For many working parents, the idea of having a nanny to look after your child in close proximity to your workplace for free, sounds like a dream. However, for the 45 employees at INS Career Management – a specialised HR company in Sydney – it is a reality.
When three of the managers at INS went on maternity and paternity leave, CEO and Co-Founder Sophia Symeou said she made a selfish choice.
“I wanted them back in my business so I said, what if we hire a nanny? What can I do?” she said.
“We set up a room and hired nannies with qualifications – we are strong believers in education.”
Twelve months on from making this decision, INS a business started in 2011 and specialising in assisting workers who find themselves redundant, has a workplace creche.
The day-time nursery currently has three children cared for by two qualified nannies, which has helped parents return to work without having to worry about balancing the cost of childcare or the additional commute time to pick their children up after the work day.
INS employees with older children also enjoy reduced working hours to drop off and pick-up their children and others have the flexibility to care for elderly parents.
The structure of the creche has opened up flexibility for workers like emergency care.
“There were employees who could not find child care – we said why not use the creche?” Symeou said.
“If you don’t have structures in place to support parents you can’t have diversity.
“It sounds really altruistic but I gain so much.”
Ms Symeou even arranged a nanny for a husband and wife team both working at INS to make a business trip to South Australia feasible for them.
INS demonstrate the importance of supporting each employee and have even hired someone to pick up an employee’s child after school, support them with homework and even give drumming lessons.
On why the organisation would go so far, Ms Symeou said although some people may think paying employees is fair remuneration enough, it was all about keeping the commitment of saying that community is important.
“We have an internal award called it takes a village for people who above and beyond,” she said.
“The concept is – no one can do it alone.”
DID YOU KNOW?
According to 1,000 Australian workers, flexible working hours is the second most important part of wellbeing (83%). It is second only to realistic work expectations (92%). (Workplace Wellbeing)