Future-Flex - Mainstreaming Flexibility By Design

Future-Flex is a new DCA initiative comprising evidence-based practical guidelines for HR and diversity practitioners and managers and team leaders, on how to implement and mainstream flexible work through job and work (re)design.

What is Future-Flex?

A partnership between DCA, the Retail Council, National Australia Bank, Allens, IBM, BAE Systems Australia and IAG, Future-Flex: Mainstreaming flexibility by design extends and deepens DCA’s Get Flexible! research which demonstrated how flexibility can be used as a business tool to improve individual, team and organisational productivity.

Future-Flex is a new way of thinking about workplace flexibility and is about more than just accommodating an individual’s needs – it is about re-designing work at a team or organisation level to maximise performance and wellbeing.

Features of Future-Flex practice

  • Future-Flex is a new way for thinking about workplace flexibility.
  • Future-Flex starts with the team.
  • Future-Flex treats flexibility as a business tool.
  • Future-Flex considers culture.
  • Future-Flex challenges bias.

Future-Flex creates organisations in which employees can access flexibility across all roles, for any reason, and can have successful engaged careers. This involves flexibility in time, leave, place and choice, which improves the performance and wellbeing of organisations, teams, and individuals.

When to use Future-Flex

The Future-Flex Tools can be used to address a number of challenges:

  • When you or your team want to explore what flexibility options are possible in your work area and how these can be introduced
  • When you or one of your employees want to work more flexibly
  • When your organisation wants to improve organisational, team, and individual performance and wellbeing through flexible working.

Each Tool steps you through a process of designing work, jobs, and organisations for flexibility. They are based on a ‘work design’ mindset about flexibility.

Future-Flex: Mainstreaming flexibility by team design

In February 2017 DCA released additional guidelines, Future-Flex: Mainstreaming flexibility by team design, that specifically addressed the need for a team focus when implementing flexibility in the workplace.  These were developed for employers across all sectors of the economy, organisations and emphasise the need to move away from ad hoc arrangements for individuals and towards involving their teams to redesign work. Managers and employees in Australian organisations are struggling to implement flexibility in ways that actually improve performance and wellbeing, with a critical stumbling block being a failure to redesign work with the team.  

These guidelines recommend:

  • Reviewing the components of all team members’ jobs (e.g. tasks, duties, responsibilities, location, timing), rather than just one individual employee’s.
  • Having employees and managers work together to come up with team-based flexibility solutions, rather than managers doing this in isolation or with just one employee. 

Find out more

DCA members can access the full research report. The Full Report includes detailed information on:

  • Each of the three Future-Flex Tools
  • How to use the Future-Flex Tools in your own organisation
  • The business case for Future-Flex, including all research references
  • Case studies and practical example of Future-Flex leading practice

DCA’s new knowledge program and other resources on mainstreaming flexible work and Future-Flex will be available soon. Contact us at admin@dca.org.au to register your interest.

The rest of this content is restricted to DCA members.