habits when you work from home, and following a set routine is key to being an effective remote worker.”

Read Stacey’s interview here.

Erin Sing is the Director & Co-Founder at Modern Currency

“Mental health and wellbeing is something that I’m incredibly passionate about, so I really value the importance of having a fluid approach to work/life balance and doing what works for you, as we’re all different.

Some people struggle in the mornings but are on fire towards the end of the day, so that’s the kind of working day we give them. Others have to commute so they come in early and leave early to avoid the traffic. Some work from home once or twice a week to give them more balance.”

Read Erin’s interview here.

Chris Samios is the Partnerships Lead at Limepay

“I get to work remotely full-time. Having the flexibility is great, but its important to keep a structure for each day so you stay consistent for getting things done.

I have times though where I need to do errands like getting the tyres on the car replaced. It’s amazing to have the flexibility to get them done when it’s convenient for us and the tyre businesses. If I was working full-time from an office, I wouldn’t be able to do that.”

Read Chris’ interview here.

Alice Turnbull is the Event Manager at La Trobe University

“Whilst pregnant, I was provided with the opportunity to work from appointments and/or home, which provided me with the flexibility to work around my commitments and still hit crucial deadlines. I think that this level of flexibility actually made me work harder and appreciate my team and workplace more, with such a supportive work environment in place.”

Read Alice’s interview here.

Kalinda Atkinson is a Freelance Digital Marketer

“Having flexibility over my work environment has made me work smarter, harder and better.

9-5 office culture is all about employee presence and not necessarily about the quality (or quantity) of work. I think it’s totally counter-productive and believe a lot of businesses would benefit from a flexi-work policy. Or at least they could weed out the lazy ones that way.”

Read Kalinda’s interview here.

Jaime Nelson is the Managing Director – Strategy & Marketing Services at Hotwire

“At Hotwire, we take a more enlightened view of working practices and place great emphasis on ‘thoughtful working’. We are lucky to have the opportunity to work when and wherever we feel most productive – whether that is on site, at clients’ offices, or at home.

As a result, we are encouraged to be mindful of ourselves and others in the team, and to reflect on what best suits our needs and working styles. Whenever I need to block out time to write or focus on content reviews, I usually do opt to work from home.”

Read Jaime’s interview here.

Ashleigh McInnes is the Founder & Director of Papermill Media

“Within our office we encourage at least one ‘work from home’ day per month, and unlimited flexible hours. We have a number of mums in our team so we encourage an environment that works for them – whether it’s part time hours or flexible start or finish times, we want Papermill to fit into their lifestyle, not the other way around.

Personally, I try to work from home at least once a week, or sometimes most mornings in the week, especially when I need uninterrupted time to think through a strategy or crisis management response.”

Read Ashleigh’s interview here.

Simon Hipgrave is the Creative Director at letterpress and design studio Hungry Workshop

“Flexibility was a big reason for us to go into business for ourselves. We wanted to create a flexible working environment for ourselves and our teams to be able to spend time with their families and not be tied to their desks. I am able to work longer hours, remotely, and at home and take extra time off to spend with my two young boys, when needed.”

Read Simon’s interview here.

Desiree Garcia is a Senior Product Designer at Automattic

“Automattic is a distributed company, so flexibility and remote work is our default. It has enabled me to spend more time with my family without having to sacrifice side projects or self-care like I tended to do when I drove to an office. I am also able to put in longer hours though, because I’m in control of how and when.”

Read Desiree’s interview here.

Adrian Stewart is a Strategist and Copywriter at his own company, The Copy Mob

“For me, it’s all about having the freedom to work in a way that works for you. 9 to 5 five days a week is just one way of working. I don’t mind working evenings or weekends as long as I can balance it out.

I love having the freedom to do some shopping or life admin, or a friend is in town, I’ve got the flexibility to work around it. And if I want to go on holidays, I don’t have to go in the busy times just because that’s when annual leave is available.”

Read Adrian’s interview here.

Melanie Johnstone is the Strategy Director at Splendid Suggestions

“Most of us have young kids, as do many of our clients, so we just work around each other’s schedules, support each other where we can, and trust and respect that we’ll all find the time to deliver amazing results on our own terms.

