An approach to flexibility that is tailored and sustainable
The typical view of construction – long hours and limited flexibility – is a stereotype we're determined to challenge at Multiplex. One of the ways we're doing this is the progressive roll-out of flexibility on our sites.
Multiplex embarked on its first flexibility pilot in 2013 and has since seen flexibility rolled out on around 50 sites across the country.
Our approach is flexible and team based. The project team determines and designs the flexibility solutions that work best for them, so that it is understood by everyone and able to be implemented in a practical and sustainable way.
We regularly ask our people for feedback and we are proud of the shift in positive attitude towards flexibility and the real impact it has on our people’s lives.
Our flexibility program has been recognised as industry leading. In 2019 we received the National Women in Construction (NAWIC) Innovation Award for our program, and were recognised by the Diversity Council of Australia as a best practice example of how to effect organisational change.
Flexibility in Action
As Multiplex’s first part-time Project Manager, Michaela Jones has a new perspective on flexibility since returning from maternity leave. A complete job re-design has adapted the traditionally full-time role to suit Michaela’s current flexibility needs, as well as the needs of the broader project team.
“My perspective has changed a lot since having a baby. Now flexibility is not just about work/life balance for me, but also doing the best for my child. Leaving work at a certain time is non-negotiable in my mind as I want to get home and spend time with my daughter before she goes to sleep,” says Michaela.
“I think that’s a good thing for the site generally. It helps set the precedent that it is possible to prioritise your family life while still outperforming at work. Overall I’m really enjoying integrating being a parent and a Project Manager at Multiplex. It’s important to note that nothing is perfect – I’m not always nailing it and it is hard work! But it’s also very fulfilling.”
For Project Engineer Peter Simpson, a busy work life hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his triathlon ambitions.
“I’ve been competing in triathlons for three years now and spend a lot of time outside of work training and participating in events, so flexibility has been really important to me for achieving both my work and personal goals,” says Pete.
“Flex is great because it gives me the opportunity to focus on my passion outside of work. It’s really well promoted on my project now - all of our managers encourage flexibility and lead by example, so there’s never even a question about it.”
Initially a skeptic, Site Manager Nick Finch now tells a very different story about his experience of flexibility at Multiplex.
“After working in the industry for over a decade, my first exposure with flexibility was on the 300 George Street project in Brisbane. I was also new to Multiplex and to be honest, I didn’t think it was going to work. I was used to six day weeks on site and thought, how are we going to get everything done and have enough people to cover flexible working hours?
“Now I don’t know how we managed without flexibility. When my daughter was born, it meant I could take a day off during the week to look after her. That was huge! Many fathers never get that regular one-on-one time so it made all of the difference. It’s all about family for a lot of us, and it’s fantastic to see companies like Multiplex support that."