Elsevier is a global information analytics company that helps institutions and professionals progress science, advance healthcare and improve performance for the benefit of humanity. We recognise that flexible working arrangements contribute to increased employee engagement and creativity, and also enable individuals to effectively balance home and work commitments to the benefit of both.
The Australian office has practiced workplace flexibility for a number of years based mainly around flexibility of time and flexibility of place – it’s a normal part of how we work and do business. Most employees have flexible start and finish times, others work part time, or from home or other locations. We have trust in our employees to manage their time to deliver business results whilst balancing their own personal needs.
As an example, Murray Cassar, Elsevier’s Head of Education Solutions and Marketing for ANZ has truly embraced a flexible work environment with his team to ensure that his employees feel valued and that they have a healthy balance between work and life. He personally role models this too.
“The nature of our global, matrix organization means after hours, early morning and late night calls with our global teams are often required. I encourage all team members who are required to be on out of hours calls and meetings to adjust their time in the office to reflect the time spent working after hours.” Murray said.
“This means, if someone is on a call, say from 7pm-9pm, they flex their hours to leave early or come in late the following day.”
Murray also sees the value in his team working from home when required. Some choose to have allocated days from home, others work from home on a more ad hoc basis, for example when they have a doctor’s appointment or a tradesperson coming to their house.
Ivana Uzelac, a Product Manager in Murray’s team said “This is the first company I have worked for that encourages work flexibility for parents with children. Having two children, aged 7 and 2, commuting to and from work has been incredibly stressful. My amazing manager allows me to work from home a few days week so I don’t have to rush out of the office daily for child care and after school pick-ups. This way, I work very early in the morning while the kids are still sleeping for a few hours, then prepare them for school. I continue working from home all day, and pick up my children at 5pm without the commuter stress.
Additionally, when the children go to bed at night, I can still complete some work and make it to the morning school assembly every week. I am so happy to have the opportunity of being involved in my children’s child care and school events and still able to work full time. Being able to fit in a workout some mornings or during lunch breaks when I don’t commute is yet another mood elevator!”
Murray has discovered that encouraging and supporting flexibility in the workplace makes his team much happier and retention has been excellent. In fact, in the last two years, not one employee has left his team!
Keen to find out how Flexible your organisation is, and what steps you need to take to be FlexReady? Take the FREE health assessment here.