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2019 Champion of flexible work goes to …

The FlexAgile Group, founder of the Flexible Working Day, established to celebrate and promote the benefits of flexible working practices, awarded the Australian Research Council (ARC) 2019 Champion of Flexible Work in the government category.

The ARC has 139 staff. 24 per cent of them work part time, 11 per cent regularly work from home, 5 per cent utilise compressed hours, and 2 per cent are currently on non-maternity leave without pay.

Lesley Nelson, Director of People and Services, who works two days a week from home, says ‘being able to work flexibly helps me greatly with work/life balance, and has contributed significantly to my overall wellbeing.’

The evaluation panel, which included a member from the Diversity Council Australia, considered the ARC’s promotion and top-down support of flexible working conditions as its top ingredients for flexible working success.

At the ARC, flexible work is promoted and supported through the organisation’s flexible work policy. All employees work with a laptop which makes it much easier to work from home or remotely at other locations. Staff are encouraged to consider flexible work arrangements to better suit their circumstances when they arise, for example, family caring responsibilities.

The Senior Executive Service (SES) in ARC also provide support for staff to access flexible working arrangements. Other important factors are a clear policy that supports flexible work, and constant communication, both of the policy to staff, and between staff and managers who undertake flexible work.