Flexibility with accountability: How flex is working for Macquarie's Banking and Financial Services Group


Macquarie Group

'Flexibility for any reason or no reason at all' is the way Macquarie's Banking and Financial Services group operates. Meet Madeleine Hoang, Matt Guyan and Matilda Shaw, who say the key to the success of Macquarie's flexibility program is the outcome-focused and accountable culture, as well as mutual trust.


Flex for wellness

Matilda Shaw has a passion for fitness, and Macquarie's flexible working allows her to exercise so she's feeling her best.

A Credit Analyst in Melbourne, Matilda utilises flex to attend various sports sessions and wellness classes throughout the work week. She's also part of Macquarie's 'Wellness Employee Network Group' where she helps to organise sporting and exercise events in the office.

“We implemented a new program a few months ago and now have sessions such as yoga, boxing, pilates and meditation all available in the office. The classes run during work hours in the morning, at lunch or in the afternoon, enabling people with commitments before and after work to attend as well," says Matilda.

“These sessions have been well attended by employees and wouldn't have been so successful if people weren't able to work flexibly - starting later, taking a longer lunch break or leaving work early to fit a class into their day makes a huge difference."

Matilda has noticed a positive change in the office since implementing the new classes, including colleagues getting to know each other better.

"The program has something for everyone," she says. "From 'Therapeutic Thursdays', where they can try out a new skill like pottery, to nutrition information, sleep studies and fitness for all levels."

“Having flexibility has really given me and others in the office the opportunity to attend these classes. The accountability is on us to get our work done and deliver what we need to, but employees are trusted to manage both."


Cutting down a long commute with flex

Matt Guyan loves the lifestyle of living in Newcastle with his family. The only downside is the travel time to Sydney, which is three hours each way. Flexibility was therefore a necessity when he was applying for his current role in Macquarie's Learning and Development team.

Matt's speciality is instructional design, in particular building eLearning modules for different areas of the Banking and Financial Services business. Some of his recent projects have focused on building learning modules for career development, consumer lending, and our home loan business. His skill set is not common, so for his manager, being able to offer flex meant the role could attract people from a broader area than Sydney.

Matt works from Macquarie's Sydney office two days a week and from home the other three.

“I enjoy interacting with my colleagues while I'm in the office, and my days at home give me time to think and focus on doing my work."

“With the set-up we have at Macquarie you're always able to connect. Video conferencing, phone and email mean there's nothing to stop me attending or running meetings on the days I work from home."

In fact, it's rare to host a meeting with all participants physically in the room, with many colleagues working remotely on their own schedules, he says.

“I've never worked for an organisation before that has been so open and accommodating of flexible work. At Macquarie, the onus is on you to achieve outcomes with your team. You just need to deliver the projects that you're working on."


18 years of flex through changing life stages

For much of her 18 years at Macquarie, Madeleine Hoang has juggled family and career. From scaling her hours between three to five days, to leaving for school pick-up, late starts and early finishes - different flexibility arrangements at various stages throughout her years at the organisation have helped her to manage her personal and work life.

Madeleine was apprehensive when she first joined Macquarie in 2001, having heard it had a '24/7' culture.

“That was very different from the reality I found," she says. "It's definitely a high-performing culture, but also very flexible and supportive. Flexibility has really accommodated my changing family and work commitments."

Madeleine's current role ensures that Macquarie's Business Banking division is well-placed to meet changes that may arise from industry reviews and regulatory change.

While she has worked full-time for the past year, flexibility still remains part of her life, as it does for many across Macquarie.

“Even though I've chosen to go back to work full time, I still work flexibly. I work from home once or twice a fortnight which helps me balance work and life. My manager and team support all kinds of flexibility."

In addition to her career and family life, in the past two years Madeleine has also used flexibility to give back to the community, helping to raise nearly $A100,000 for two charities close to her heart with assistance from colleagues and the Macquarie Group Foundation.

This article was first published on Macquarie's blog.