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Adopting a new way of working

18 January 2016

Di Tuit, who has worked with BT Financial Group for more than 26 years, was among the first of around 10,000 Westpac Group employees to shift into new workspaces along with a new, more agile style of working.

"Our new offices at Barangaroo and the technology are both fantastic, but what's making the biggest difference is the way we work," Di said.

"Sitting next to someone new each time I come in means I'm having so many more incidental conversations and building much stronger working relationships. And by sharing our individual insights more broadly, I'm finding we are coming up with better, more creative ideas for our customers.

"I also have much greater freedom to work when and where I want, to get the best results. This is really important to me. It means I can get my job done well and can also get the kids to rugby, rowing and tennis training in the afternoons, rather than just hear about it at the dinner table!"

"It really is a new way of thinking about work. It's so much better for me and my team and, ultimately, our customers."

About the new way of working

Westpac Group introduced a program, WorkSMART, which aims to provide the best physical environment, tools, technology, systems and policies, while fostering a culture which drives greater agility, mobility, productivity and wellbeing.

This program grew from the opportunity created to rethink the design of our physical workspaces as we progressively relocate our head office employees from multiple CBD locations into new corporate centres, including Melbourne's Collins Street, Brisbane's Eagle Street and Sydney's Barangaroo and Kogarah. By the end of this year, more than 10,000 employees will be accessing these new workspaces and adopting a working style based on agile principles - that work is not somewhere you go, it's something you do and achieve, offering employees the freedom and flexibility to work how, when and where they want.

Employee surveys confirm WorkSMART is delivering a new era of collaboration, team effectiveness and mobility with results showing improvements across every flexibility measure.

We've also stepped up our focus on the wellbeing of our people to promote engagement, productivity and safety, and reduce absenteeism.

This included working with leading ergonomists on design, furniture and technology for our new corporate centres. Employees are benefiting from a healthier internal environment, with access to corporate Wellness Centres with services including physiotherapy, and 'end-of-trip' facilities such as bicycle storage and showers. An analysis of those who moved to our new building at 150 Collins Street, Melbourne, demonstrates a 15% reduction in sick leave during the six months to May 2015, compared to the same period last year, and an improved Wellbeing WorkAbility Index score.

These initiatives, combined with a Group wide focus on physical and mental health risk-minimisation initiatives through training and education have contributed to an improvement in our overall lost time injury frequency rate to 0.8, down from 1.1 last year.