Achieving Balance: Anna Cook, Director of Customer Service
‘So that I can be an involved mum and do my job well (including my commute) I work part-time, 4 days a week which I spread over 5.’
Hi Anna, tell us a bit more about your role at Sky
Working across 10 sites in the UK, India and Bulgaria, this brilliant team not only support and fix customer issues, they also help more customers get more from Sky, generating revenue for our business. And I get to be part of that.
How do you achieve balance in your life?
Balance is a daily challenge in an operational role but it’s important to me as I have a 6-year-old boy who loves his mum and misses me when I’m not around (and isn’t afraid to say it!) – oh and I live in Newcastle, which is quite far from Osterley and our service sites.
So that I can be an involved mum and do my job well (including my commute) I work part-time, 4 days a week which I spread over 5. I did this in my last role as Director of Internal Comms too, when my team and I were based in Osterley. It works for me as I can be away visiting sites at the start of the week and more often than not can do the school run every Thursday and Friday (something which makes my sons week!).
Flexibility is key to balance for me. In my world there’s no such thing as a standard week. Our service centres are always on and run 7 days a week so it’s important that I stay flexible. Sometimes I front loads the week with longer hours and overnight travel, or maybe I’m on the phone during swimming lessons and if I have 4 hours of Skype calls I’ll work from home.
What does success look like to you? Is there anything you’re particularly proud of?
Success to me is being a brilliant mum, being brilliant at what I do and making sure I’m around when people need me.
It’s also about bringing out the best and inspiring change in others. Yes there are weeks when you wish there were more hours in your day but that’s when you have to think harder, give other people opportunities to shine and question what’s really important each and every day.
I’m also proud to help challenge others’ views of what’s achievable being part-time. It’s not right for every role but with some different thinking there are usually ways to help bring flexibility to both senior and mid-level jobs.
Who inspires you?
My late mum is the most inspirational person I’ve ever met. Being a single-mum and with a disability she had a tough life yet every day she proved that “where there’s a will there’s a way” and that “anything is possible”. I can’t thank her enough for instilling in me positivity, drive and generosity to others.
This year the theme is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change” – what does this mean to you?
For me, it’s about all of us making targeted efforts to change the world for everyone. Worthwhile progress takes effort, determination and often sticking your neck out, but it’s worth it if things could be more equal for more people. Dream big, do good, feel good.
Don’t forget to enter our Better for Balance social competition: search #LifeatSky #BetterforBalance