IT to support flexible working

It is critical to have an IT infrastructure in place which enables and supports flexible working. Flexible-enabling technology includes the use of laptops, mobile phones, Skype, video conference facilities etc. as well as software that helps flexible teams manage their work.

Having the right IT in place removes communication barriers and allows employees to work remotely without tasks or lines of communication being affected. A lot of agencies already have some or all of these types of technologies in place. Many agencies also had to upgrade their IT infrastructure at pace in response to the COVID-19 environment, which in turn has meant that employees have needed rapid support in using new devices and software.

See Resource 1 for a case study of how the State Services Commission upskilled employees to use flexible-enabling technology.

Agencies can use their engagement processes to gather feedback from current flexible employees and managers about the adequacy and effectiveness of existing IT infrastructure to support the full range of flexible working options.

Flexible working can help employees deal with life challenges while enabling agencies to retain talent.

Jo Liliana, Human Resources coordinator

In May 2017, my mother, who lives in another city, was diagnosed with breast cancer. After weeks of going back and forth between cities trying to support her, I had an open discussion with my manager about my job. I made it very clear that although I really loved my job the needs of my family came first. My manager had a discussion with the director and offered me the option to work remotely for 6 months while I assisted my mother as full-time carer during her chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. I had all the resources I needed to do my job remotely and the flexibility with my hours allowed me to be a full-time carer as well as continue with my employment and also still have a steady income without adding stress to the whole situation. I will forever be grateful to my organisation for allowing me to keep my job and also being able to support my family and fulfil my role and duty as my mother’s daughter.

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