Claire the Contester

Claire
Role title:
Manager
Employment:
Ongoing, full time
Where they’re at with flexible working:
Resisting

I get great satisfaction from hard work and seeing the results it brings, and I like to see the same work ethic in my team. I don’t work flexibly, working in transit or offsite is just part of being a Manager. To be honest, I genuinely worry about how we could get through our team workload with everyone working from home.

Claire’s Story

Claire has lived by herself in Sydney’s Inner West since her daughter’s recent move interstate for university. When Claire is not working, she is catching up with friends, exercising and taking weekend trips out of town. She often visits her mother, who needs extra support as she gets older.

She loves going to work each day and her job is a huge part of who she is. She was very successful in the private sector, and is now eager to progress her career in the NSW government sector. Claire believes her success is due to her strong work ethic, and how she has instilled this in her team.

Her attitude to flexible working

  • Claire is worried flexible working will affect her ability to “run a tight ship” and is afraid it will affect her and her team’s performance.
  • She worries about systems being slow and unreliable and how that would affect her team’s productivity if they worked off-site.
  • She has resisted promoting flexible working, as she doesn’t trust that her team will continue to deliver if they don’t work together in the office.
  • Department and sector leaders talk about the importance of flexible working but she doesn’t see examples of them doing it. It seems to her that it’s more about lip service for people at senior levels.

Claire’s work style

  • Hands on and likes being across all the detail
  • Needs to see team to feel that they are delivering
  • Ambitious and works over and above what is required of her
  • High performer and expect the same from her team

How to engage Claire in flexible working?

  • Increase awareness
    • Show Claire how flexible working can improve her team’s productivity as people who work flexibly are also motivated to do more work.
    • Highlight that there are a variety of flexible working options (not just working from home) that may be available depending on the role and business context
    • Encourage leaders in Claire’s organisation to role model and/or provide regular, visible support for flexible working to encourage uptake.
  • Build skills
    • Provide training and support to Claire to help her take a team-based approach to arranging their work, by focusing on their performance outcomes.
    • Offer her the option to trial or pilot flexible working to build her confidence about how it can be implemented successfully, with checkpoints along the way.
  • Change mindset
    • Encourage Claire to see the ways that flexible working can benefit her and offset her extra time working on the train e.g. more time to see her mum by leaving earlier, or split hours would allow her to go to the gym in off-peak times.
  • Guide implementation
    • Claire’s leader can encourage flexible working initiatives by recognising when it is implemented successfully so that Claire knows that she will not be penalised for having a team working flexibly.
    • Highlight the organisational benefits of flexible working, like improved diversity and inclusion, reduced floor space requirements and less paid unplanned absences by staff working flexibly.

Key messages for Claire

  • Statistics show that people working flexibly also tend to be more engaged, less stressed and more productive
  • Working flexibly will not affect her standing, opportunities or career progression
  • Flexible working is about working smarter, not harder to help you to achieve a balanced home life with the opportunity to pursue personal interests

What flexible working might be relevant to Claire?

  • Flexible start/ finish times
  • Working from home
  • Split hours
  • Career breaks

The Public Service Commission acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the land on which our office stands.