Why hybrid work is here to stay, for the good of people and culture


LinkedIn Talent Streams, an exclusive HR C-Suite video series, features people leaders across Australia’s most recognised institutions, including NAB and Telstra, unveiling how they are managing hybrid work and reshaping HR for the future.

The words ‘unprecedented’ and ‘pivot’ might make many wince after two years working and living with COVID-19. However, the mention of hybrid work can still yield rave reviews, impassioned anecdotes and even the odd quizzical look.

As our professional lives have continued to evolve from the learnings of lockdown life and work, HR executives have revolutionised the hybrid work model and how it functions, dispelling myths to show that hybrid work is a driver of commercial success and people goals. 

Read on to learn how Australia’s most innovative HR leaders have implemented hybrid work with, yes, unprecedented results.    

Behind the scenes of Telstra’s hybrid work revolution

At Telstra, there was a desperate demand for technology skills even before COVID-19. Once the pandemic hit, there was no other choice but to drive innovation with a people-first perspective, deep diving into a hybrid work model that has since seen the telco thrive.

Speaking on season two of LinkedIn Talent Streams, Alex Badenoch – Telstra’s Group Executive of Transformation, Communication and People – dissects what makes a hybrid work environment thrive, beginning with frank conversations about mental health and wellbeing. 

From there, it became apparent that despite some calls for a return to the traditional 9 to 5, 5 days per week office model, Telstra saw an opportunity to turn the Great Resignation into the Great Realignment with an approach that emphasises choice and blended experience with maximum flexibility.

While misconceptions surrounding productivity and working from home may be changing, Badenoch outlines that a hybrid work model creates more jobs and increases productivity by over 20 per cent, with the added benefit of growing employee engagement in the process. It also helps in recruiting the best talent, as well as increasing equity for employees with accessibility needs and creating a non-gendered parental leave policy, resulting in a 50:50 gender split of employees on parental leave at Telstra.

Badenoch has a  ‘don’t knock it until you try it’ philosophy, and still  advocates for  the role of the office, believing it to be important in traditional processes such as onboarding However, she says the hybrid work model needs to be rethought holistically for it to be successful.

Removing barriers while hitting commercial KPIs and people goals, Telstra’s all-in approach to hybrid work is clearly here to stay.


Discover how companies can navigate the shifting talent landscape and create a human-centred company culture in LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends report.


Fungibility, hybrid work and AI with NAB

At National Australia Bank (NAB), creating a hybrid workforce begins with a strategic vision and values at the top. 

As Susan Ferrier, Group Executive of People and Culture at NAB reveals, the financial institution’s hybrid work model is borne from three key guiding principles: for every employee to have a great leader; for all staff to have meaningful, exciting, and challenging work; and to create a platform for the NAB workforce to experience real investment in their talent and elevate their skills across the board.

Ferrier details the concept of fungibility as the skeleton key to a hybrid work framework. 

With an organisational philosophy focused upon the acquisition of skills to create maximum capacity and capability in one’s portfolio, NAB sees the future of work as being centred upon organisational breadth, correlating with employees’ increased appetite for learning opportunities as a result of COVID-19. 

Noting that hybrid work is not just a balance of office attendance versus work-from-home arrangements, Ferrier emphasises the importance of showing care for staff in an entirely different, holistic manner compared to the pre-pandemic workforce.

Envisioning the role of CHROs in this new era as imperative to challenging the status quo with insight, data and diagnosis, NAB is beginning to explore the full capabilities of AI in recruitment, noting its accuracy in scouring CVs and producing skillset insights that result in faster and more accurate hiring decisions. 

Combining technological innovation with a people-first approach has resulted in hard-earned results for NAB, an approach that Ferrier sees as intrinsic to the financial institution’s success as we learn to live and work alongside COVID-19.   


Click here to find out more about LinkedIn Talent Streams and how people leaders in Australia are reimagining people and culture in the world of work.


