Flexibility: We're doing it - Why aren't YOU?
On the 27th of June, the AIA hosted their first event organised by the Gender Equity Committee QLD titled “Flexibility- We’re doing it- why aren’t you?”
Along with over 100 other audience members, we had the pleasure of watching Director, Katerina Dracopoulos represent Fulton Trotter as one of four keynote speakers from local Architectural practices of varying sizes. Each shared an insight into how their workplace supports flexible work arrangements and the benefits and challenges that come with creating a culture of flexibility.
Katerina discussed some of the flexible work arrangements embraced by Fulton Trotter Architects, such as flexible working hours and locations for all staff from students and parents to those nearing retirement. As a 70 year old architectural practice with a diverse group of staff in different life and career stages, it was inevitable that Fulton Trotter would implement flexible work arrangements within the practice.
A turning point was in 1994 when Justine Ebzery, now a Director, took 12 months maternity leave and requested to come back 3 days a week. In many ways, this has set in motion a cultural shift in the office to adopt flexible working patterns. While there are challenges and risks in making it work, flexibility in our workplace is successful in many aspects including retention of experienced staff, mutual loyalty and stronger team relationships.
Interestingly enough all four practices seemed to experience similar challenges with implementing and maintaining flexible working arrangements, but each devised different solutions mostly tailored to the needs of individual staff members.
Congratulations to the QLD Equity Committee on such a successful opening event. We look forward to being a part of many more ‘Flexibility’ conversations.