Show cover of Work Life by Design

Work Life by Design

Work Life by Design will inspire you with stories of transformation, explore everything from organisational psychology to brand and identify opportunities that exist in your workplace environment to inspire human potential. As a passionate entrepreneur with a desire to create places where both people and business thrive my desire is to inspire you to find your place at work and in life. Whether you are an entrepreneur, an executive leader or passionate about people and their experience of work, this podcast will give you a dose of inspiration on how you can shake up your 9 to 5.


Off to Babyland! The Gift of Preparing a Business for a Baby
With only 2 weeks before we welcome our newest addition to the family, this isn’t quite the podcast episode that I had planned to be sharing with you back in January when I was mapping out this season’s episodes! I had planned to share with you how I’d snagged myself a Unicorn GM enabling me to sail off into babyland with my business baby in the best of hands, however that dream didn’t come to reality, despite the best of intentions…  When I found out I was pregnant, I jumped into action mode, tuning into podcasts to hear how others before me had restructured their business’s to accommodate a 2IC, the planning and training to feel like they could “let go” and enjoy those precious early months with their baby and I wanted that!  But alas, this episode is to give you a behind the scenes look into another scenario that can and did play out for me in my business, because I’m all about sharing the highs and the lows of business and what can and does happen.  To round out Season 4 of the podcast, as I take a break to enjoy those newborn cuddles, I want to leave with you a real account of preparing a business for a baby. We cover: The planning, recruitment, and promotion in the search of our Unicorn, including the challenges of finding “the right person” How remaining aligned to my intentions for this year and for this addition to our family set me on a different course to the one I would “normally” have embarked on How a shift in my own mindset created a gap in the business and shifted the goal posts How despite what we hear in the media, not everyone wants to step into that gap The opportunity that comes with change and vulnerable, honest conversations can lead to a new and improved business model The importance of taking a step back to reflect rather than diving into “fix it” mode The plan moving forward… This episode is a reminder that whilst not everything is always rainbows and unicorns, sometimes a situation, that on face value isn’t living up to the expectations you set, can turn out to be far more aligned with your bigger vision than you realised. Insta |
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39:38 05/03/2022
Three Key Ingredients in Creating a Thriving Workplace
Attending #IRL events again has to have been a highlight for me in the past month and the Thriving Workplace event did not disappoint! This event is unlike any other conference and was a deep 2 days of sharing ideas, experiences, and the opportunities to make our working lives more fulfilling for everyone.  Not only did I get to walk away from these two days with an overflowing cup, from the conversations, connections, and inspiration from those I shared it with, but I also expanded my personal perspective on what it takes to create a Thriving Workplace.  In today’s episode I’m sharing with you the three key themes that emerged for me from this gathering, the learnings that I am taking away to share with my clients and colleagues and the impact that these, sometimes small, shifts have made within the organisations that shared their stories.   One thing is for certain, creating a thriving workplace is a holistic endeavour that requires our organisations to share the responsibility and approach from a range of viewpoints to maximise the potential before us.   It requires conversation, policy change, shifts in language and mindset, openness to new possibilities, new routines, new rituals, and new behaviours.   This is just the start of a much broader conversation, that in many ways has been enabled by the pandemic.  The opportunity to re-examine what was, in order to create what could be.   I’d love to know what your organisation is already embracing and what opportunity you could take back into your workplace from these three key themes to see your workplace transform from the inside out. Melissa Marsden LinkedIn | Insta |
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27:12 04/26/2022
On the Couch with Dr Meg Hooper; Change, Hybrid Working, Energy Management and The Great Resignation
Creating organisational change at a grass roots level requires a lot of different skills, which is why I enjoy working alongside my friend and colleague Dr Meg Hooper to support the businesses and leaders that we work with.  Together, we do this from not just a physical perspective but also a psychological one.  With a shared passion for the impact and influence of space and place, Meg and I work in tandem to enable organisations to make positive shifts in their workplaces to enable high performance.  Today’s episode is a treat, to be able to share with you some of the conversations that we have about how our world of work is changing and the opportunity that this brings with it.  We cover everything from why change management needs to start early and the impact of a 1hr workshop on shifting mindsets, through to the science behind energy management and motivational theory, through to how this is contributing to the Great Resignation.  Meg is the Director & lead Psychologist of Carousel Consulting, specialists in Change Management and Organisational Transformation, she brings a science-based perspective to our conversations that I find enlightening and always walk away better for.  Meg and I can and do chat for hours, so we thought we’d share with you some of our conversations! And if you want more, pop back to Eps 44, where Meg and I explore the concept of designing work in a “choose your own adventure style”. Dr Meg Hooper  LinkedIn | Website  Melissa Marsden LinkedIn | Insta |
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33:35 04/18/2022
How Well Is Your Workplace? The impact that the WELL Building framework can have on your business ROI with Ken-Yi Fong
The demand for workplaces that respond to the health and wellbeing of its occupants has exponentially increased off the back of the global pandemic, driving a need for organisations and landlords alike to deliver on a more holistic approach to building design and construction.  Whilst in the past the adoption of healthy building practices may have been more aligned to market positioning and differentiation, potentially viewed as more tokenistic approaches to wellbeing, today we can attribute the investment in these avenues to substantial uplifts in employee performance and productivity, delivering ROI to businesses. And this is where my guest today has seen a huge shift in the way we approach the design of our buildings and spaces through his involvement with the Well Building Institute.   Ken-Yi Fong is one of the leading healthy building design and acoustic experts in Australia.  Ken has an impressive list of accreditations and affiliations that have seen him become a WELL Accredited Professional and then appointed to the WELL Global Advisory Board and member of the WELL Faculty.  Ken is all about amplifying the impact of people and organisations using Health, Wellbeing and Wellness as their secret weapon! He leads the Healthy Buildings & Communities work in Arup Melbourne, where he supports the Property sector to achieve greater commercial outcomes (faster leasing, higher premiums on saleable assets, stronger organisational engagement, etc) by leveraging the Healthy Buildings Frameworks Ken has a deep passion in helping families and individuals amplify their impact in all spheres of life. He achieves this by coaching and education in the fields of healthy buildings/spaces, habit formation, productivity, and holistic health coaching. He is also an amateur bio-hacker and crypto enthusiast.  This is a fascinating conversation that explores what the WELL Building Institute & WELL Building Standards are, but more importantly the impact that the concepts and frameworks that form this standard have on our people and the direct impact of that on our businesses.   For many of the organisations that I work with there is a genuine interest in developing solid health & wellbeing initiatives for their employees, however applying this to the built environment can sometimes seem rather ethereal and not directly applicable.  This conversation will change your perspective on this and provide you with some tangible stats that will enable a more robust conversation around the boardroom table, to elevate the need to adopt a healthier approach to the design and fit out of your next workplace.   Ken also leaves us with an insight into how he has designed his own work life, that truly resonated with my own views.  So, lets jump on in!  Links Ken-Yi Fong LinkedIn | Website Stok Paper Leesman Index Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Website | Work Life Lounge
