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FLEXIBLE WORKING ENVIRONMENT
Place – Property
The ABS concluded its Activity Based Working (ABW) fitouts with the delivery of the final offices in Hobart and Canberra. All ABS Offices now provide spaces designed to accommodate staff diversity, different work styles, changing business requirements, and to maximise utility of space. Purpose built spaces improve productivity while encouraging healthy work practices and diversity. The combination of good design and flexibility has allowed the ABS to dramatically lower its footprint across all offices by at least 20% of what would have been previously required, yielding a corresponding reduction in ongoing operating costs while providing more functional space.
Technology – ICT enabling strategies
At the forefront of technology considerations are mobility and communication. Each ABS staff member is allocated a laptop to maximise mobility both within and outside of the office and to assist with facilitating teleworking. The ABS Next Generation Desktop gives staff access to all required applications via a secure virtual desktop anywhere, anytime. Development of applications like Skype, office video conferencing facilities, follow me printing, and telephony systems further reduce the reliance on fixed locations and the requirement to work from the office.
Other contributing factors to our success have been the professionalism, adaptability, and willingness of staff to work with management to get this right. This collective attitude has seen many ABS leaders and senior managers also embrace and model flexible work, adding their positive stories to those of ABS staff. The addition of the FWE strategy as part of the ABS’s objectives in its Gender and Diversity Action Plan 2014–17 has also been pivotal and reflective of our commitment.
The ABS will continue to monitor FWE through staff consultation and management fora. A FWE staff survey first conducted in 2016 will be repeated in late 2018 to measure changes in perception of the components of FWE. This will help determine where future effort can be placed to continue to improve FWE and staff support as they balance their work-life demands and their career aspirations.
Presentation of the Flexible Working Day Federal Government Champion Award.
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