AdNews launched the WFH Diaries, in the depths of the pandemic lockdowns, to chronicle the move to working from home. Now, with agencies returning to the office, we focus on the people who found new ways of working. Meet those who've switched their general physical work place, including the tree-changers and sea-changers.
Sharni Ames, Head of Solutions at Melbourne media agency Hatched.
Where have you moved from/to?
From Hawthorn overlooking the Melbourne CBD skyline to Hoddles Creek in the Upper Yarra Valley overlooking the Toolebewong mountain ranges.
Hatched was extremely supportive of the move. Through open and honest conversations about flex and suitability of coming into the office, we worked out which days made sense for me to stay in the Yarra Valley and work from home to focus and which days to be in the office to connect with staff and clients.
Mobile service is a real issue. I’m having to shift to more video conversations for clearer communications.
My husband quit his highly demanding job as a head physio at an AFL Club, so it’s been extremely rewarding to welcome him back into both my and the boys’ lives. This has been a huge shift in gears for us and the move has allowed Joel to now work three days a week at his private practice in Kew.
It’s rewarding to have weekends feel like weekends while we explore and celebrate the Yarra Valley. Mountain bike riding, river tubing, local markets, buying our meat straight off the farm, country local footy, hitting up a local winery for a cheeky chardonnay, having friends over for a bonfire. The weekends are really restorative and you come back to work feeling energised.
The rewards of being a part of a local grassroots community and the kids having a bigger sense of freedom to play, explore and run!
What does a typical day look like for you now?
A typical day starts with a mountain hike around 5.30 am with the sun coming up. I am home by 7 am to have a coffee and help the boys get ready for school, being at school drop off for hugs and the ability to be back at my desk for a 9 am start. Sometimes I allow time to do a yoga session over lunch. The days I do pick up the kids from school to greet them, and head down to swimming lessons, spending time with them and I typically get back into work later at night when the house is quiet and I can be productive and focus.
Before the move, it was a lot more hectic, with more driving and dropping off for school before school care to sit in 20+ minutes of traffic to be in the office with a coffee in hand. And then being in the office for the day until it was time to rush out and pick up the kids again from after school care.
Overall, the flexibility to be in the present and available to my family while flexing around the commitments of my job is the best of both worlds. Ultimately, everyone wins!
What advice would you give to others considering a similar move?
Joel and I really started by sitting down with our values and discussing what was important to us. We asked ourselves what kind of life we wanted to have for each other and our boys. And if you lead from your values, then it makes the choices (as hard or frightening as they might feel) so much easier to make.
We had a vision of what we wanted our lives to look and feel like. So, my advice would be to ask your heart and soul, how you truly want your life to look for you and your family, to really listen in and make choices from this place.
And to have the right specialists to help support you to help mitigate the feeling of what feels like “risk”. That part of your brain that wants to tell you all the reasons why it’s a bad idea, why it won't work out. We discussed our vision with our financial advisors, a buyers and sellers advocate and our family to help guide us to our goals.
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