Emma and Nick: Early Impressions

Emma and Nick: Early Impressions

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Emma Howden

If I had to sum it up in a single sentence I’d say working for CCER is fast paced, collaborative, member-focused and a great place to work. 

Since starting last month I’ve been helping our members on a variety of employment issues, and it’s quickly become obvious to me that working here is about more than simply ticking a box of legal compliance. There is a genuine balancing of Catholic values and pastoral concern for staff as individuals with the operational needs of each sector and legislative requirements.

The CCER office is tailored to activity based working (ABW), which effectively means we use different parts of the office for different tasks. As a result we don’t have or own designated desks. I wasn’t sure how I would go with this as I can have paper hoarder tendencies, but now I can really see the value in ABW.

If I need to concentrate, I can set up shop in the area assigned for quiet thought. There are also places for team meetings, and others for one-to-one collaboration. I tend to spend most of my time in the area where there is no issue with chatting while you work. If I have a question I can just ask.  Everyone around me is willing to be interrupted as they have chosen to work in that area. There is a real value in being able to organically seek the experience and insights of other skilled colleagues. It also helps newbies like me get to know my colleagues quickly. I haven’t tried out the spinning egg chair yet – I think when I have I will have fully embraced ABW!

In addition to being very friendly, the team at CCER are all very good at what they do. Hopefully it’s not too cheesy to say that I hope I’ve made as good an impression on colleagues as they have on me. I’m looking forward to learning more about the broad range of Catholic employers in NSW and the ACT, and working with them to make their workplaces run smoothly.

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“…working here is about more than simply ticking a box of legal compliance. There is a genuine balancing of Catholic values and pastoral concern for staff as individuals with the operational needs of each sector and legislative requirements.” – Emma Howden

 

Nicholas Donney

As the saying goes, time flies when you are having fun.

I must say this resonates with me as the first month of my career with the Catholic Commission of Employment Relations has flown by. Being relatively new to the field, I can’t help but feel I have been given a great opportunity to brush shoulders with a team of very experienced and knowledgeable professionals. In the short time I have been here, no two days have been the same as the matters CCER handle relate to a range of different issues.

The Activity Based Workspace creates the perfect environment to deal with complex (and simple) matters as it promotes collaboration between members of CCER. No matter the size of the issue being handled, everyone is encouraged to share their opinion and ideas, often promoting healthy debate when views differ. Now that I’ve worked in an ABW workplace, I struggle to understand why more organisations aren’t using a similar set up. The thought of ever going back to a cubicle is hard to imagine, as the benefits of working in such a flexible environment are evident.

I’m looking forward to building my knowledge and experience in employment relations with a highly talented team and highly collaborative environment as the months continue to fly by.

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