On 8 March 2016 Premier Mike Baird announced that NSW Government sector jobs would be made flexible on the basis of “if not, why not” by 2019. Flexible working is about rethinking the where, when and how work can be done, in a way that maintains or improves service delivery for the people of NSW.

Flexible working can improve employee engagement and commitment in the workforce; increase productivity; help attract and retain talent across several important workforce demographics; foster a sense of reciprocity among employees, which can improve customer service; and can enable new business models with broader benefits to customers and society more generally. It can:

  • provide better access to top employees, particularly in regional areas;
  • attract talented employees, who in turn contribute to better service design and delivery, leading to better citizen outcomes; and
  • better help agencies respond to the changing nature of work, and workplaces, through building skills in not just flexible working, but also flexible thinking.

Agency heads and Secretaries are responsible for the implementation of this policy commitment in their agency, and it is usually led by People and Culture or, where relevant, office relocation teams. However, the success of this implementation will need your support through advocating, driving progress and accountability, and role modelling flexible working practices.

We’ve developed a significant range of tools to help the sector with this implementation, and some are targeted directly at leaders. In all cases, there are equivalent guides to support employees, managers and People and Culture teams.

These resources will get you started.

Types of flexible working

If you’d like to better understand what flexible working is, or what types of flex you might be able to use, here’s some advice on what is available across the sector, although your own agency’s industrial or operational requirements may not make all of them relevant.

Design your own flexible working trial

Start with our toolkit to design a flexibility trial for your whole branch or division, no matter what its operational context. We recommend this approach as the safest and most likely to succeed, and have provided these resources to get you started on working as a team to make it happen.

Self-assessment tool and development guide

As a leader, while you don’t need to become a flexibility expert, it can be helpful to understand what you need to know, say and do as a people manager more broadly, so here is a self-assessment to find the areas you’re confident in, and anywhere you might need to improve. There’s also a self-paced development guide to help you build on any areas you want to get better at.

Job share guide for leaders

You may be asked about job share, an innovative type of flexible working that helps you retain coverage in a role, yet support an employee who may need part-time work – or you might be keen to explore it yourself. We have a leader job share guide that will help you to support job share in your organisation.