Flexible Work Testimonials

Moira Laird

Student and Learning Services Manager

When I commenced working at the University in 2016 I was covering someone else’s parenting leave.  Back then, I worked a compressed fortnight and one day a week from home.  This allowed me to spend time with my daughter.  After the birth of my second daughter I returned to the University, again under a flexible work arrangement, this time working 0.8 fraction time.

Working part time has allowed me to improve my work life balance.  I have a very supportive team who have a strong work ethos and culture, and I support those members in our team who need flexibility in their working hours. It does mean we all need to ensure that everyone is respectful of each other’s availability and that we are achieving our key deliverables. I believe this has created a more positive and happy work environment, and has contributed in creating a great staff morale.

Anita Head

Director, Marketing & Communications

I joined the University of Adelaide in 2010 and worked full-time until 2015 when I had my twins. I took a year of maternity leave and upon my return applied for a 0.8 flexible work arrangement to spend a full day with my children each week. They recently started school and I have continued to take advantage of the flexible work option. I now work a 0.9 fraction across the week. This means I can pick up my children from school a couple of times a week to spend some quality time together.

I think in many ways working part-time has made me more focused as a leader. I’ve naturally had to sharpen my prioritisation skills and maximise my productivity to perform my role in less time. I’m thinking strategically and aim for strong communication with my team. This is necessary to ensure the time I have with my team is used effectively.

My manager has been very supportive of my choice to work part-time, and I have a team who I have great confidence in and trust completely so when I’m not working, I feel I can focus my time on my family.

As a mother and employee, I want to fit everything in and the University’s flexible arrangements support me with this.

Chris Matthews

Manager, Institute for Mineral and Energy Resources (IMER)

I joined the university in 2012, initially working part time by choice to meet the needs of my family and in response to industry demand. After a period of full-time work, I returned to a Flexible Work Arrangement, again working part time; I now work a 4-day week, allowing me to spend a day a week with my youngest of four children. My wife also works part time in her own business, the flexibility of both our roles allows us to balance work and life responsibilities and play an active role in our children’s lives, something that wouldn’t be possible if I worked a “normal” working week.

 My role is quite demanding working across both the academic and industry space, both presenting different needs and ways of working.  It can be challenging at times to balance my work and family needs but I am fortunate that my Director is very supportive of my flexible work arrangements.  If work crosses into my day off, I have the chance to get that time back.

Despite these challenges I would definitely recommend flexible work arrangements, especially if it means spending time with the family, time that you can never get back. A flexible work arrangement also gives me the space to look after my physical and mental health leading to a greater productivity on the days when I am working.

Jane Smart-Foster

Manager, HR Systems & Operations

I have worked at the University for over 10 years. About 5 years ago I entered a Voluntary Flexible Work Arrangement to work a compressed 9-day fortnight, allowing me to take every second Friday off. I was working long hours and the compressed fortnight provided me a way to improve my work life balance. At that time, we were building a holiday home and the compressed fortnight also enabled us to spend every second weekend working to complete the project.

Working a compressed week has resulted in most of my meetings being scheduled across 4 days, irrespective of which Friday I have off. This means on Fridays I tend to have uninterrupted time to focus on work. I manage more than one team and together they are working across the full span of the workday.  Being in the office earlier and staying in later provides me the opportunity to engage fully with both teams. There are rare situations when I am contacted on my day off or I need to juggle that day to fit the broader team’s needs, particularly when others are on leave.   But my manager and my team are very supportive of my arrangements.