Flexibility case study – COX

3 May 2022

COX Architecture identified some key takeaways from the implementation process of the All Roles Flex policy.

COX is a design-focused contemporary architectural practice with studios located in every major Australian city and a history spanning 60 years. The practice employs some 500 talented architects, urban planners, interior designers, researchers, and digital visualisation experts.

COX works within a collegiate framework allowing the best ideas to emerge – we are ‘by the many, for the many’. We seek the brightest minds to innovate our design, processes, and typology. We welcome collaboration, from both traditional and disruptive sources, should it contribute to better design outcomes.

When going through the process of implementing All Roles Flex Policy we found some key takeaways. First, it was important to undertake an internal education process for management and employees in relation to implementing an All-Roles Flex policy. We needed to make sure everyone understood the policy, to whom it applied and how the policy would operate. Many people had some idea, but there were misconceptions and fears that needed to be allayed or dis-spelled. Concerns were that productivity would reduce, there would be no way of judging performance, and that staff would take advantage of flexibility.

We found the best way to overcome these challenges was having key decision makers being champions of the policy and being willing and able to dedicate time to being vocal and active in support of the policy. As with any policy initiative, an All-Roles Flex policy needs to be well considered and to be inclusive. The policy must not stand alone but be supported by strong administrative process, consultation and mechanisms for review and evaluation.

Monitoring and reporting on the ‘take-up’ of the All-Roles Flex policy and how it works in practicality, is important and is critical to ensure the ongoing success of the policy. In the experience of COX, the feedback and performance was positive.

In the future, even more communication and education will be critical. We will need specific agreement on implementation dates by state studios to ensure the rollout to the national practice as a whole.

For more information on incorporating flexibility into practice, see our other Flexibility case studies, Flexibility Resources, What is Flexibility & Why Does it Matter?, and How to Create an Effective Flex Policy.