The scope of flexible working and how we can inspire flexible careers continues to broaden. At AGL, we’re committed to embedding a culture where flexible working is the norm and not the exception, which is why we’re making sure the benefits of flexibility are enjoyed by all our people – from the corporate offices, to our operational sites.
For David Jerrett, a Minor Outage Coordinator at AGL Macquarie, taking four weeks of parental leave following the birth of his daughter was an incredible experience. By the time Emily started kindergarten, David had realised he wanted to spend more time with his young family – but wasn’t sure this would be possible given the operational nature of his role.
After a series of conversations with his team leader, David ultimately found a flexible working arrangement that has given him the best of both worlds – and he is now able to spend more time with his daughter while maintaining his operational responsibilities at one of Australia’s largest power stations.
Here David shares how he’s working flexibly on site.
I’ve worked for AGL since 2014, when they purchased Macquarie Generation from the NSW Government. While working for Macquarie Generation, I was an electrician and I also acted in many roles, including Workshop Team Leader, Forced Outage Coordinator and Contracts Officer.
My daughter Emily was born in August 2012. I took parental leave so that I could be at home during the first month. Given the operational focus of my role, I wasn’t all that familiar with flexible working – and wasn’t even sure if it would be a possibility in the long run.
After returning to work full time, I knew it would be challenging for me to be there for those special milestones and family events that would mark Emily’s early years. By the time Emily started kindergarten in November 2017, I had realised I wanted to be more involved, to have the chance to spend more time with my family – so I started having the conversations with my leader at the time, Dylan Gerrish.
Dylan and the rest of the team were incredibly supportive. Last year I began working extended hours on Monday to Thursday, which allows me to have Fridays off. Since moving to the Minor Outages team my new manager Nathan Nowlan has continued to offer support towards my flexible work arrangements. I’ve now started working from home some days when I’m not required to be on site.
Friday has become the best day of the week for me. Working flexibly allows me to take Emily to and from school, and also attend many of her school activities. Last year, I attended the Father’s Day breakfast hosted by her primary school, and was also lucky enough to attend a Friday assembly where Emily received a class award. Emily and I have also been able to spend quality time together in the afternoon, doing the things she loves to do – like playing at the park, visiting Timezone, or shopping at Smiggle.
This arrangement has never impacted my ability to perform my role. On the contrary, it has helped me to better integrate my work and my personal life – giving me the best of both worlds. During outages, when I need to work longer hours, I can now make other arrangements, and because these outages are planned well in advance I have plenty of time to map it all out with my wife, Samantha.
My flexible working arrangements have been a great conversation starter, and now there is greater awareness and more people are open to the idea.
Maintaining a work life balance is so important, and I’m proud to work for an organisation like AGL that understands there is more to people’s lives than work. AGL proactively supports and embeds flexible working arrangements across our wide-ranging workforce, which is important for people like me with young families.
I hope to continue working flexibly for as long as possible. That way, I can enjoy more time at home with my family, and also make sure we can get away for long weekends during the school holidays, or go camping and have short trips away together. We hope this will allow Emily to enjoy exploring and traveling just like I did when I was young – and flexible working will help me to achieve this.
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