Get inspired by stories from colleagues, managers and teams who have embraced flexible work options and have overcome challenges to achieve work-life balance and enhance productivity.
From managing remote teams to compressed work weeks, these stories showcase the benefits of flexibility and how it can be implemented successfully.
Dr. Deborah Zornes, director, Research and Innovation
Under Deb's leadership, the Research and Innovation team at RRU has been championing workplace flexibility since the start of the pandemic.
"For Research and Innovation, flexibility is and has been key in order for us to manage the growth that has happened over the last four years, to provide exceptional service through not just the early stages of the pandemic but continually, and to focus more strategically on the various aspects of what our team does. Our approach to flexible work has focused on the following:
- EDIA (equity, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility) have driven every decision around flexible work for our team, recognizing and emphasizing ‘equal’ is not equity.
- In Research and Innovation, we've already established that most of our roles and tasks can be done off-campus, so everything starts with the person – from the perspective of what each person needs in order to be able to thrive. That means supporting each member of the team to be able to work when/how/where is best for them and then considering tasks and deadlines.
- Realizing that people’s situations are fluid and that flexibility needs to be flexible as situations change.
- Demonstrating support for people to be, and to bring, their whole and authentic selves to the workplace – this includes physical health, mental health, care obligations, families, personal interests, future hopes and dreams, career progression, education, training.
- Trust – everything is built on trust – it is given up front, and again, it’s about starting with the person. We have deep levels of trust and respect for every member of our team and approach our work and our work with others throughout the university from the idea that everyone wants to do the best job they can.
EDIA (equity, diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility) have driven every decision around flexible work for our team, recognizing and emphasizing ‘equal’ is not equity.
Margot Bracewell, senior administrative manager, Faculty of Management
In my experience, flexibility and trust are key to a successful blended or hybrid work arrangement. In the Faculty of Management, most managers have chosen a structured on-campus/off-campus work schedule for their teams, with a set schedule for each employee (most teams come together at least one day/week). However, short-term flexibility is also important for staff to adjust their schedule as necessary (with manager approval) to accommodate on-campus student activities or non-work commitments. Trust between managers and their employees is crucial in creating a positive and productive remote work environment, with clear expectations, solid communication channels, and shared objectives to support a successful flexible work arrangement.
Trust between managers and their employees is crucial in creating a positive and productive remote work environment.
senior administrative manager, FoM
Many staff report better work-life balance and increased productivity when working remotely, with fewer distractions and reduced commuting time.
One challenge is that shared office spaces are often not suitable for video calls, so individuals try to schedule a bulk of their remote meetings on work-from-home days. Access to laptops and communication platforms like Microsoft Teams have also been critical for successful remote work.
Overall, I have tried to create a level playing field across the FoM administrative teams so that operations and student needs are balanced with the flexibility to work both on and off campus while maintaining the valuable social connection of “chatting by the water cooler”.