56:43 04/11/2022
Designing for Social Capital
Data provides knowledge, and with knowledge comes insight and wisdom.   But... you need to know what to do with it…  The conversation about returning to the workplace continues and what you may not know is that all the data that you need to leverage your environment and create an experience that employees WANT to return for lies within your very 4 walls!  The challenge is working out how to unlock it and what to do with it! In today’s episode we’ll recap on the 5 pillars that underpin the workplace dynamics in your organisation and how these pillars form the foundation for creating your employee experience at work.  When unlocked, these pillars enable your workplace to become a beacon for your employees, one that draws them in, connecting to their hearts and minds, to build the social capital in your business.   This social capital is built on a platform that comes from our human need for connection, our need to belong and to establish community, much of which requires us to be within physical proximity [I’ll share some neuroscience that backs this up!]. But transformation doesn’t come without struggle, So, I’ll also share with you ways that you can guide your employees through this change, addressing their concerns, meeting them where they are at, and bringing them on the journey to create a workplace that delivers an “experience”, from which everyone will THRIVE! LINKS Workplace Dynamics Blueprint Work Life Lounge Website Insta 
26:48 04/04/2022
Why you need a Coach... and I do too! With Tina Tower, Michelle Broadbent, and Amber Hawken
Today’s episode is a bit of a sneak peek behind the curtains of my own work life… today I am going to be introducing you to three amazing and very different women who I’ve got in my corner.  Over the past 12 years, I have worked with coaches in various capacities to support my continued learning, professional and personal development.  These coaches have ranged in style from pure business coaches to NLP and life coaches, through to mindset coaches and the more holistic and what I would describe as spiritual coaches.   Each has supported me at a different phase and season of my life to navigate a challenge, uplevel my skills or help me focus on bringing my A Game in the area of my work or life that I’ve needed at that time.  Let’s face it, the past two years have been a total shit show and if I’m honest, so has been my mindset and the state of my business at times, which is why in the past 2 years I have been working with not 1, but 3 coaches to support me in the various aspects of my life and work.  And today, I’m going to introduce you to these amazing women who have got my back! Tina Tower, Michelle Broadbent & Amber Hawken.  In today’s conversation, we are covering everything from  Why you would want a coach How coaches have supported them to get to where they are today What to look for when hiring a coach The various models of coaching and how to decide what’s right for you Plus, they answer the question “Do coaches have coaches?” I’m hoping that after this episode that if you are feeling like it’s time to level up in your business or career, that you’re feeling a little stagnant and are looking for your next challenge or that you just need someone to keep you accountable, that this will be the little kick in the backside that you needed, to go seek out your own coach and prepare to take great leaps forward!  BIOs Tina Tower started her first business at age 20, a small tutoring centre and educational toy store that over 5 years she transformed into a franchise of 35 Begin Bright centres employing 120 staff.   After the franchise was acquired in 2016, she started coaching other service-based business owners only to find herself constantly repeating herself, which led her to the world of online coaching.   Today Tina has run several online programs, however, her game-changer has been Her Empire Builder, which I am fortunate to be part of!  Her Empire Builder is a membership program supporting female entrepreneurs to establish and grow their online businesses.  She is on a mission to help 100 women build a $1million a year business by 2025. Tina has been instrumental in helping me navigate the online business world, which I can tell you is a massive shift from the world of bricks and mortar businesses!  Michelle Broadbent is a business strategist with a 20-year career as a trusted advisor to female entrepreneurs across a vast array of industries.  I have observed Michelle from afar for a few years before finding myself with direct access to her through Tina’s HEB program, where I promptly jumped on her services with a desperate plea for help as I navigated my way out of the downturn resulting from COVID.   Michelle has been a realistic voice of reason, offering practical solutions and operational support to cut through the overwhelm and help me stay focused on what really matters! Amber Hawken, you may be familiar with as one of my very first guests on the podcast back in Episode 4, Transforming Leadership with a Calm Mind, which was actually how I met Amber!  It was after this episode that I said, “I need to work with you!” and here we are today! I affectionately refer to Amber as my “woo woo” coach as her teachings, perspectives and lessons go far deeper into the fibres of our being. As Amber describes, she has been working with humans for more than a decade and reverences our natural ability to emotionally and mentally self-heal and spiritually actualise.   Starting out her career as a radiation therapist, she transitioned away from the industry in 2012 and has since explored ancient cultures, different dimensions and bridged east and west. With a pragmatic mind and a country girl spirit, she has a unique blend of practical and down to earth approaches to the arena of therapy, embodied healing, integration, energy, and consciousness.   LINKS  Tina Tower  Instagram @tina_tower Michelle Broadbent  Instagram @michbroadbent Amber Hawken  Instagram @amber_hawken Mel Marsden  Insta
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60:14 03/28/2022
Why the 9 to 5 Doesn't Work! The History of Work
Did you know that the Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 workday was established by Henry Ford in the 1920’s? Seems to me that a lot has changed since the days we stood over factory lines, yet we still subscribe to the same working rituals. Many of us, prior to the Pandemic, never even stopped to consider why it is that we work the way that we do or that there was even another option to be considered.   There has been a silver lining that has shone through the pandemic, one that has awoken us to the outdated work rhythms and structures that no longer work for us. We have been exposed to our conditioned thinking, our acceptance of “this is how it’s always been done,” and forced to recognise that there are other ways, and they can work.  In today’s episode, I’m taking you on a short history lesson of “work”, how the 9 to 5 came to be and why it no longer works for us on so many levels.  We’ll discuss the two main things that I believe have arisen out of this “awakening” and we dive deeper into the aspect of individualisation and designing our work lives to work for US and our families.  We explore chronotypes, the rise of the gig economy, the elusive pursuit of work life balance, asynchronous working, plus the sea change/tree change that many have embraced with “work from anywhere” policies.   This episode invites you to take this opportunity to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and identify where your current work ritual and routine may not be supporting you and your productivity and reimagine a new way forward.   Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Website | Work Life Lounge
