Senior Consultant, Organisational Development
We recognize that our employees each have unique responsibilities beyond their occupation, which is why we strive to be the most inclusive and flexible organisation in the energy sector. One of our talented employees, Jess Darcy recently dropped back from a full time, five days a week position to four days a week. He’s looking to create a better balance with his partner, sharing their home and parenting duties.
“I’ve been at AEMO for six years, and work is important to me. It gives me the opportunity to connect with great people every day, contributing to an exciting and meaningful business and industry,” said Jess.
There are many ways to construct our time at work and to make space for family, study or anything else that is important in our lives. AEMO has a Flexible Workplace Playbook that supports our teams to have open, honest conversations on what flexibility means for them.
In February 2021, life changed for the better after the birth of our first child and from the beginning I was keen to play an active role in parenting. I wanted to spend more quality one-on-one time with my little girl. This flexibility allowed me to take full responsibility growing as a parent. It was also important that I prioritised this time ensuring that I could bring my whole self to work and home life without feeling overwhelmed by everyday pressures of life and work commitments. It was vital to me that my partner returned to work to continue to grow her career in healthcare.
This decision wasn’t an easy one and I did have some reservations leading up to commencing this arrangement:
1) How was I going to achieve my work in four days rather than five?
2) What happens if I end up working late nights and weekends to compensate?
3) How will my daughter feel about being left with her father for a full day without mum??
What did I learn?
Wow, the short answer is ‘a lot’ and what a steep learning curve it is in becoming a father. I wanted to be able to do everything I could to set my partner up for success and ensure she could concentrate at work without worrying about what is going on at home. So open communication with my partner and my manager was important. Being clear on what I was doing, what is working well and how we can work together. I learned the art of building resilience, to understand and accept what I can and can’t control. Also, that patience is key and a reminder that you need to sometimes stop thinking about what’s happening next and go with the flow.
Six months later and I am thankful that the support I was given from my manager and team. #kudosChrisHartman. If I was to give anyone advice who would want to take up this great opportunity, I would say…time goes fast so live in the moment and cherish the time you have when they are young. Talking to your manager and those close to you to make it work.