Checking in with Catherine Brooks - author of 'Lets make it work, baby!'

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We spoke to Catherine Brooks, lawyer and author of flexible work book "Let's make it work, baby!", a couple of months ago (you can read that post here) but we wanted to catch up with her post the launch of her book and here what she's learnt as part of her research into flexible working arrangements for parents in Australia. Over to Catherine!

 

Hi remote workers! In line with my friend Emma Hueston (author of The Tracksuit Economy and past Pointer blog contributer - you can read that post here) I hope you're currently tapping away at your computer in your ugg boots and trackie pants. Meanwhile, I'm working flexibly around Melbourne promoting my book, battling morning sickness (four months pregnant with my second!) and servicing clients all over the world who need employment law advice. 

Life is good, except for the morning sickness (blergh), but I'm on a mission to help more people work flexibly to enjoy the ugg boot life. Every time I battle peak hour traffic or public transport - and waste HOURS on the communte - I'm reminded about the important work that Pointer Remote Roles and employers leaning in to flexibility are doing. Why should we let productivity, or our families, suffer just because we have an outdated model of 'bums on seats' in Australia? Why shouldn't we focus on output and not input when assessing our staff members? How can we help more people work flexibly in the best interest of employer and employee PLUS the economy!? These are all questions that I dwell on every day and just love solutionising - hence my book on the topic! 

What I'm most excited about at the moment is that I'm not the only one rumenating on these issues. In fact, some of the brainiest (and most influential) people in the country are currently thinking about this topic. The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission is currently proposing some significant changes to our flexible work laws in Australia and they've gotten the industry leaders in our community turning their attention to this important topic too. And all this talk is going to lead to some legal changes that will increase your rights and entitlements as someone wanting to work flexibly, particularly if you're a parent. 

For the lowdown you can read my recent LinkedIn post here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/flexible-work-significant-changes-flagged-fair-catherine-brooks-1d/ but in summary the proposed changes will mean that an employer will have to work through a more rigorous process before it can refuse a flexible work request. Good news, particularly for those working for supervisors that just haven't yet caught up to the benefits of flexible work. 

But whilst us legal eagles keep focussing on the law, you out there are making cultural shifts and changes every day. Perhaps with your advocacy and strength in numbers one day we won't need the law to make sure that people can request and access flexible working arrangements. Until then, let's battle it from both ends and I truly believe that together we can make a difference. 

For more tips on flexible working arrangements and my musings on flexible work as an employment lawyer feel free to follow me on instagram @lesmakeitworkbaby or via LinkedIn. 

And now back to my ugg boot life!

Jo Palmer