Employer Partners

Three employee stories from Nestlé on how they work flexibly

Some forms of flexible working have been available at Nestlé for years. But in 2017, we simplified our approach to making flexible working more accessible to more employees.

Three employee stories from Nestlé on how they work flexibly

Some forms of flexible working have been available at Nestlé for years. But in 2017, we simplified our approach to making flexible working more accessible to more employees.

We did this by launching our How We Work policy which was backed by a clear commitment from the CEO and senior leadership team.

How We Work asks employees to answer two simple questions when considering flexible work:

1. Will I be able to get my job done?

2. Will my choice negatively affect others?

When the answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’ respectively, employees have the green light to make appropriate choices about how and where they work.

The following three stories illustrate how Nestlé’s flexible working policy helps leaders and parents balance their families with work and lead fulfilling careers. It is possible!

We now have a great opportunity to rectify gender bias in the workplace and allow mothers to be the best they can as a parent and in their careers, by fully committing and embracing both work and family time.

Leah Barroccu – Head of Field Sales

Sales Leadership

Leah Barroccu – Head of Field Sales

In my role, I am responsible for leading our field sales team of 425 employees who service over 9,000 customers across the country in our Supermarket, Impulse and Pharmacy channels.

I have always had a remote field sales team. But as we have embraced new ways of working, including remote working and more flexibility in hours, we now think differently about how, and who, we can hire for our headquarters in Sydney going forward.

We have historically assumed roles would need to be based in Rhodes and so have often rejected some incredible talent from other cities. As part of our focus to be more resilient and diverse, we are now taking the opportunity to hire great talent who work remotely, to open up a whole new world for Nestlé from a recruitment and succession planning perspective.

As the mother of two small children, I have had many challenges in the past around building the confidence to even talk about balancing home and work life. I found it difficult to be fully authentic at work.

As a leader, I did not want to be labelled the ‘working mum’ and would always try to protect my image as a capable, driven sales leader. The massive shift we have seen over the last few months towards being transparent about our lives and the need for flexibility has been a silver lining for many.

Thankfully Nestlé embraces flexibility and understands my working hours are anything but standard, so I can be present when my children need me most. Nestlé’s appraisal of work is outcomes and performance focussed which suits me fine. It is less about being visible in the office and more about what results I achieve and how I work that matters.

I would still be able to do my role if my work time were less flexible. It would just make juggling work and family commitments extremely challenging.

Global teams

Ben Harper – Head of Procurement

If I didn’t have flexibility, I wouldn’t be able to do my job without sacrifice – whether at the expense of my career, my wife’s career or being there for the times we choose to be present for our kids.

My team is based in Sydney but works with and connects to a global Nestlé Procurement team. This means we require flexibility due to time zone differences and are also quite experienced at building and maintaining remote working relationships.

We make sure we connect regularly and have proved remote work works! A new team member started working with us whilst we were working from home, and it was five weeks before I met them in person. But it did not matter. Thanks to our rigour in connecting via technology it was like they had been with us forever.

My team holds meetings in the evening. It’s part of the job which means we all work flexibly to manage this commitment. As a parent of two children under 10, taking some of my calls at odd hours frees up my day to support school drop-offs and pick-ups. That’s why the focus for us is on outcomes, not hours in the office. We only have one rule – no Friday night meetings!

My wife also works full time, so flexibility allows me to support her career and manage our school responsibilities. Working from home for me also allows for flexible hours. I don’t so much have a typical day, more a typical week. I drop the kids to school once or twice a week, pick-up when I can and also take one of them to sport or dancing.

Having a more active role as a parent is very fulfilling and balances my week very nicely. The benefit for my team is that I lead by example. If I do it, then they can too. As a leader, you need to set an example, no questions asked.


Elizabeth Bollard – Factory HR Business Partner

I could do my job without workplace flexibility, but my family life wouldn’t function as well as it does now. It’s all about balance for me, and it’s important my family is happy and well, which enables me to be at my best at work.

I am fortunate to live in idyllic Port Macquarie on five leafy green acres, 15 minutes from the beach and 25 minutes from work at Nestlé Smithtown, the home of MILO!

My husband and I had three children in two years and my work arrangements have adapted over this time. Nestlé has been supportive every step of the way, especially as my children have started school, which has been incredible.

My week looks so different from what it did pre- children. But I have become clearer in my objectives and goals at work, prioritising tasks that make the biggest difference and also becoming more efficient over time.

Nestlé trusts me to get through my work, and in return, I have been given the flexibility to work part-time. I make myself available to take calls and respond to emails outside of my standard work hours to keep things moving. I can also switch my workdays around with a little notice.

I have been able to contribute to key areas of the business, my creativity has increased, I have implemented significant changes and helped assist my team in reaching goals. My wellbeing has also improved significantly.

Working for a leading food and beverage company and being able to visit the beach before or after work is a magical combination.

If you would like to discuss how FlexCareers can help you implement flexible working at your organisation, you can contact our experts here.

Read more case studies in our 2020 Flex Report: The New Normal. Download it here.

Find out more about Nestlé Australia here.


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