Overview

 

Nature is pleased to announce our Flexibility 6.0 policy.  This builds on our previously articulated Flexibility 5.0 policy published in January 2021 and outlines the return to office practices in accordance with the Government requirements for workplaces.

Nature we will continue to heed recommendations from the Government on whether employees should be encouraged to work from home rather than to come into the office and update our Flexibility policy accordingly.

Please note that the take-up of any of these flexible working arrangements is optional and that Nature will continue to support team members working standard business hours (8.30am-5pm) and in the office (when permitted).

As with our Flexibility Now trial, a condition of adopting a flexible work arrangement is that there is no negative impact on culture, client satisfaction, commercial measures, and operational rhythm both within team and at the overall business level. Everyone at Nature is responsible for the role they play in each of these areas, and these cannot suffer as a result of flexible work arrangements.

All requests for flexible work arrangements are to be discussed with your manager in the first instance, with final approval to be given by the Melbourne or Sydney MD.

As part of Flexibility 6.0, Nature is pleased to offer the following working arrangements:

 

Working off-site

 

While there is no set rule as to how often a team member may work off-site, it is expected that team members will work at least 40% of their hours in the office.

A condition of working off-site is that you have high speed internet access, have a suitable home office setup that ensures you are working in an ergonomically satisfactory if not ideal manner, are accessible by phone during your designated working hours, and are fully versed in and deploying the Nature communications guidelines published in September 2020. As previously communicated, Nature will provide or reimburse the cost of purchases of reasonable home office equipment, subject to discussion of with your manager.

 

Flexi-hours

 

Standard business hours are 8.30 to 5pm. As part of Flexibility 6.0, team members are permitted to fulfil the obligations of their contract any time between the hours of 7am and 8pm Monday to Friday.

The intent here is to allow an incremental level of day-to-day flexibility to work the day that suits you. This could mean starting early, or late, or taking a block of time off during the day.

This could be a permanent, temporary, or ad-hoc arrangement.

While there is no set rule as to how often a team member may work flexi-hours, it is expected that team members will work standard business hours (or their currently contracted hours) at least 40% of the time.

Conditions of working flexi-hours are that you maintain an up-to-date Outlook calendar, communicate with your manager and team as to your whereabouts, and put in place an approved arrangement for responding to and managing client calls and emails that are received during business hours.

The arrangement for managing client calls and emails must be agreed with the client lead and approved by the office MD. This could include being available to receive phone calls during hours you are not working, ensuring that another team member is available to receive and manage requests, or having an out-of-office notification to alert clients that you are currently away from your desk and advise who to contact for urgent requests. Please note that whilst we will not be including details on any flexi-hours arrangement on our out-of-office notifications, clients are permitted to know about flexi hours as required.

As part of Flexibility 6.0, Nature is also permitting team members to compress their hours within a working week – for example, working 37.5 hours over four days rather than five. This arrangement will only be available on an ad-hoc basis (not as a permanent or temporary arrangement) that must be discussed and agreed upon with their manager at least one week in advance of the time period.

 

Conditions

 

Team members may choose to work off-site or flexi-hours any day of the week, but it is an expectation that as of February 28, 2022, each week team members must attend:

  • [If Melbourne] the all-office Monday morning meeting in person
  • [If Sydney] the all-office Tuesday morning meeting in person
  • their weekly team WIP (in person or online)
  • any internal meetings where their absence would place an incremental burden on others (in person or online)
  • any external meetings where their absence would be noticed and have a possible negative impact on the client (ideally using the channel being used by others / the client)
  • any other meetings deemed necessary by their manager or the office MD
  • any other team building or culture sessions / offsites assuming they do not clash with annual leave.

These meetings must be attended even if you are working remotely, or they fall outside of your agreed flexi-hours for that day. These meetings can be attended by VC or phone, as appropriate. Team members are not required to attend these meetings if they fall on a day on which the team member does not currently work.

All team members are encouraged to participate in and actively contribute to these meetings, as this is a critical part of the Nature culture.

All requests for flexible work arrangements are to be discussed with your manager in the first instance, with final approval to be given by the Melbourne or Sydney MD.

As detailed above, while there is no set rule as to how often a team member may work flexibly, as of February 28, 2022, we would expect team members to work standard business hours (or their currently contracted hours) in the office at least 40% of the time.

It is imperative that all team members take responsibility for making Flexibility 6.0 work, not just for yourselves, but also for the business.  What does this mean?  In simple terms, it means:

  1. Absolutely no slippage in client satisfaction.  A critical component of this is accessibility and responsiveness to clients. Please refer to our newly published expectations on responding to client emails and requests.
  2. Communication is key.  It is essential that team members proactively communicate ahead of time to their manager, team and others as needed. Team members also need to maintain an up-to-date Outlook calendar.
  3. No slippage in the functional operation of teams and the rest of the business.

Critically, we ask that all team members please consider the implications on others (their team, others they work with, the business and their clients) before adopting a flexible work arrangement.

We will monitor the success of any flexible work arrangements and reserve the right to adjust these if required. Any team members on performance management will not be permitted to adopt flexible work arrangements.

 

Use of Rapid Antigen Tests before attending the office

 

At the time of writing this policy, it is a requirement for all staff to take a Nature supplied Rapid Antigen Test in accordance with the following guidelines until further notice:

  • If you are going into the office for 1 or 2 days in a week, please test on each day (even if they are consecutive days)
  • If you are going into the office for 3 or more days, please test twice at spaced out intervals (e.g. if you elect to go in 5-days a week, Monday – Friday, test on Monday & Wednesday)

 

Flexibility on statutory holidays

 

Nature has an ongoing commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion. Across the year, there are a variety of statutory public holidays, and we appreciate that not all team members associate similarly or equally with the meaning behind these days. For this reason, we offer all permanent members of the Nature team the flexibility to swap out any statutory public holiday for another day of their choosing. This excludes Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day as these days coincide with Nature’s end-of-year closure period.

Any swapped days are to be used in isolation and cannot be combined to create a sequence of days off. As with any planned absence from work, a team member who wishes to swap a statutory holiday for a different date will need to get approval from their manager, giving as much notice as possible for planning purposes.