Isaac the Indifferent

Role title:
Executive Director
2 year contract, full time
Where they’re at with flexible working:

My life is quite hectic at the moment, so it could be worth looking into flexible working options that might work for me. I’m just so busy that I don’t have the time to organise it or to fill in the million forms to sort it out. Maybe when I’m not so busy I’ll look into it, but for now I’m OK.

Isaac’s Story

Isaac lives in South Sydney with his wife Rania and their two children who are 5 months and 4 years old. Rania is returning to full time work after six months of parental leave. They recently bought a new house so having two incomes will help them to get ahead on their mortgage.

Isaac is a committed and efficient worker. He recently started an Executive Master of Public Administration course and while he has a lot on his plate with study, work and home, he feels like he’s managing to stay on top of everything -although he doesn’t have much down time.

His attitude to flexible working

  • Isaac knows flexible working has benefits for some people but he hasn’t really thought about it for himself and wonders if it could negatively affect his career progression.
  • He can see the value for primary carers, and people who need to attend courses during the day, but not so much for him.
  • He doesn’t feel he has the time to find out about what flexible working options could apply to him.
  • Between balancing work and study he doesn’t have time or energy to go through the process of putting flexible working arrangements in place.

Isaac’s work style

  • Hard worker who is committed to meeting his performance targets
  • Works intensely and is very focused while at work, as he doesn’t have time to do anything outside of standard work hours
  • Driven to perform not only to provide a good life for his family, but also to have a positive effect on the lives of the people of NSW
  • Genuinely interested in his work, and likes that working in public services means his work matters

How to engage Isaac in flexible working?

  • Increase awareness
    • Work with Isaac to build his awareness about the different types of flexible working available and discuss the importance of leaders not only sharing this information with their staff, but also leading by example.
    • Show Isaac people in similar positions who are role modelling flexible working and encourage him to trial it himself. Encourage Isaac to see how his indifference can discourage his teams from asking.
    • Provide Isaac with details and reports that demonstrate that flexible working drives employee wellbeing and the perception of work ease by the people who work flexibly within his division. Emphasise his role as a leader in meeting this policy commitment.
  • Guide implementation
    • Make policies and processes streamlined and easy to understand in order to establish flexible working arrangements.
    • Support Isaac to take a team-based approach to building flexible working into the where, when and how his division arranges its work. By focusing on the outcomes they need to achieve, potential career impacts can be minimised.

Key messages for Isaac

  • It is important for flexible working to be demonstrated at the Executive level to encourage other staff to also work flexibly
  • Implementing flexible working can be beneficial to him, his employees and the department
  • Flexible working is for him too –there are more NSW government employees at the Executive level who work flexibly than not

What flexible working might be relevant to Isaac?

  • Remote working
  • Working from different locations
  • Early and late start times

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