Richard McLellan is the CEO of one of Australia’s 56 regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) organisations – the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council (NACC) – based at Geraldton in mid-west Australia. He prides himself on having a workforce with considerable diversity – in gender, age, and cultural backgrounds; in working styles, education levels, work location, life experiences and professional skills – and on encouraging and encompassing flexibility into his organisation’s work ethic in any way possible.
Richard said he is acutely aware that flexibility is a major determinant of job satisfaction among many in the workforce, valued more highly than pay-scales and position titles by many employees. Flexibility in working arrangements – such as being able to work part-time, from home, by teleconference, or with compressed work weeks – allows for easier and better balancing of work-life demands and desires. It benefits staff as workers, but also as mums and dads, sisters and brothers – at home, in families and relationships.
As a career environmentalist and one-time Director of Ecological Footprint at WWF, the international conservation organisation, Richard said flexibility is not only “good for our people, but also good for our planet” It stands to reason that fewer hours in the office, or more flexible working conditions – such as teleconferencing instead of driving or flying to meetings – is good for the environment. Flexible working conditions can help us to reduce our consumption (especially of energy and ‘more stuff’), reduce pollution, and thus reduce our overall footprint. And that’s got to be good for the planet – choosing “more time instead of more stuff”.