19:22 03/21/2022
The Foundations of High Performance: Translating the Secrets of Elite Athletes Into the Boardroom
Imagine this… You’re on a business retreat and as part of the “surprise & delight” culture, you’re being driven to an undisclosed location for your next activity. You arrive at a local swimming pool where you are taken into a classroom and you begin to learn about the physiology and biology of breathing, the impact that is has on the performance and function of our physical body.  You’re shown how different breathing methods influence the amount of oxygen in your blood, how many breaths you can take and how simply changing the way you breath using different techniques can change the way you feel in your body.  The next thing we are in the pool, practicing various breathing techniques as we swim from one side to the other with a single breath, elevating our heart rates and then doing it again experiencing that feeling in your chest, of the pressure building, of so desperately wanting to take a breath but pushing through…. I continue to progressively push myself physically out of my comfort zone over the course of a few hours – to the point that if I was a surfer, I could survive a wipe out. What was happening right there in that pool, was that I was being shown how with the use of my breathe, my mindset and practiced techniques, I could continue to push myself beyond what I would have previously considered my physical limits, and to demonstrate to myself that I am capable of more than I thought, with the right tools.   This whole experience was led by today’s guest, Nam Baldwin. I was fascinated by this session and the work that Nam does, and how he has translated his experience of working with elite athletes to working with some our top business executives.   Nam has an impressive client list that includes, Mick Fanning, Steph Gilmore, Pat Rafter, AFL’s Richmond Tigers, NRL’s Sydney Roosters plus Olympic Athletes and World Champions. And he’s also the best kept secret of some of our top 1% business leaders…  Nam has a gift for simplifying the complicated science behind brain and body performance, & delivering it in life-changing, digestible sessions, creating proven successes and powerful outcomes across all scenarios. In today’s episode we get into: How the techniques that he taught us in the pool translate into the boardroom The power of the breath and why such a simple thing can be so powerful His definition of performance and why it’s not about going harder for longer Why a foundation of personal wellbeing is so important for our own performance Managing good stress and bad stress As well as How our own sense of identity and purpose contributes to our overall wellbeing, resilience, and prioritisation of what’s important Nam has a way of explaining things in a way that make sense and you can take away and implement into your daily life.  NAM Baldwin  Website Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Website | Work Life Lounge
56:00 03/15/2022
The Power of Environment
Our environments have a HUGE impact on how we feel. This is the whole business that I’m in, designing and delivering workplaces that enable the strategic goals, vision and operational performance of a business.  But it’s not just limited to our corporate workplaces. When you apply that same philosophy to any environment around you, consider what it is enabling?  How does your environment make you feel? Different spaces invoke different feelings and shift our ability to concentrate, collaborate or be creative. But it’s not just our physical environment that we need to be conscious of….  In today’s episode I’m sharing with you 5 ways that our environment influences us and our sense of Calm and what you can do to use your space to regain your sense of Calm each day.   We explore; How your physical space influences your energy, your ability to focus and to be creative and how to choose wisely The impact of getting outside into nature and how as little as 40 secs can make a difference The additional mental load that a messy space has on your cognitive load and how to clear it How to use ALL our senses to instil calm in our environment How our internal environment is just as important as our external  This episode is a little insight into the recent 5 Days from Chaos to Calm challenge, I hosted, where over 5 days I share with you daily microhabits to integrate into your daily life to regain your calm.   If you enjoyed this episode and want to experience the whole 5 days of Calm, head over to the website, where you can still join the Challenge.  Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Website
33:17 03/07/2022
Work, Life & Mumming – Avoiding overwhelm, burnout and not taking yourself too seriously! With Dr Kristy Goodwin, Angela Lockwood & Dr Ali Young
We've all been through a LOT the past 2 years and sometimes it can feel like it's only happening to us!  We can sometimes feel like we are living in the middle of a total sh*t show, while Sally over the fence has it all together..... I'm super excited about today's episode because I have brought together three very special ladies Dr Kristy Goodwin, Angela Lockwood and Dr Alison Young in a panel-style discussion, exploring overwhelm, burnout and how we can put boundaries in place to support ourselves when we're navigating "all the things"  Each of these women are total rock stars in their own right, you can learn a little more about them below!  I wanted to hear what they are observing in the people they are supporting, to help draw back the curtain a little and enable us all to realise, that it's not just happening to us, we aren't alone. In this episode they cover: Their personal experiences over the past 2 years Some funny anecdotes about working from home and lock down life Triggers we should be keeping our eye on Ways we can shift ourselves out of a triggered state, regain our sanity and put the handbrake on burnout I loved this conversation and knew it was going to be a great episode to record. What else would you expect by putting 4 women together talking business, burnout and motherhood!     You may have heard Dr Kristy on the podcast before, way back at Eps 17! Kristy translates the science of digital productivity and wellbeing into realistic strategies so individuals can achieve peak performance in a digital world. She's a professional speak, a researcher, an author and a mum of 3 young boys!  Angela is Australia's leading authority on creating calm classrooms, kids and families. She's the Founder of Educate Therapy, a consulting practice bridging the gap between the health and education systems, the author of two books on creating calm, "The Power of Conscious Choice" and "Switch Off" and the host of "A Kid's Life" podcast. She's also a mum of 2!  And last but not least we have gorgeous Dr Ali, who is a chiropractor on a mission to help working mums reclaim their health and rebalance their hearts to overcome burnout, exhaustion and fatigue. As a recovered burnt-out mother herself, she understands the fine line that exists between vitality and doing everything too often. Ali's first book is coming out in April to help all mums step into their light and shine brightly. She's also a mum of 2! Links Dr Kristy Goodwin Website Hybrid Working Whitepaper Instagram @drkristy Angela Lockwood Website Instagram @angelalockwood_ Check out her Parent Masterclasses  Dr Ali Young Website Instagram @dr.aliyoung  Her new book “Work.Mama.Life” is coming out April 2022 Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook
48:46 02/28/2022
What’s Happening in Workplaces? Are We in or Are We Out?
