New episodes of the Equilibrium Man Challenge reveal the personal and professional benefits of flexible work and can inspire others to rethink their arrangements as they start the 2016 working year.

The third episodes of the ground-breaking micro-documentary series show the different ways participants have put boundaries around their working hours to find more time for family, sport and simple down-time.

The start of a new work year is an ideal time for employees to consider whether they may be able to change their work arrangements, says workplace diversity expert Dr Graeme Russell.

“While employer commitment is essential to making flexibility work, employees can initiate a conversation and put forward a case about how they could contribute differently.

“Flexibility isn’t just about working fewer hours; it could also mean working from home or adjusting starting and finishing times.

“Flexibility can boost employees’ satisfaction and sense of engagement with the workplace, leading to better outcomes for individuals and organisations,” said Russell.

The senior professional men trialling flexible work through the Challenge have strengthened relationships with loved ones and confronted deeply held ideas driving their approach to work. They’ve become more efficient and productive at work too.

  • ‘I’m not on the clock all the time’: Telstra executive Reid Johnson has stopped working Fridays. Strictly. “I don’t get calls from work and I don’t respond to emails.” Reid, a father of four, says eight months of flexible working has made him more productive at work and given him breathing space in a busy life: “I passionately believe what I’ve done is helpful for me as a man, but also a good working model for our business and the team around me.” Watch Reid’s story.
  • ‘I’m optimistic I can get the best of both worlds’: Mirvac development manager and elite beach volleyball player Tom Faulkner has been working flexibly for six months, with Friday afternoons off for training. Recently promoted, Tom is working with his new manager to prioritise and delegate, so he can find the time and energy he needs for volleyball: “I love the sport and it’s a great outlet.” Watch Tom’s story.
  • ‘Sometimes you need to say no’: Telstra lawyer Simon Quartermaine takes a half-day on Tuesdays, helping him cope with the pressures of a demanding job, a young family and ill parents. It has also encouraged him to set limits around the work his legal team takes on. “I’ve enjoyed working out what’s important and what’s of most benefit to the company.” Watch Simon’s story.

The Equilibrium Challenge is sponsored by Telstra and Mirvac and supported by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), Corrs Chambers Westgarth and the Diversity Council Australia (DCA) to fast-track the take-up of flexibility in Australian workplaces.

Back to work: Make equilibrium a reality in 2016

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