Shifting perspectives on flexible working

Works for me. Works for NSW. Flexible Working

How do we re-shape perspectives on flexible working?

By turning employee perspectives into personas, i.e. people you might know, it becomes easier to understand their fears and concerns, and identify ways in which their concerns can be alleviated. If they support flexible working, there is the potential to encourage them to advocate and mentor to drive further acceptance.

Capturing their perspectives in this way can enable managers and leaders to better understand the unique communication needs and preferences of their employees and build confidence in having a conversation about flexible working with their teams. 

These personas can be used to build empathy for emotions relating to change, provide a context for why they might have a given mindset, and personalise the flexible working arrangements that might suit them best.

By understanding the typical fears and concerns that are contributing to people’s reactions and resistance to a change such as flexible working, agencies can build their communications and capability initiatives around addressing them. 

What are the different perspectives on flexible working?

These ‘personas’ summarise some of the attitudes, fears and wants we’ve heard employees in the NSW Government Sector have about flexible working; that is, as a fictional profile of a person created to represent:

  • the different needs, goals, motivations, and behaviours of employees in the government sector,
  • their attitude to flexible working,
  • and how their perspective could be shaped, influenced or helpful for driving implementation of flexible working.

Claire
Claire the contester

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

Sanjeev
Sanjeev the sceptical

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

Isaac
Isaac the indifferent

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

Sabine
Sabine the seeker

Role title: Secondary school teacher
Employment: Permanent, full time
Where they’re at with flexible working: Seeker

Penelope
Penelope the promoter

Role title: Senior research scientist
Employment: Permanent, full time
Where they’re at with flexible working: Promoter


 

Note: The goal of these personas is not to represent all employees in the sector, but to focus on their major characteristics, requirements and expectations.