Flexibility at RPV allows Sam to balance working from home in a busy house of shift workers

Rail Projects Victoria

Sam, Rail Projects Victoria’s (RPV) resident early bird used to start her day at 4:00am every morning, be at the gym by 6:00am and at her desk in the office by 7:00am. Sam, who was working on a flexible work arrangement recognises that she is more productive first thing in the morning and that’s when she gets her best quality work done. It also means she can beat the traffic and fit more into her day.

Working from home has meant Sam now starts her working day even earlier and is at her “desk” by 5:00am every morning. This suits Sam’s lifestyle, but it has also become a necessity. Living with two housemates who are essential workers and do shift work can mean the house is quite busy at times. Sam finds it easier to get up first thing in the morning because its quiet and housemates are generally not home, or they are asleep, so it helps having the peace and quiet to get things done. It also means Sam is able to get out of the house in the afternoons to ensure her and her housemates are not under each-other’s feet.

Having housemates hasn’t been all bad though, as Sam’s family are scattered around Darwin, Bendigo, Newcastle and New Zealand so she hasn’t been able to see her family. It’s been hard for Sam not having that support network but living in a share house with other people, they are able to help out. Sam says she is shocked at just how easy it is to work around everyone, “I thought there would be lots of obstacles or people wouldn’t be as accommodating but people have realised that everyone’s in a different situation, things change daily, it’s such a fluid environment, its good, people adapted really quickly”.

The flexibility has definitely been the best part about working from home for Sam, “I feel like you manage your time a lot more because you block out time for certain things, especially in my instance with housemates. I block out certain hours to do high level stuff first thing in the morning when everyone’s not around, so time management has improved so much more”. Sam feels that being by being able to adjust her schedule to best suit her work and life she is more productive and produces her best quality work. “It just made sense to me to get in early and get things done, its beneficial for myself and RPV”.

Of course, it hasn’t all been easy, Sam misses having a quiet space to work in, and says it can be hard to concentrate when you have people coming and going through the house.

Sam is looking forward to getting back to face to face team meetings, especially being able to have her team meeting in a café like they did before COVID. But, working flexibly is something that Sam will continue to maintain to get the best out of life and work.