Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Big corporates often talk about the benefits of flexible working. Now, some of Australia’s most successful small and medium businesses are jumping on-board and finding that attracting top talent is just the tip of the iceberg.

woman smiling on couch
You get more loyalty from staff when you fit in around their lifestyle.

- Harriet Warlow-Shill, KWS Legal

Balance breeds loyalty

Having leaders who “walk the talk” is one of the best ways to create a truly flexible workplace. Harriet Warlow-Shill, Managing Partner of the 2014 Telstra NSW Business Awards finalist, KWS Legal, sees her children as her “biggest client”, so it’s no surprise the firm is a hive of highly talented and productive parents.

“You get more loyalty from staff when you fit in around their lifestyle. We have a kid’s space in our Melbourne and Sydney offices, with a good hour of entertainment for kids up to the age of 12 years old.

“Allowing men and women to balance their career and home life should be taken 100 per cent seriously. It makes no difference to the client because they still get a timely and quality service, but it makes a huge difference to that family.”

We are getting as much done in five hours as we used to do in eight.

– Bree James, PakMag

The power of diversity

Harriet says gender and cultural diversity is an integral part of her business success.         

“At times our staff have been almost exclusively men or women but we always find ourselves yearning for a gender balance. We find having that balance brings greater perspective and makes for a more productive team.

“Diversity in all forms makes for better quality legal thinking, thus a better quality product.  Staff are happier because they are accommodated and as a result they excel at their work.”

Recognising this shift towards accommodating staff needs, flexible working practices will form a new part of judging for the 2015 Telstra Australian Business Awards along with business achievements, strategy, customer service, financials, sales and marketing, innovation and social responsibility.

Nominate an inspiring business to be recognised in one of Australia’s most prestigious business awards.

Entries are now open and close on Monday 30 March. To enter head here or call 1800 AWARDS. 

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