One of the questions that I am asked a lot is  “What are you seeing happening in workplaces?  Are we working from home, going hybrid or is it just back to Business as Usual?” So as someone who has the privilege of seeing how various organisations are navigating the challenges and opportunities that come with our new world of work, I thought I’d share with you exactly what I see happening. Firstly, I want to give you my definition of Hybrid work, what it is and how it enables organisations before diving into answering the questions I get; How are different organisations approaching the design and use of their workplace? Is it differing by state? How are different organisations adopting a hybrid approach? What are the opportunities and challenges? And finally if you are thinking about how to transform your workplace in the future, a few things for you to consider. If you’re keen to learn more, come and join me at the Thriving Workplaces conference in Sydney 30 March – 1 April, I’ll be hosting a 3 hour workshop covering my Workplace Dynamics Blueprint and empowering you to transform your workplace from the inside out.  The Key Takeaways; How to identify the core challenges that organisations face moving forward Strategies to unlock the data in your organisation to optimise your workplace for your people The tools to engage at all levels of your organisation to optimise your future of work. Or join the FREE 5 Day Workplace Challenge where over 5 days I share with you some of the tools you can use to understand your organisation better and implement positive change. Or dive straight into the Workplace Dynamics Blueprint Program.   Want to support your team in Working From Home… check out the Work From EDITION  Want to chat?  Book a 15min Call with Me  Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook
36:07 02/22/2022
Boundaries & the Path to Self Acceptance with Dr Rebecca Ray
With everything that we have been navigating over the past 2 years, boundaries, or more correctly “lack of boundaries” has become one of the most common topics of conversations, amongst friends, colleagues, clients and within our Work Life Lounge community.   With the Blurring of work life and home life as we’ve juggled working from home, home schooling and the uncertainty of life around us, boundaries are an area that many of us have referred to as needing to be better, stronger or even established.  Today’s guest is Dr Rebecca Ray, a Clinical Psychologist, Author and Speaker. She uses a science-backed, heart and hard truth approach to help big-picture-thinking women and creators live a life that’s fulfilling, unapologetic, and free. Rebecca has been a Clinical Psychologist for the best part of two decades. She is also the author of multiple books including Setting Boundaries and the Host of Podcast Hello Rebecca Ray.  Rebecca joins me in this episode to discuss; What we are actually saying when we say we need “better boundaries” Why we find it difficult to put boundaries in place The internal challenge that comes from identifying a need for a boundary The conflict that eventually simmers up for us when we aren’t true t our boundaries How setting boundaries starts with a path to self acceptance A simple way for us to express our boundaries in a non-confrontational way that opens communication  This is a timely conversation for so many of us. Enjoy this chat with Rebecca Ray!  If you want to learn more from Rebecca, be sure to join us in the Work Life Lounge for her upcoming Masterclass.  Heal Your Boundaries: The Path to Personal Empowerment is a transformative masterclass designed to show you the keys to unblocking your capacity to set and keep empowered boundaries. In this masterclass, you’ll discover: The role your unconscious plays in stopping you from setting boundaries (or causing your boundaries to disconnect you from others) Who your Inner Leader is and why you need to be in touch with them every day How to navigate your unconscious and conscious experience to heal your boundaries Connect with Dr Rebecca Ray; Website =  Instagram = @drrebbecaray Book = Setting Boundaries Podcast = Hello Rebecca Ray Work Life Lounge  Chaos to Calm Challenge Live a Life by Design Program Setting you Up for Success Webinar  
44:13 02/15/2022
Work With Me!
