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The changing nature of work and how flexibility enriches our team

Across BHP, eight per cent* of our people have a formal flexible working arrangement in place. Another 35 per cent* have an informal equivalent which, for Sashi Rajavetti from our Enterprise Improvement team, has made a world of difference.

For him, becoming a parent for the first time was a big moment – made easier and more rewarding by the ability to work flexibly at BHP. He’s discovered balance through a combination of flexible working hours and connecting from different locations.

From his Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia base, Sashi partners with his colleagues around the world to support the delivery of transformative projects for BHP – often across different time zones. He balances this with a hands-on role as a parent, including the all-important school pick-up and drop-off.

Sashi attributes the increasing uptake of flexible work at BHP to the broad recognition that everyone’s circumstances are unique and there’s no one perfect way to manage the nuances. 

“In today’s world, we understand more so that flexible working, balance and family/work life integration is something that’s more important than just spending some in the office and spending some time at home,” said Sashi.

“So there’s no doubt about how important family is and the fact that BHP promotes that is very encouraging. It’s very empowering because it actually builds on my commitment as well,” he continued. 

Having worked previously in organisations where flexible work was the exception and not the norm, Sashi recognised how important it was to build the confidence in himself to be able present a methodology to his leaders that worked best.

“My leaders trust that I will deliver my work. Likewise I trust my leaders to understand my situation and my family life and how important that is. So that means I can prioritise accordingly because there is that understanding that works both ways,” Sashi said. 

“When I trust my leaders and my leaders trust me, I am more empowered. I feel excited to work. I am happy to focus on my deliverables and I’m very committed to my role,” he continued.

At BHP, we know that flexible work means different things to different people. With operations that span the world and a diverse range of both field and office-based activities to consider, we’re focussed on ensuring our people have the resources required to define an arrangement that works for them, their teams and their stakeholders.

For his part, Sashi is a fierce advocate of flexible work and the benefits it offers. As the shift continues, we expect an additional 10 per cent* of our people will start work flexibly in the next year. 

“The fact that we’ve built that culture at BHP is truly amazing. I am living it right now so I can attest to the fact that it works,” Sashi concluded.

*Based on responses to BHP’s 2019 Employee Perception Survey