Steven Brown, HR Monthly Magazine
Interview by Ali Klaver

Being a relatively small organization, we can be fairly nimble in regards to staff hours, particularly for sales staff who don’t work on a 9-5 basis, we prefer a more flexible, results driven approach, designed to maximize return.

It’s worth nothing that many clients make appointments outside business hours. Accommodating this growing need is vital and we take a job sharing approach that allows employees to swap tasks and therefore work as they are required.

Financial planners and accountants are our main source of business so there’s seasonal impact. The Christmas holiday period is relatively quiet, and we allow administration staff to take extended leave, the sales staffs return to work earlier to plan and develop strategies for the coming year.

Without question, flexible workplace arrangements are here to stay. The reason for this is that the benefits now extend to both the employer as well as the employee.

With most businesses, there are now standard time periods for business workflow, in my experience, there are quiet periods in which an employee’s productivity drops in comparison to that achieved in peak periods. It makes perfect business sense for an employer to plan for the allocation of appropriate resources during both peak and down periods.

With the increasing prevalence of two working parent families in Australia, the need for flexible work practices is more important to help staff juggle the demands on their time between work and children, shopping and other functions.

Salaries and conditions also need to be taken into account when considering flexibility. For example, it may be better to work on a Sunday and to have Monday and Tuesday off, yet achieve the same pay. There is no absolute formula to achieve the best result-it simply comes down to each employee.

Interviews by hrmonthly’s managing editor, Ali Klaver.

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