WORKING FROM HOME Annette Freeman is looking forward to getting back to her office in some shape or form in the near future.
Name: Annette Freeman
Lives: Dublin 7
Occupation: People and Culture Specialist, Bauer Media Audio Ireland
The natural waking time for my two girls is quarter to 7. I’ll get them downstairs and plonk them in front of the TV and look at my emails straight away.
For me, nothing beats radio. It is constantly on in our house. It’s mainly Newstalk I listen to, as that’s where I started out in reception back in 2005. I always listen to Lunchtime Live, Seán Moncrieff and The Hard Shoulder. I love Dermot and Dave on Today FM as well as Dermot O’Leary on BBC 2. I’m a big fan of podcasts, I listen to Dadcast, Tommy and Hector, Talking Bollox and the Blindboy podcast.
I’ll then get the girls breakfast and get them ready. It’s summer holidays now so Tessa (6) would generally be at school but now she’s in summer camp. My other little girl Sadie (4) is in nursery.
I’ll generally grab a coffee somewhere here in Dublin 7 and get to my desk at home around 9.10am and then I might have a call with my boss or other managers within the company.
My function in the organisation today is to support the HR Director and the management team. The group comprises of Ireland’s only two national commercial radio stations Today FM and Newstalk, alongside local stations Spin 1038 and 98FM in Dublin, and Spin Southwest in Limerick. We also own the leading digital radio sport station Off The Ball, digital audio exchange audioXi and listening platform GoLoud.
I manage the onboarding process of new hires, so ‘from yes to desk’. I ensure their first day and week plans are in place and run a monthly new hire induction.
There are only two of us in HR so it’s pretty busy, I’m extremely lucky to have a brilliant manager, who I learn from daily. I am also a personal assistant to the CEO of the company as well as my HR role.
I really enjoy it, it’s really varied. I get to meet with loads of different people and they are an amazing group of people to work with. Everyone within Bauer Media Audio Ireland is so talented, and it’s fabulous to be part of it.
I also manage the company’s graduate program and nothing makes me happier than when I see graduates progress to full-time positions.
I’m lucky to have been afforded many opportunities over the years. I’ve worked in various roles. It’s always been exciting, fresh and new, no two days have ever been the same.
Pre-pandemic I did ‘Good Things to do Tonight’ every weekday with Seán Moncrieff on Newstalk. I’ve been doing that slot since 2006. Hopefully I’ll be back once gigs return.
On March 12 last year we left our office in Marconi House in the city centre and I have been predominantly at home since. That was a massive adjustment for our company, but I think we did it superbly. We were broadcasting on that Thursday in March and the very next day practically all of our shows were broadcast from home.
That’s a testament to our tech team, who are just amazing. They are headed up by a chap from Claremorris called Pat Balfe who is truly a technical genius. Everything went smoothly and we all learned in different ways.
That said, we’re absolutely looking forward to getting back to the office in some shape or form. I don’t think that I’ll ever work in the office five days like I did before. It’ll definitely be a hybrid model of working for me going forward. I’ve had a lot of extra time with the kids in the last year and a half that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. In that regard I’m very thankful. I normally finish around 5 and go and get my girls, do any homework that’s to be done, and prep dinner.
Of course, I married a Mayo man, Ray is from Brickens. He works as a foreman for a construction company here in Dublin. Once he gets home, usually after 6, I would normally go back to my computer again and pick up on emails.
It’s always up to Ray to do the bedtime with the girls, but that’s gone back later and later with the bright evenings. Once they get to bed I might have the energy to go for a walk, but more often than not I’ll call my parents at home in Kilkelly, who I keep in touch with every day. We never miss sending a text to one another to say goodnight. I might watch a bit of TV or have a glass of wine, but I’m someone who likes to go to bed early.
Myself and Ray are completely different people, but family is very important to us. It was difficult during the pandemic that we couldn’t just get in the car and go home. We had some beautiful reunions with our parents last year when the time was right.
The girls love going to Mayo. It’s like going to Disneyland, it’s a magical place for them and hopefully they’ll have lots of brilliant memories from holidays in the west.
We live in a really central part of Dublin right across from the Phoenix Park so we can hear the animals in the zoo and the roars in Croke Park on a match day. The Phoenix Park has saved us during the pandemic, we would spend hours in there. The kids always hope that they will spot Michael D, they think he is some kind of mythical creature!
Myself and Ray love nothing more than hitting for the M4 to our families whenever we get the opportunity. If we’re lucky enough to get a babysitter when we are home, we’d be heading to Flanagan’s Bar and Bistro in Brickens for grub, and on to Duffy’s Pub in Kilkelly for a few quiet ones. Nothing compares to being at home. Mayo will always be home.
In conversation with Oisín McGovern
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
Fly to London with my mum and sisters for dinner, drinks and shopping. We’d probably end up getting lost and falling out!
Most famous person you’ve met?
I’m lucky to have met so many famous people through work, but meeting Jimmy Magee was a personal highlight, he was a gentleman.
Tell us something about yourself we don’t know?
I’ve no middle name, even though there was a very obvious choice in Patricia, given I was born on March 16.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?
Pigeon, it wasn’t great
Your first hero?
Zig and Zag on Dempsey Den
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
It’s more the memory than the place. Roses on the Costa Brava Spain, and dancing with my mother on the street.
How do you unwind?
On the couch with wine and Love Island (I know, sorry!)
What makes you angry?
Name three things that are always in your fridge?
A cool crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Milk and frubes!
What makes you nervous?
When our house is really messy
Favourite TV show?
At the moment we’re watching ‘Your
Honor’. But I love anything by Sharon Horgan, her take on people is so on the money!
What do you miss most about being a kid?
Long endless June summer evenings, going out when it’s bright and getting home when it’s bright.
What’s your most prized possession?
Probably should say my kids here, BUT my Google Assistant.
Describe yourself in three words?
Honest, energetic, loyal