If you’ve been following me or this Podcast for a while, you’ll know that I’m passionate about transformation; both in life and in work. Making real change in the lives of people, and the organisations in which they work is truly what lights me up.  This has come about because I have spent much of my adult life working on my own transformation. Everything that I am sharing with you here is all about the things that I have learned to improve myself as a human being, as a mother, as a wife, as a friend, as a leader, as a business owner, but also then how I can create better workplace environments for the clients that I engage with.  In this episode, I am sharing with you all the ways you can work with me both personally and professionally so I can support you to do the same. Whether it’s aligning your actions through understanding your values, purpose and rhythms, or reimagining and transforming your workplace to make the most of your space, boost employee experience and make a real difference to your bottom line.   Visit the links below to view the programs and workshops I have available to support you, and get a better understanding of how these transformations will benefit your work and life.   I hope to hear from you soon!    LINKS  Work Life Lounge  Live a Life by Design  Work With Me  Workplace Dynamics Blueprint - program  Workplace Dynamics Blueprint - COMUNiTI  COMUNiTI  Website  Email me!  Book a 15min call 
30:21 02/08/2022
5 Steps to Dissolving Overwhelm
I don’t know about you, but it feels like this year has started at full speed! At COMUNiTI, we’ve hit the ground running and completely bypassed the Christmas/January slow down. Given the last few years, I’m certainly not complaining, although, I’m conscious of ensuring that I manage everything I need to whilst protecting myself from burnout and overwhelm. With school being pushed out by 2 weeks (thanks Qld!) and no extended vacation care, I certainly have a juggle on my hands to manage my kids, projects, workload, not to mention future proofing for when I have my baby in May! The mental load can be heavy and it’s easy for overwhelm to creep in, so in this episode I list my favourite ways to manage this to protect your energy; physical, spiritual and mental, to ensure you stay on track.  I cover; My 5 steps for battling overwhelm How setting your goals for the year helps realign when things seem too much Why putting on your own oxygen mask first is essential Setting you up for success for the year ahead I hope this episode provides you with some strategies to keep your energy lifted and your wellbeing front-of-mind to get your year started right. Don't forget to sign up for the Work Life Lounge because in the next Masterclass, I’ll be taking you through my whole process for planning and goalsetting, along with all the strategies and resources you’ll need to set yourself up and stick to it.  Join me on February 10 at 10am AEST to set your intentions and map out your 2022! Essential Oil:
25:40 02/01/2022
Designing Spaciousness in 2022
It's 2022 and so far, it’s been new year, same virus 😐  But a new year awaits us, and it’s how we purposefully and intentionally step into that year to achieve what we want that matters.   Every year I spend a couple of days planning out the year ahead; what I want to achieve and where I want to focus my precious energy. Last year was the year I began to walk my own path and shrugged off notions of success of others that I had been carrying around and trying to live up to.  But I’ll be honest; at the end of 2021, I was drained and completely exhausted.  So, this year I have mapped out my activities and intentions but designed a way to achieve my goals without completely depleting all my energy.   In this episode, I cover;    My process for establishing focus and intentions for the year ahead.   How I was able to look forward by looking back  Understanding self-care, protection and boundaries  Why I fell out of love with goal setting  Doing more with less  My ‘word’ for 2022 and why it resonates  Unpacking intentions and my 5 intentions for the year ahead.      I hope you enjoy this episode and find motivation to step into the new year with purpose and intention, as well as a focus for looking after your energy and wellbeing as we continue to live in difficult environments.   Don't forget to sign up for the Work Life Lounge because in the next Masterclass, I’ll be taking you through my whole process for planning and goal setting, along with all the strategies and resources you’ll need to set yourself up and stick to it.  Join me on February 10 at 10am AEST to set your intentions and map out your 2022! 
30:16 01/25/2022
Season 3 wrap up: what it takes to design a work life you love!
This whole season has been about designing a work life that you love; and when we move forward into a new year which will no doubt hold its own unique opportunities and challenges, I want to leave you with a highlight reel of important learnings to allow you to step consciously into 2022. In our final episode for Season 3, I’ll be recapping the most valuable takeaways from our amazing array of guests to allow you to go back and relisten to episodes to provide you with tools and inspiration for the year ahead. I’ll cover The learnings and a-ha moments under three common threads of self-awareness, personal agency and rest & recovery The rituals and routines this season’s guests shared that help them design their ideal work life Tips and tools to help you move forward consciously into 2022. I want to say a huge thank you to all of our guests this season, for their generosity of time and their knowledge and for being able to contribute all of this valuable information for all of us to take away and implement in our own lives. And a big, big thank you to you for continuing to tune in each and every week and your ongoing support. I wish you and your families a magical and restful Christmas. And I look forward to being back here with you in 2022 with a whole new season of the Work Life by Design podcast! Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook North Star Download Work Life Lounge
29:08 12/14/2021
Building A Better Tomorrow Today – Work Built On A Foundation of Care with Dr Gary Webb, Mars Inc.
You probably know the name Mars Inc best for providing our favourite treats; Mars Bars, Snickers, Skittles, Malteasers, M&M’s (I could go on and on!). But what you may not know is Mars Inc. is at the forefront of holistic employee health and wellbeing, making it one of the World’s Great Places to Work. With 130,000 Associates, operating in 80 countries across the Globe, as a private, family-owned business, Mars Inc is motivated by the freedom to build a better tomorrow today. At the core of this is their understanding that the health and wellbeing of their associates [how they refer to their employees] is what really matters to see this happen. Today’s guest is Dr Gary Webb, Mars Inc.’s Regional Health and Wellbeing Manager for Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa as well as a member of the Mars Inc Global Health & Wellbeing Centre of Excellence and Leadership team. A former consultant to the World Health Organisation [WHO] Gary has 20 years’ experience in workplace health across Australia and the global market. He has worked as a mentor to many work health and wellbeing professionals in Australia over the last 10 years and also works as a volunteer across a number of community, schooling and sporting organisations. As you’ll hear in today’s conversation, Gary is a passionate advocate for the establishment and execution of holistic health & wellbeing initiatives across organisations that are embedded to enable real change and the operational & leadership shifts that are required to effect it. In today’s chat Gary and I discuss; What makes Mars Inc one of the world’s Great Places to Work and the role that an embedded culture of Health and Wellbeing has had on this continued success The various initiatives that Mars have, not only around improving the lives of their Associates but also much more broadly, the world, and the freedom that being a privately owned business has given them to enable this How COVID has impacted the workplace and the variabilities across continents & cultures in supporting employees to stay safe and well The opportunities that we can all embrace as we begin to look forward to the future of work, and the role that health & wellbeing will play in its design As Gary says in our chat, when wellbeing is executed holistically, you don’t need to measure ROI, you can feel it and see it. Some great insights in this conversation about the surrounding considerations that give us all the permission to see embedded Health & Wellbeing become a reality. Gary Webb LinkedIn | Website | Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook Work Life Lounge – North Star Download –
46:30 12/07/2021
Myths About Goal Setting and How to Bust Them!
