Taking flexible workplaces to the sticks!

…Arielle’s story about working for RedBalloon

I’m a city gal, well, a beach-city gal as you can’t exactly call growing up in Bondi a complete city way of life. I’ve spent over 2 decades working all over Sydney but have spent thousands of mornings and evenings on the beach and in the water which has always been my soul-food and has been a great way to nurture the work/life balance that Australia and ‘Best Employers’ like RedBalloon are all about.

Arielle Cruising

Arielle Cruising

I started at RedBalloon in 2007 and loved the office culture and village atmosphere in the neighbouring areas. Plus, having flexible hours meant that I could still start my days at the beach. But after five years of to-ing and fro-ing through the city and a good dose of life’s hardships outside of work, I decided what my soul really needed was a complete sea change and a break from Sydney – to ‘the sticks’ as I’ve often called anything outside of the Sydney radius! I had no idea how this would land with my employer and knew that in asking to be relocated I was risking losing my job as well as my sense of place and community, as I’ve never lived anywhere but Bondi for very long.

After a few months of discussions and negotiations, I finally settled in my beautiful new village – the sleepy sea-side town of Pottsville (Northern NSW) where I now do contract work for RedBalloon in a slightly revised role that suits both me and my team well. It’s amazing how connected and engaged to the business I still feel and this is in large part due to my team’s ‘rhythm’ and great use of technology which keeps me feeling close and included in the action.

Beautiful crisp morning at Potty

Beautiful crisp morning at Potty

Following my morning ritual of a cycle to the beach with my puppy Tama, the work day begins with a team ‘huddle’ where I am Skyped or Facetimed for a quick catch-up on the priorities for the day. If I have any burning questions throughout the day I just jump onto instant messenger or pick up the phone. Monday mornings I’m always included in the team meetings as well as the monthly company lunch again through Skype – I just have to make sure I’m eating at the same time as the team or my tummy rumbles!

I’ve been flown to Sydney a few times for training and meetings and have regular 1:1s with my manager to ensure I’m on track. I was recently invited to a team social night and company-wide team camp-out – both of which I can’t make but I so appreciate being invited. As well as still being included in our staff reward and recognition activities e.g. I recently hit a milestone and got to spin the ‘wheel of fortune’ last time I was in the office. A few days later I received my prize in the post which really put a smile on my face!

My peaceful work environment is so conducive to my role requirements and I never feel lonely – especially with Tama always by my side (and sometimes on my lap when I’m feeling really generous, but I can’t type as fast when he’s in this position so it doesn’t last long!)

The Home Office

My home office

Since living up here I’ve also added many new experiences to my long list which ensures I’m still living the RedBalloon ethos of enriching my life with meaningful experiences. Most importantly, I really feel trusted by my employer to do my job with integrity and this simply makes me want to give back to the organisation.

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