Being able to adjust your work hours based on your personal life is something many people can only dream of. Medibank and ahm employees are some of the lucky ones who have the opportunity to move their day around when they need. With the FlexBetter suite, individuals are able to alter their start and finish times or work from home altogether. Jan O’Keefe, ahm General Manager, has been enjoying this flexibility herself and encourages other employees to do so.
“I split my time between the Wollongong and Melbourne offices, so being able to work on the go is a huge advantage. It means that when I do spend time with my kids, I can make the most of it without stressing about work. I go to pilates before work sometimes and am also able to do daycare pick-up.”
Jan with her partner Mike and son Xavier on the train to work (and daycare).
Jan with her youngest son Flynn.
Flynn the day he found out they switched to ahm health insurance.
According to Jan, FlexBetter allows employees to better manage things that are often out of their control. Sometimes life throws us a curveball and in those instances, flexibility helps.
“Sometimes everything is working well and then your kids become sick or your car breaks down. Things like those can be incredibly stressful when there’s no flexibility. The ability to work outside of the office and having a good relationship with your leader have a huge impact on an individual’s wellbeing.”
As a leader, Jan knows that in order to carry out her role in the best way possible, practicing what she preaches, or in this case what the business preaches, is a must-do. In addition to this, trusting and understanding that others may use flexibility differently is very important.
“Leaders need to have an open mind and understand that what is flexible for them might not be for other people. If you trust each other then you don’t have to worry about the outcome or the productivity, people are responsible enough to make it work.”
Jan with Janet Emek, our sales webchat team leader in Wollongong.
Taking advantage of the flexibility that is on offer to Medibank and ahm employees can make a big difference in an individual’s life. Making this aspect of work be considered normal has created a more understanding environment and culture.
“I’ve really noticed the acceptance of people being able to work anywhere. People are encouraged and supported to include flex working in their lives rather than feel uncomfortable or awkward about it.”
Despite this, there are still some employees in the business who don’t feel completely comfortable about taking advantage of FlexBetter options. Jan says that one of her goals for Medibank and ahm is to see this change.
“I would like to see every single one of our people feel like they have the opportunity to incorporate FlexBetter in some way. It would be great if we could think about life as a whole and that our careers are a part of it, rather than one or the other.”
Jan and her leadership team, Amanda and Kate, encourage each others’ flexible working options.
As the FlexBetter Champion for the company’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, flexibility is something Jan is excited to keep focusing on.
“I’m very passionate about making sure that we are never ‘done’ with the flexibility challenge. It’s something we all need to commit to every day. I consider myself a role model and make sure that I flex openly and proudly about how it works for me. I will continue to encourage other leaders in the business to do so.”