One of my favourite quotes is; Only shine your light on the things you want to grow. It’s become a bit of a mantra for me, reminding me that where I put my attention my energy flows and if I want to be intentional and make the most of the precious time that I have I should in fact be very mindful about where I direct it. If you focus on the bad stuff and you’ll only notice more of it, sending you into a downward spiral, if you shine your light on the amazing things that bring you joy and notice how much more wonderful things you have in your life, opportunities will present themselves and put that spring in your step! But to know where to shine your light, you first need to get clear on what it is that you want to grow…. And that is where conscious planning and goal setting come in. As we are drawing near the end of another (challenging) year, it’s a timely reminder for us to start to shift our attention to the new year that is before us. In my view if we are waiting to the new year to start to put in place all those new year's resolutions and start with a fresh attitude, we have missed an opportunity. Why not start now?!? So today, I want to outline a few ways that you can begin to become intentional about your focus, set your goals and take the first steps towards actioning them! I’ll also cover The science behind goal setting Reflecting and reframing The common myths about goals How goal setting and planning go hand in hand My process for goal setting Don’t forget to download my free Setting your North Star workbook to help you establish your values and purpose to help in your goal setting journey. Go to You can also sign up for the Work Life Lounge for FREE until January 31 courtesy of the sponsorship of COMUNiTI. Our next Masterclass is with Dr Kristy Goodwin and managing digital wellbeing on December 9. Sign up at Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook
18:51 11/30/2021
Hybrid Work, 9 Day Fortnight & Meeting Free Wednesday - The Future of Work at Entain with Jessica Sharpe
There has been a lot of conversation in the media of late about organisations handing out wellbeing days and rolling out new initiatives to combat The Great Resignation. However as you’ll hear in today’s chat, it’s not as simple as adding a few extra days of leave to the calendar; it takes careful, long-term planning and material change at an organisational level. Jessica Sharpe is the Chief People Office for Entain Australia, a FTSE 100 company that is one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming groups operating in the online and retail sector. You may be familiar with them as the local home of Ladbrokes and Neds. Jess has spent her career establishing and enhancing the HR functions into numerous businesses across multiple industries and as she reflects in this episode, whilst it has at times been a challenging path, it is one that has equipped her well in running lean and effective teams and learning how to influence and educate stakeholders on the value of investing in their people. When Jess isn’t at work, influencing and optimising human behaviour, she’s at home attempting to do the same with her three boys! Myself and the team here at COMUNiTI have had the great pleasure of working alongside Jess and her leadership team over the past 12mths, supporting their workplace transformation as they navigated the challenges of operating in a COVID world. We have been very privileged to have been able to witness first-hand the practices that have been implemented to see Entain leading the way in workplace flexibility, health & wellbeing and leadership that has enabled them to roll out Entain Day. In this chat, we also cover; Jess’s career journey to date and how she came to be the Chief People Officer at Entain How the organisation has evolved in response to the global pandemic Entains mission to drive diversity & inclusion, not just in the technology sector but globally And Jess’s own personal practices to support her living her own work life by design Jess is a warm, engaging and thoughtful leader and the opportunity to glean her insights in how she has supported Entain to move forward with such a bold workplace initiative is truly inspiring. Work Life Lounge – sign up for free thanks to COMUNiTI! Jessica Sharpe LinkedIn Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook
36:20 11/23/2021
I have a confession to make…
This was the title of a recent post I shared. I was reflecting on the rough ride that I’ve been through personally over the last 12 months in my business and was surprised by the reaction to it. When I wrote it I felt like I was lowering the curtain a little however in hindsight I think it was actually quite a vulnerable share, that connected with so many on a deeper level. So, in today’s episode, I wanted to share with you what I did to get me out of that funk! The work I did. The people I surrounded myself with. What I read. The actions I took. And the remarkable shift that I have experienced as a result, when nothing outside of me changed, it was all just a matter of perspective. I had a choice to reframe my view of the world and “choose” a brighter outlook. To enjoy the process and surrender the outcome, after all, despite how much I want to, I can’t control everything… I just needed to only shine my light on the things I want to grow. What have you been shining your precious light on? If you’re looking for greater clarity on the vision you want from your life, check out the 25 year painted picture guided visualisation. You can learn more HERE Join us in the Work Life Lounge for FREE until the end of January – Sign up HERE Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook
21:56 11/16/2021
Enhancing Workplace Performance with Bruce Davidson
Building and sustaining an organisation that is still thriving 30 years on is no small feat. In today’s chat I welcome Bruce Davidson. Executive Director of Davidson, an organisation specialising in enhancing workplace performance through their service streams of Business Advisory, Recruitment and Technology Consulting, they have continued to evolve to stay relevant in an ever-changing world. Bruce’s main passion in life is assisting organisations and individuals to reach their potential. With an innovative mind, compelling attitude and ever-constant passion for the industry, he is committed to leading Davidson to the position of one of Australia’s leading workplace performance consultancies. As you’ll hear in this episode, Davidson are also passionate advocates for supporting the community. Bruce is also the Chair of Yalari - a Non-For-Profit organisation deeply committed to its mission to educate and empower Indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities to bring about generational change and empowerment for ongoing success, with a vision to develop over 1000 indigenous leaders. COMUNiTI have also had the great fortune of working with Davidson on the Workplace Strategy, Design and Delivery of their Brisbane Head Quarters, completed in September 2020. The project has since been recognised by several industry awards for its contribution to the betterment of workplace design. We get to hear Bruce’s perspective on the project and the impact that this has had on their people and their business as they emerged from a post-COVID lockdown in 2020. In today’s chat we cover a bit of ground, everything from what it takes to build a sustainable business, through to Bruce’s own personal routines and rituals to ensure he’s still loving his work life after 30 years, along with the impact that they are observing in workplaces navigating COVID in the new world. So, sit back, relax and enjoy this chat with Bruce Davidson. Bruce Davidson LinkedIn | Davidson Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | North Star Download | Work Life Lounge 
45:33 11/09/2021
Level UP! The Power of Personal Development