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Why hybrid work is here to stay, for the good of people and culture


LinkedIn Talent Streams, an exclusive HR C-Suite video series, features people leaders across Australia’s most recognised institutions, including NAB and Telstra, unveiling how they are managing hybrid work and reshaping HR for the future.

The words ‘unprecedented’ and ‘pivot’ might make many wince after two years working and living with COVID-19. However, the mention of hybrid work can still yield rave reviews, impassioned anecdotes and even the odd quizzical look.

As our professional lives have continued to evolve from the learnings of lockdown life and work, HR executives have revolutionised the hybrid work model and how it functions, dispelling myths to show that hybrid work is a driver of commercial success and people goals. 

Read on to learn how Australia’s most innovative HR leaders have implemented hybrid work with, yes, unprecedented results.    

Behind the scenes of Telstra’s hybrid work revolution

At Telstra, there was a desperate demand for technology skills even before COVID-19. Once the pandemic hit, there was no other choice but to drive innovation with a people-first perspective, deep diving into a hybrid work model that has since seen the telco thrive.

Speaking on season two of LinkedIn Talent Streams, Alex Badenoch – Telstra’s Group Executive of Transformation, Communication and People – dissects what makes a hybrid work environment thrive, beginning with frank conversations about mental health and wellbeing. 

From there, it became apparent that despite some calls for a return to the traditional 9 to 5, 5 days per week office model, Telstra saw an opportunity to turn the Great Resignation into the Great Realignment with an approach that emphasises choice and blended experience with maximum flexibility.

While misconceptions surrounding productivity and working from home may be changing, Badenoch outlines that a hybrid work model creates more jobs and increases productivity by over 20 per cent, with the added benefit of growing employee engagement in the process. It also helps in recruiting the best talent, as well as increasing equity for employees with accessibility needs and creating a non-gendered parental leave policy, resulting in a 50:50 gender split of employees on parental leave at Telstra.

Badenoch has a  ‘don’t knock it until you try it’ philosophy, and still  advocates for  the role of the office, believing it to be important in traditional processes such as onboarding However, she says the hybrid work model needs to be rethought holistically for it to be successful.

Removing barriers while hitting commercial KPIs and people goals, Telstra’s all-in approach to hybrid work is clearly here to stay.


Discover how companies can navigate the shifting talent landscape and create a human-centred company culture in LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends report.


Fungibility, hybrid work and AI with NAB

At National Australia Bank (NAB), creating a hybrid workforce begins with a strategic vision and values at the top. 

As Susan Ferrier, Group Executive of People and Culture at NAB reveals, the financial institution’s hybrid work model is borne from three key guiding principles: for every employee to have a great leader; for all staff to have meaningful, exciting, and challenging work; and to create a platform for the NAB workforce to experience real investment in their talent and elevate their skills across the board.

Ferrier details the concept of fungibility as the skeleton key to a hybrid work framework. 

With an organisational philosophy focused upon the acquisition of skills to create maximum capacity and capability in one’s portfolio, NAB sees the future of work as being centred upon organisational breadth, correlating with employees’ increased appetite for learning opportunities as a result of COVID-19. 

Noting that hybrid work is not just a balance of office attendance versus work-from-home arrangements, Ferrier emphasises the importance of showing care for staff in an entirely different, holistic manner compared to the pre-pandemic workforce.

Envisioning the role of CHROs in this new era as imperative to challenging the status quo with insight, data and diagnosis, NAB is beginning to explore the full capabilities of AI in recruitment, noting its accuracy in scouring CVs and producing skillset insights that result in faster and more accurate hiring decisions. 

Combining technological innovation with a people-first approach has resulted in hard-earned results for NAB, an approach that Ferrier sees as intrinsic to the financial institution’s success as we learn to live and work alongside COVID-19.   


Click here to find out more about LinkedIn Talent Streams and how people leaders in Australia are reimagining people and culture in the world of work.


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