I love being able to get the most out of my day without having to tackle traffic delays and commute frustrations. When things get really busy – which they often do – I put in the late nights and weekends, which is always recognised and appreciated, and it’s encouraged that I take a day or even an hour off here and there, so I can recharge.”

Read Melanie’s interview here.

Laura Wright is the Marketing & Incentive Experience Manager at EVT Incentive Marketing

“I am a firm believer that if you empower your employees within their role and responsibilities and they are passionate about what they do, achieving their objectives and delivering at a high standard with clear communication work can be produced anywhere! I am often travelling abroad and managing the same workload as when I am in the office – organisation is key!”

Read Laura’s interview here.

Amy Ward is the Managing Director & Principal Consultant at OTM

“We trust our team to do their best work and to deliver on promises no matter where they are located on a particular day. For me for example, this flexibility means that on certain days I can be at home in time to meet my kids when they get home from school. Or, on other days I can work at home if I need to be totally focussed on a task.”

Read Amy’s interview here.

Elizabeth Pek is a Freelance Product & Experience Design Consultant

“I’ve found over the years that being able to work flexibly and remotely is essential and brings out the best in me.

When I’m in the thick of writing documentation, designing a solution, or deep in analysis of customer data, I really need a different physical space (at home where it’s quiet and at early mornings) than when I’m seeking feedback on my work and collaborating with teams (usually best face-to-face during business hours).”

Read Elizabeth’s interview here.

Leanne Williams is the CEO of West Gippsland Libraries

“It means starting work early and finishing late so I can attend school events during the day. Or getting a few quiet working hours on the weekend so I can have a long lunch with a friend during the week. Part of being a CEO is to not only lead flexible working and family integration, but make sure my teams practice it as well.”

Read Leanne’s interview here.

Victoria Yelland Riddell is the National Advertising Manager at frankie press

“Working from home or remotely is a great way to understand how you work as an individual. I tend to work from the office when I’m collaborating with the team. I’m up in Sydney and interstate, and sometimes overseas for client facing work – so quite often I’m working on the go! Working remotely vs. in the office applies a different context and thinking to your job, and I feel lucky I can do both.”

Read Victoria’s interview here.

Kristen Mahler is the Senior Manager Strategic Marketing at Australia Post

“I’ll always work from home once a week. I find I get so much done when I do. My current manager is incredible and is a great believer of flexible working and allows her whole team to work remotely if we like. This is really important to me. It demonstrates the faith that she has in us.”

Read Kristen’s interview here.

Adam Griffin is the Director of Enterprise Sales at Automattic

“I treasure autonomy, because I produce my best work this way, so having the space to work when and how I see fit is immensely beneficial for my overall well being. That being said, you do have to strike a balance between autonomy and isolation.

It can be very depressing to work from home every day, so I have to make conscious efforts to still be an active participant in the world around me, which is why coffee shops tend to be my office of choice.”

Read Adam’s interview here.

Emma-Jane Granleese is the Founder & Managing Partner at History Will Be Kind

“What I’ve found as a business leader and mentor, is that it can be more challenging for more junior members in the team to embrace flexible working options.

For this reason, we’ve recently launched a new people-first approach around core hours, allowing two flexible hours daily – start early, leave early, start late, work lunch – the choice is yours. The aim – to ensure every member of the team is empowered to take advantage of flexible working daily.”

Read Emma-Jane’s interview here.

Sarah Fritz is the Founder & CEO at Yes Queen

“Flexible work life has allowed me to capitalise on my morning energy, I work solidly for 5 hours, with good intention and good hustle. In some corporate offices you are bound by 9-5:30 – but we are not ‘always on’ in those 8 hours. Getting all my work done in hours that work for me leaves room for reading, researching and planning in the afternoon.”

Read Sarah’s interview here.

Michelle Palmer is the Co-Founder & Director at Modern Currency

“All of our team members have the opportunity to work remotely and we offer very flexible working hours too. As a heavily female dominated industry, we realise it is crucial to offer flexibility and also because our population continues to spread out so we don’t want our team stressing about long journeys to work.

The key is good communication, respect and understanding and also ensuring we, and our client partners, appreciate that life is changing all the time and with this must come flexibility to ensure we have the best team working with us.”

Read Michelle’s interview here.

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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.