The beauty of flexibility in the workplace is that it doesn’t only affect how people carry out their jobs but also how they allow for more choice in their life. In order to support employees in achieving balance between their careers and life outside of work, Medibank has implemented FlexBetter – a suite of flexible working options to suit a variety of needs.
Medibank Brand Manager, James Timms, has been a true supporter of FlexBetter, using the different options available when, where and how he needs.
“FlexBetter gives me the ability and flexibility to better balance my work and life. I’m able to spend more time supporting my family, and enjoy the time to do things I love outside of work in a more meaningful way.”
There are seven options in the FlexBetter suite – Flex Place, Flex Hours, Flex Roster, Flex Leave, Flex Part-Time, Flex + Thrive, and Flex Fit. For James, what works best for him is doing compressed working weeks (Flex Hours) so he can have some extra time focussing on his other interests in life.
“I have every second Friday off, which I dedicate to spending time on hobbies of mine. In a matter of weeks though, that will change and it will be spent showering my soon-to-be-born daughter with love!”
Being in a corporate job, one would think that James is restricted to wearing a suit full-time, no matter the weather. Thanks to FlexBetter, he has the opportunity to dress for his day, and can on some days be a little bit more casual than others.
“If it’s a hot day, I want to be comfortable and relaxed. When I take this approach, I feel as though it gives the message that I’m approachable. I think that’s definitely where the whole idea behind Flex Fit has broken down barriers and lets us see people in a different way.”
James, and a matching colleague, using Flex Fit in the office.
Since FlexBetter was launched, James says that not only has his work life changed, but his life outside has also been positively impacted.
“My mind isn’t constantly focussed on a 9-5 job. I have the opportunity to change every day up and use my mind in other ways and on other things. The result of which is I come back to work recharged and ready for new challenges,” he says.
“I’m a lot happier because not only do I have a career that I love, I also now have that extra day to look forward to because I know it’s extra time I can spend doing something I’m passionate about outside of work.”
Another way in which Medibank is implementing flexibility in the workplace is by replacing what is traditionally known as ‘maternity leave’, and putting in place a more generalised ‘parental leave’. This means that all parents and carers receive the same benefits for when their child arrives.
“It is likely that men still feel like they aren’t able to take the same amount of leave or take advantage of the same benefits as their wives when the baby arrives, but it’s different in our company. I know Medibank put a lot of emphasis on doing a complete overhaul on the existing Parental Leave policy. Now, parents have access to 14 weeks paid leave, and we encourage dads to take this when they need and want.”
Medibank’s Parental Leave policy is there for all types of parents and can be taken either in one go or split up, depending on what works best for each family.
“I’m taking three weeks when my daughter is born and then another 11 weeks mid next year. Of those 11 weeks, six weeks will be spent full-time with both my wife, Lakshani, and our baby. In the last five weeks, I will be taking the lead when my wife goes back to work!”
James with his wife, Lakshani.
FlexBetter makes the idea of work-life balance achievable. It exists so that employees can have both a career they’re passionate about but also continue to live a life they love.
“With FlexBetter, there are some great options for everyone. From something simple like dressing for your day, which could mean smart casual rather than strict corporate, to compressed working weeks. I’d encourage everyone to find something that is meaningful to them, figure out what will make them happier in the workplace, and explore Medibank’s FlexBetter suite. It makes a world of difference!”