87% of employees in Macquarie's Banking and Financial Services division work flexibly. There are many reasons - or sometimes absolutely no reason at all. Hear Campbell Hor and Kate Fraser's stories.
The motto of “flex for any reason or no reason at all" represents Campbell Hor's Macquarie experience. As he says, "there isn't a typical reason for working flexibly".
"In my team, there's always someone working flexibly. Some have children, some don't. Flex is for everyone. It is just a part of how we work".
Campbell has enjoyed flexible working since he joined Macquarie in a part-time role seven years ago, working four days a week in the contact centre as he was finishing university studies.
He now works full-time as a business analyst and takes advantage of working from home or flexible hours.
“Currently, I work from home if I have a rental inspection or need to take deliveries or let in tradespeople. It doesn't have to be booked in. Recently we had a really bad storm and half the team was working from home. Our technology allows us to do that so it was business as usual."
Campbell says, from his point of view, flexible working allows him to stay focused both psychologically and emotionally. It also lets him do his job without worrying about how to squeeze in some of life's practicalities, such as making a doctor's appointment or going to the gym.
"Delivering outcomes for our business and our clients is key – you’re still accountable for getting the work done. But if I wasn't able to be flexible it could be quite stressful and distracting."
Campbell says that over his time at Macquarie, he's noticed flexible working has become both more available and more advocated for in the culture.
“Flexible working has come a long way," says Campbell. “I've seen it grow and develop - technology is part of this growth but it's cultural too."
“As time goes by it becomes a more intrinsic feature of the way we work."
Technology has even enabled flexible working for some employees previously unable to imagine working remotely. This includes employees in the contact centre where Campbell started out. There is now an entire team working remotely in our client contact centre.
Campbell believes the cultural transformation within the Banking and Financial Services division has been successful in part because of the leaders.
“We have had really strong leadership that has encouraged flexibility."
Kate Fraser's Macquarie career began 11 years ago in the client service and operations team. However, it was in 2013, while on parental leave, that she first experienced the benefits of working remotely.
At the time, Kate performed some work at home to help her team out during an exceptionally busy period. She would have liked the arrangement to continue but flexible working wasn't a common feature of her team back then.
Faced with the prospect of bringing up a young family with a daily two-and-a-half hour commute each way, Kate decided to work from home as a consultant. This meant she could continue her relationship with Macquarie on a contract basis.
In 2018, and now with two children, she found out there was a permanent role going in Macquarie's Wealth Adviser Services team so she asked about returning but working remotely.
“I knew that things had changed and that flexible working is quite common now across Macquarie," Kate says. “Because I'd had those five years contracting and working at home, I also knew that I could do it - it would work for me and I would be productive".
Things certainly had changed from Kate's early experiences. She returned as an employee, working four days a week. Three days she works from her home office in the NSW Southern Highlands, and once a week she travels to the Sydney office.
Kate says this gives her the best of both worlds.
“I get to meet colleagues and get to know them so I'm not just a person in the background," Kate says. “It's nice to have company."
“But I find it better, in terms of the volume of work that I'm able to do when I work at home. You just put your head down and go for it."
For Kate, one of the big benefits of flexibility is being able to see more of her children: “Whether it’s through working from home, flexible hours or during school breaks the School Holiday Programs that Macquarie runs, I know I am supported to work in the way that is best for my family.”
She says Macquarie also receives a return on its investment in flex by gaining dedicated, productive employees.
“I know because I am happier and achieve more than I would if I was in the office every day."