Requesting and considering flexible work

Why a team-based approach?

Taking a team-based approach can help managers and their teams explore to how they might flexibly arrange their work. Anyone can ask for a flexible work arrangement but the best way to make it work is to take a team-based approach.

Team-based flexible working sees flexible working as a mutually beneficial opportunity for managers and teams. The method considers culture, bias and how we can better arrange work. It’s based on work by the Diversity Council of Australia.

Instead of managers setting up flexible working arrangements on an ad hoc basis with individual employees, team-based design provides the opportunity to experiment with rethinking how a team arranges their work.

Taking a team-based approach in the workplace is an opportunity for teams to more strategically plan and arrange their work, with a view to making it more efficient and building an understanding of shared goals and responsibilities amongst team members. At its core, team-based design recognises that no one can know their work better than the teams doing it.

Flexible work is designed from there, by providing guided, structured assistance on what could work, and understanding and addressing any impacts on the individual, team, organisation and customers.

For employees

'If not, why not' – what does this mean for employees who work for NSW?

Flexible working is about rethinking the where, when and how work can be done, in a way that maintains or improves service delivery for the people of NSW. The approach of ‘if not, why not’ means that everyone is able to begin a conversation about what type of flexible working is available to them, regardless of the reason for why they are seeking it.

Flexible working is available to all NSW government sector employees, including those who have just commenced with the agency and contractors.

When thinking about how your role can be performed flexibly, consider how your proposed arrangement will continue to meet core business needs, serve your clients and stakeholders, and accommodate the way your team works too.

For managers

Flexible working when implemented well has a positive impact on employee health and productivity and can lead to improved customer satisfaction. Employees have more “working” time to complete tasks and are more outcomes focused. Flexibility can also enable new business models to improve service delivery and ‘bigger picture’ contributions to society, such as travel time savings, increased participation in the workforce, and dispersing some jobs out of congested areas into regions.

More flexibility will benefit employees, the team and agencies they work within, customers and the people of NSW more broadly.

What misgivings do people have?