Personal growth and professional growth are inextricably linked. In you career, you may think that professional development is what will get you to the top, but let me tell you, when things get really hard, it's not your professional capability that sees you through. It’s your mindset, your resilience and your personal growth. In this episode, I cover; The power of personal growth How you can level up personally Finding direction, values and joy Taking ‘The Next Right Step’ Tools and Resources – where to start To get you started on your journey of personal development, don’t forget to grab the Setting Your North Star download. This little downloadable is my toolkit to clarifying your purpose and uncovering your values. Two things that I like to think of as setting my Northstar; the place that I am heading to you can grab this at If you’re ready to take it a bit deeper, you’ve still got a day to sign up for my Live a Life by Design program; a 6 week immersive experience to help you design the work and life that lights you up. Throughout the program, I’ll take you through all the tools that have helped me take stock and unpack what it is what I want from my one magical life. If you’re ready to stop living by default and start living by design, sign up for Life a Life by design at If you want to grab your three FREE Months to the Work Life Lounge powered by COMUNiTI, sign up now at Join us in a closed membership space where you’ll get access to monthly Expert Masterclasses, Live Q&A’s and a resource library to help you level up your life and work. Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook
13:14 11/02/2021
Raise Your Brand, Profile & Purpose to Thrive in Work & Life with Nicole Hatherly
We’ve talked about Personal Brand for a number of years now, however our guest Nicole Hatherly, shares with us the opportunity that awaits us as we emerge from the effects of COVID 19; to own our Signature Brand. The opportunity to authentically communicate who we are at our core and the value we bring. I have had the great pleasure of knowing Nik for a number of years and the personally working with her over the last 3 years and she has been instrumental in supporting me to truly understand what it is that I do and articulate it in a way that captures attention. Nicole is a leading Global Brand Catalyst, an award-winning international Brand and Leadership Strategist, international Keynote Speaker and Thought Leader, Profile Expert and passionate creator of your Signature Brand for the Now Normal and the powerful Brand Catalyst process. She’s a qualified Design Thinking Methodologist, Brand Etymologist, Executive Coach, Board Level Advisor, and Founder and Director of Brand True North and Global ‘Life Work Pivot’ Program Brand Your Way. For over 27 years (she started very young 😉), Nicole has delivered award-winning strategies and campaigns for iconic brands, global organisations and influential thought leaders. She now energises brands, activates thought leaders and ignites audiences to deliver beyond their ‘products and services’ by articulating their value, amplifying their voice and activating their thought leadership for impact and legacy. So strap yourself in for this conversation, grab a pen and paper, this one is interactive and hit the link below to grab your own copy of the Signature Value Map so that you can start to unpack yours. In this chat we cover; Nik's own journey of personal and professional branding How your Signature Brand is a new concept that connects our head and heart for work and life Nik’s take on the “now normal” and what we can be doing to embrace our work life We dive into the Great Australian Resignation and what it means as a corporate professional Nik takes us through a mini -masterclass to completing our own Signature Value Map She also shares her own journey of designing a work life she loves, the hurdles she’s faced, the realisations and the rituals that she’s embedded to ensure she’s living her best life! Nik is a gorgeous, generous, genius who has the innate ability to cut through the noise and just nail what is that you do. A true master of words! Plus, she’s a powerhouse of energy and this is one conversation that you are going to walk away from with a whole new appreciate for how you put yourself out there. WORK LIFE LOUNGE The Work Life Lounge is a membership space where we bring to you Monthly Masterclasses from leading thought leaders on all things work and life, so that you can take the action you need to design your work life on your terms. Nik will be presenting our first Masterclass in the Lounge. In her Masterclass she will be diving deep into the Signature Value Map, so that you can Raise your brand, profile & purpose to thrive in work & life. And for the first 3 months, you get an access all area’s VIP pass courtesy of COMUNiTI! Absolutely free! So head to for more details and to register. Nicole Hatherley Signature Value Map | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook
60:18 10/26/2021
Get Lit UP!
What makes you happy? What is something you do that makes you feel free, content and full of joy? Something that doesn’t take energy but creates it. How often do you get to do that? If the answer is anything other than ‘often’, this episode is for you. These little things that bring us joy; rhythms and rituals we incorporate into our lives are the things that allow us to refill our tanks and continue to keep giving. After all, as the saying goes, you can’t keep pouring from an empty cup. In this episode, I cover: The value of routines and rhythms Incorporating these to design your ideal life Filling up your tanks – mental, physical and emotional Why you should find more time for joy Managing your energy and setting boundaries Don’t forget to take your seat in the Work Life Lounge with your VIP All Areas Pass for 3 months, powered by COMUNiTI. Visit to take advantage of this offer and get access to amazing guest expert masterclasses, a resource library and Live Q&A chats, all completely free for the first three months. To help you start building the work life you love, download your copy of Setting your North Star. Visit for tools on understanding your values and purpose. I hope you leave this episode with the resolution to make more time for the things that bring you joy; enjoy! Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Website
26:24 10/19/2021
Getting You Future Fit with Andrea Clarke
Preparing ourselves for the future of work can be a daunting task. Faced with the rapid transformation of technology, the adoption of automation and AI into our workplaces and let’s not forget to throw in there a dose of global pandemic, who could blame you for thinking that the outlook was challenging. But as you’ll hear from today’s guest, it is also filled with possibility. Andrea Clarke, is an advocate for people becoming “future fit”. As a former television news reporter and Washington D.C. correspondent, Andrea covered major news events for Al Jazeera English, the Pentagon Channel and Thomson Reuters before working on humanitarian aid programs to re-build Iraq and Afghanistan. Andrea then led the communication campaign for the Save Darfur advocacy movement to stop the genocide in Sudan. Through her work she has been fulfilling her life’s purpose for growing careers, and in 2012 founded FutureFitCo, a digital learning business developing future fit people at scale, by accelerating the skills needed to lead with impact. She is also the author of the award-winning book 'Future Fit: How to Stay Relevant and Competitive in the Future of Work'. In today’s chat we cover; How Andrea’s career in front of the camera inspired her desire for others to communicate with impact What it means to be future fit and the steps you can take to prepare yourself for the future of work  The value of a Growth Mindset and how this skill alone will propel your career forward The importance of shared purpose within organisations, how to find it and communicate it The silver lining of COVID and how it has opened the door for us to redesign our world of work for the better How creativity is in all of us and what you can do to tap into yours Andrea’s own sense of purpose and the events that led her to understanding and articulating her own values The routines and rituals that Andrea uses to ensure she’s showing up as her best self As quoted by Andrea; “The future of work is about our talent. It’s about the way we negotiate change, actively pursue transformation & deploy human skills to create value - both for ourselves and the organisations we work for.” Andrea is an engaging and straight-talking woman on a mission to transform our organisations from the individual level for a better future. You’ll leave this chat inspired to look inward and evaluate your skills and opportunities for growth. Andrea Clarke Future Fit Co. | LinkedIn | Instagram Melissa Marsden Download your Setting your North Star workbook Instagram | LinkedIn | Website
