Flexible Working in the Public Sector

NSW Public Service Commission

Why flexible working?

Flexible working can improve employee engagement and commitment in the workforce. Providing flexibility is another way we’re working to build an inclusive workforce in the NSW government sector, and attract and retain talented employees.

Flexible working, when implemented well, has a positive impact on employee health, productivity and retention, and can lead to improved customer satisfaction. Flexible working helps everyone to be as productive as possible while providing us with more choices about how we plan and arrange our work, and balance our commitments outside of work.

What we’re doing to support flexible working

In consultation with government sector agencies, we have developed a program of work that identifies immediate and near-term priorities that will support the framework’s application across the government sector to a point where working flexibly becomes the norm. This work is taking place across four work streams over three phases from January 2018.

What’s coming

Over July and August 2018 we will have available the follow resources to raise awareness and implement flexible working across the government sector.

  • Best-practice policy guidance – a policy guidance document that can assist departments in reviewing, updating, or writing a flexible working policy. It is a principles-based policy development document with examples of what can be included in a flexible working policy.
  • Checklist for creating a flexible working proposal – a checklist that employees can use when thinking about flexible working and preparing a flexible working proposal for discussion with their manager.
  • Checklist for considering a flexible working proposal – a checklist that managers can use when considering an employee’s flexible working proposal.
  • Decision tree for flexible working proposal – a step by step process that can assist employees and managers in understanding the process for discussing, considering and approving flexible working proposals.
  • Guiding principles for industrial arrangements – guidance for employees and manager on reaching mutual agreement to approve flexible working arrangements that don’t have an impact on the employee, their team, organisation and the customer they service.
  • Collateral to help build momentum across agencies:
    • Personas – provide insight into where the ‘pain points’ are for many employees, and suggestions on how to engage them.
    • Best practice case studies - detail how leading organisations have implemented flexible working.
    • Employee data analysis - shows the relationships between working flexibly, engagement, willingness to go above and beyond, and job satisfaction.
    • Misgivings – these identify the concerns raised by employees and leaders across the sector about how to make it work, and suggests how to address these.
  • Flexible Working Hubs – Property NSW is currently piloting flexible working hubs. During the pilot phase the Hubs are only available for Senior Executive Band 1-4 (SEB 1-4) public sector employees whose offices are not located in the CBD. The two Hubs, in the Sydney CBD, enable executives to attend meetings and continue their work away from their regular office, while promoting closer collaboration across government. For further information email flexibleworkhub@finance.nsw.gov.au