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Agile working program

The Department of Energy and Water Supply (DEWS) is implementing an Agile working program to improve inclusion and diversity, and to get the best out of its employees.

The program includes:

  • rollout of mobile technology
  • senior leaders working flexibly
  • a cultural change program to showcase new thinking, innovation and the benefits of flexible working
  • optional timesheets (40% of staff no longer use timesheets)
  • a leadership program for all employees to improve culture, team building and accountability
  • developing the Path-to-parity program for part-time employees to ensure they reach their full potential and achieve financial security.

DEWS Diversity and Inclusion survey 2017

Flexibility within DEWS is changing. Results from the survey indicate that:

  • there is an increase in the uptake of flexible work by employees
  • there is a decrease in perceptions that cultural and system barriers (including stigma) are impeding the uptake of flexible working
  • 92% of respondents feel that the working environment supports flexible work, compared to 45% in 2015
  • 5% of respondents said they did not work flexibly but want to, compared to 45% in 2015
  • telecommuting is more popular than part-time work for women and men (30% increase in telecommuting arrangements)
  • more men are using condensed hours, compared to women
  • 44% of part-time employees (women) now use telecommuting or distributed work centres
  • 92% of respondents feel personally included in the workplace, compared to 76% in 2015.

Work practices are starting to show signs that employees are becoming more flexible (in their flexibility) and responsive to work needs rather than simply swapping one fixed work pattern for another. Nearly 25% of respondents indicated their work patterns regularly changed and 45% of respondents had changed their flexible work patterns in the last 12 months.

2017 priorities

  • Design flexibility well at the team level – individual accountability and support
  • Make flexibility even more flexible to remain responsive and inclusive
  • Become more practiced at working with and including employees who are not physically there
  • Use flexible culture to attract and retain diverse talent