Getting the balance right

Director Mike Meredith reflects on a two-month sabbatical taken over summer 2018
Getting the balance right
Jan 18th 2019

I feel very fortunate to work with a bunch of great people in a stimulating, supportive culture.

So why am I telling you about how good it was being away from work? Why don’t I want to be there every waking minute?

Because it’s all about balance.

I spent two months over the summer of 2018 off work. It’s a privilege which everyone at 2020 can enjoy after working here for a while. There were three of us this year who chose to take it up.

How did I use the time? Doing everything… and nothing.

On the everything side, I made a go-kart with my son, baked cakes with windfall apples from our trees, learnt to sail (and how to hang off the side of a catamaran), wrote a diary, bungy jumped, rode a horse and read books. (I heartily recommend “A life’s music” by Alexi Makine). I played a bit of golf too.

Go-kart

On the nothing side, I drank coffee and watched people whilst letting days unfold. I rediscovered the value of sleeping well and long. With 60+ days, you can do a lot, it turns out. And not a lot.

Most importantly I did all these things with the most important people in my life – my family, my brothers, my close friends. We did it in some nice places (from Somerset to Paris, via Greece and – excitingly – New Zealand) and, yes, these places provided some awesome backdrops (like Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown) but it was the company which was priceless, not the views.

Whilst I was having fun and switching off from work, my colleagues were working as normal. Everyone was covering for my absence. Nothing was asked of me except that I was having a good time. I didn’t have a single worry or moment of stress on that front. I knew it was all in capable and committed hands. For that I am very grateful. As a result, I came back feeling energetic, enthused and looking forward to enabling others to enjoy their time off.

We do our best to look after each other here. We’re trying all the time to get the balance right – both individually, and as a community. After all, we only have one life, and everyone needs to ride the ebbs and the flows.

Mike Meredith is a Director at 2020 Delivery and leads our Performance Improvement practice.