Being told my flexible working arrangement (working one day from home per week) was a reward, rather than a business imperative, will forever baffle me.

In an age of technological advances, particularly in a services business such as PR, flexible work arrangements are just as much a benefit to business as it is to staff. But an organisation must be structured in how it approaches this, to ensure things like personal connections, collaboration, learning and culture – aren’t lost!

When we set up Chasing Albert, Linda and I were done with 3 hours round trips to get to the office and back. Travel has always been on the cards for me – I grew up in Bankstown! So early in my career 1.5 hours to get to work by 9am was a good run. And yes, whilst I enjoyed singing to Beyonce and sipping Maccas coffee on the way to work, there are just better ways to spend this time (don’t hate, Macca’s coffee is great!).

I don’t accept that dead time anymore. That’s three hours I can spend at the gym (I don’t), reading (nope), walking along the beach (come on!) or spending time with my kids (bingo!).

To enable a flexible workforce, you must be structured. For us, it meant turning to the cloud and setting up SaaS where ever we could. We’ve looked for innovative ways to set up and manage our landlines, and establish clear boundaries such as core working hours, using Skype for business for communicating (yes, Slack is on the cards too) and we’re also working on some amazing new project management systems.

We’ve set up a collaboration space in Rosebery, where the team comes together as required for project meetings, training or a break from the burbs. It’s part of a circus training centre so watching some extraordinary talent on the trapeze brings a whole new level of energy and perspective that’s hard to find in a corporate block.

The result? A happy team, happy clients, lower overheads, more creativity and more autonomy. Whilst it’s going to be incredibly hard for large businesses to truly embrace this model quickly, being dynamic and agile is one of the many upsides of being a start-up. And we intend to use it to our advantage.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of all, is the ability to diversify our pool of talent and look beyond people that can or want to work 7-7 in the City of Sydney. Our vision is to find people from all parts of Australia, from all backgrounds, and give them the opportunity to shape a business and work with amazing brands. And not because it will substitute a decent pay or amazing career path. But because that’s the way the world should be!

Marie