Sanjeev the Sceptical

Role title:
Frontline service worker
Permanent, full time
Where they’re at with flexible working:

All this talk of flexible working is a waste of time. Sure, if you work in an office or have young children I get how it might help you spend less time at work, but my job is to help my customers when they need it, and I won’t compromise on the quality of that service. Flexible working just won’t be an option for me.

Sanjeev’s Story

Sanjeev lives in Western Sydney with his wife Sarah and two teenage kids. He has a large extended family and they often eat at each other’s homes. Sarah does the school run, as she works at the kids’ school. They have strong community ties and Sanjeev regularly volunteers.

Sanjeev has been at the frontline of Sydney’s public services for most of his working life, and has enjoyed moving around the sector.. He likes the consistency of his roster and loves coming to work, even though its sometimes tough. He is enjoys what he does, has great friends in his team and is proud when he hears positive comments from customers about the quality of service they’ve received from his team.

His attitude to flexible working

  • Sanjeev doesn’t see how flexible working is relevant to him, or most of his team, as they need to follow the roster developed for the service to operate.
  • He thinks flexible working is an excuse for office-based workers to slack off at home and that it’s a waste of tax payers’ money.
  • Sanjeev thinks that his office-based “leaders” obviously don’t understand how hard it would be to introduce flexible working in rostered workforces and maintain customer satisfaction.
  • “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

Sanjeev's work style

  • Reliable, front line worker
  • Manages a team on a standard roster
  • Committed to his job and very patient focused
  • Clocks on, works hard, then switches off when his shift is done

How to engage Sanjeev in flexible working?

  • Increase awareness
    • Work with Sanjeev to build his awareness about the range of flexible working options available and how they could help him attend his children’s school events or family celebrations.
    • Provide him with data that shows colleagues working flexibly are more engaged and motivated to work, which can improve the care provided and patient outcomes.
    • Show him how flexible working can lead to savings and efficiencies in the government sector, such as reduced paid unplanned leave.
  • Change mindset
    • Take a team-based approach by helping him to understand that how his team might want to roster their work with more flexibility
    • Reassure Sanjeev that greater flexibility will reduce pressure on him and his colleagues, as flexible working is shown to reduce employee stress levels.
  • Guide implementation
    • Conduct a pilot or trial flexible working with checks and supports.
    • Promote flexible working through other managers or front-line workers, not just an office-based manager. Emphasise this a policy commitment by the Government.

Key messages for Sanjeev

  • Flexible working is more than flex time and working from home
  • Offering flexible working can give him and his colleagues more time to focus on their personal interests
  • Many frontline services workers already arrange their work flexibly in some way

What flexible working might be relevant to Sanjeev?

  • Flexible rostering
  • Career breaks
  • Working additional hours for time off

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