45:41 10/12/2021
Taking Back Your Personal Power
"Being responsible for our own lives... our behaviour is a function of our decisions, not our conditions". – Steven Covey Often, we resign ourselves to the fact that we live in a world where so much is out of our control like global pandemics and external circumstances and the limitations they place on our actions. The world can begin to feel heavy. However, when we bring our attention back to focusing on what we can control, we are able to increase, expand and grow our personal power. In this episode, I explore; Your circle of influence (the things we can control) The circle of concern (the external things we cannot control) Shifting and managing energy, focus and influence Expanding your comfort zone and the reason we feel comfortable playing small Taking back your power You’ll leave this bite-sized pep talk today with the reminder that our lives are completely up to us. Sure, negative things can happen to us and around us, however it is our choice as to how we respond to those factors. It is our decision what we do about it. That is within our control and that is where the magic happens. Don’t forget to download my free Setting your North Star values and purpose workbook to help you start designing your unique and desired life. Visit If you’re ready to deep dive and learn skills and content to level up your work and life and join a community of like-minded women who are designing their dream life, join our Work Life Lounge! You can find out more at Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Website
10:42 10/04/2021
Living your Life by Financial Design with Mel Browne
Talking about Money is often a taboo subject, however if we want to be empowered to take control of our own financial literacy it’s a subject that we really need to get comfortable with. Today’s Guest Mel Browne an ex-accountant, ex-financial advisor & ex-working till she drops. These days she’s a best-selling author, financial educator, business strategist & mentor and entrepreneur who is particularly passionate about helping women live a life by design, and not by default. Something we both have in common. Mel is passionate about changing the conversation that women in particular have around money, how we make it, save it and spend it. In today’s chat we cover; What living a life by design means to her How our money story and money type influences our decisions and approach to money The money messaging that the media portrays to men and women when it comes to our behaviour with money How to navigate the money conversation in your relationships The routines and rituals that Mel has incorporated into her life so that she can continue to live her life by design While Mel is an ex-accountant, and full of financial wisdom, she is also full of personality and sage advice for those of us who no-longer view corporate burnout as a career option. So, let me introduce you to Mel Browne. Mel Browne Instagram | Show links Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Website
37:10 09/27/2021
Clarity of Vision
What does your dream life look like? This season is all about designing a work life you love and big part of that is making sure it fits with the life that you want to live. To do this you first need to define your own version of success, not what others or society consider to be a successful life. This is a trap we fall into often, and it’s important to take a step back and re-evaluate as life and circumstances change to define what we truly want and how we’ll know when we’ve achieved it. Defining what a successful, joyful life is for you is a big part of then determining what your complimentary work life looks like. In this episode I’ll take you through: The importance of clarity of vision A three-year business plan A 25-year life painted picture and why you should plan so far in advance How these two visualisations marry up to create the life you love and create change and progress in your life now If you need a little more guidance in creating your 25 year painted picture, and 3 year business plan, so you can design the life of your dreams and align your business, head over to my website and download my guided audio where I'll talk you through each of the aspects for you to imagine the life and business of your dreams and provide you with the actionable steps to turn your dream into a reality. Or, if you’re looking for a bit more help defining your values and purpose, download my free Setting your North Star download. It has tools to help you define your values and purpose to allow you to create your vision with better clarity. Head to Enjoy, find a quiet space, and allow your heart and mind to dream. Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Website
12:33 09/20/2021
Career Alignment Without Running Your Own Show with Olivia Ruello
Creating a work life that you love doesn’t mean that you need to head out and set up your own business. Often we hear of people who have climbed the corporate ladder, only to hit burn out and decide that the only way forward is to take their skills and go it on their own. Well today’s guest is here to share with us, how if being an entrepreneur is not the path that you desire, there is another way. Olivia Ruello is the CEO of Business Chicks, stepping into the role in 2016, when founder Emma Isaacs expanded into the US. Business Chicks is Australia’s largest and most influential community for women in business, committed to the personal and professional growth of women. Liv has had a portfolio career starting out in Industrial Relations, before joining Business Chicks to lead their Partnerships and Brand team, for four years from 2009. She spread her wings in 2013 moving across to the Commonwealth Bank, where she drove a unique leadership and culture agenda for the corporate banking division, focused on embedding vision and values to create a more human centric culture. Olivia has a deep passion and sense of purpose, advocating for women’s economic security and empowerment, advancement in leadership roles and supporting the growth of female led businesses. As you’ll hear in today’s chat, Liv comes from a lineage of strong women who have done much to support the advancement of women and it is an absolute pleasure to have someone who I deeply admire for the culture that she has built within the team at Business Chicks join me to share her wisdom. You’ll leave this conversation inspired, and with new perspective on how you can design a life you love. Olivia Ruello LinkedIn | Business Chicks Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Website
44:05 09/14/2021
Values – The Guide Rails to Life
One of the foundations to designing a life and career that you love is understanding your values. That means understanding your own sense of right and wrong, good and bad, what's important and what is not important to YOU, not what you’ve been intrinsically taught, or to those around you. Values serve as the guide rails to our lives. They keep us moving forward in the right direction, stop us from wandering off course, or into areas that don't feel good, or right for us. They help us to embody the qualities that we want in order to guide our actions and behaviours and build the life we want to live. This is relevant both in a corporate setting and at an individual level. As individuals we need this sense of self-awareness so that we can have our own moral compass and as an organisation we need them so that we can align our team, create focus, direction, and importantly, demonstrate what is ok and what's not ok. In this episode, I talk through; Why values are crucial and what can happen when you don’t stop to identify them How values operate in an organisational setting The concept of values as ‘buckets’ and how we can design a life and work life we love by identifying what’s important to fill these buckets. If you are looking for some help defining your values, are or in need of a refresher to check in to see if they still resonate with you, download my free Setting Your North Star workbook. The tools in this workbook help you to identify your sense of purpose and the values that are most important to you. Get your copy at Melissa Marsden Instagram | LinkedIn | Website
12:53 09/07/2021