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Transport for NSW leads the way in hybrid working

Transport for NSW (Transport) is giving employees more flexibility and choice in where and when they work. Transport’s hybrid working campaign, The way we work at Transport, empowers employees to work in a way that supports them personally and professionally – whether that’s in the office, onsite, at home or on the go – while continuing to deliver for NSW.

The program builds on the significant improvement in digital capability achieved during the pandemic, when the number of Transport employees working remotely grew rapidly from 700 to more than 10,000. It aims to maintain a high level of satisfaction among non-frontline employees working flexibly (91% in 2022 and 2023), while balancing the ongoing need for in-person collaboration and connection.

Employee input drives transformation

Transport employees were instrumental in shaping the approach to hybrid working, through the New Ways of Working Pilot program. With over 900 participants, the program delved into changes that might be needed to leadership, digital technology and physical workplaces. Focus groups and surveys uncovered team and individual preferences on how offices and technology are used, as well as the role leaders play in enabling this new way of working. These insights, coupled with thorough peer research, influenced Transport’s Hybrid Working Strategy.

Highlights of the hybrid approach

Transport has supported leaders to establish an outcomes-based culture, focusing on the work achieved rather than where it is done.

1. Redefining how the organisation, teams and leaders work 

Almost half of pilot participants identified collaboration as the main purpose of in-office work. Offices now serve as hubs for collaboration and connection, which is important for employee wellbeing. Employees value the opportunity to choose suitable spaces to complete tasks, whether in person or virtually.

Every employee has access to their usual office location (‘team hub’) and other office locations that can be reserved via an app.

Leaders play a critical role in enabling hybrid working and are supported by multiple resources, including monthly workshops to navigate emerging challenges.

2. Flexible approach to office days

Transport does not mandate office days, instead encouraging leaders and teams to discuss the most effective ways of working and set clear expectations within their teams.

Satisfaction for non-frontline employees reached 91% in 2022, up from 77% pre-pandemic. The 2022 People Matter survey results showed that those who were satisfied with flexible working were more engaged, exceeded work requirements, and reported increased productivity and better wellbeing.

3. Recognition and certification

  • Transport is a hybrid working leader in Australia, being named a 5-Star Employer of Choice in 2023 by Human Resources Director magazine and winning Best Remote Work Strategy at the Australian HR Awards 2022.
  • Transport holds FlexReady Certification for managing the change to flexible ways of working, ranking among the top Australian organisations.
  • Transport is certified as a Family Inclusive Workplace, supporting employees to meet their work, family and wellbeing needs. 

Transport is continuing to refine its hybrid working approach to maintain flexibility and responsiveness. For example, its Hybrid+ initiative is supporting regional employment and mobility, and its Connected Workplaces program is creating more consistent workplace experiences across the department. 

Frontline flexibility

Transport has a large frontline workforce and recognises the gap in satisfaction with flexible working between frontline and non-frontline employees. Research conducted to understand what flexibility means to the frontline workforce found that it’s about choice in relation to when and how work is done, rather than where. For frontline workers, flexibility is connected to scheduling and rostering – and is enabled by having a predictable roster, a choice of annual leave and the ability to swap shifts seamlessly. Transport is working to improve its frontline workforce’s experiences and will continue to work towards supporting everyone to access more flexible working options.