A round of a-paws for workplace flexibility

March 25, 2024
Workplace flexibility

Attention animal lovers: did you know jobs involving working with animals aren’t limited to veterinary clinics or zoos? There are many avenues to apply your knowledge and skills in this highly engaging industry. 

When Rachael Bryant was returning to work seven years ago, she discovered one such role. As GAP (Greyhound Adoptions Program) Operations Manager for Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV), she loves making a difference and contributing towards animal welfare, with the flexibility to balance her responsibilities raising a young family. She is a self-professed animal lover, with a special penchant for both dogs and horses. 

“Strangely, so many people in our Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) dabble in both dogs and horses too. I grew up in regional Western Australia and, for as long as I can remember, have always had a dog in my home. My love of horses developed when I was two years old and (unfortunately for my mother) the ‘horse phase’ never passed. I’m still riding and own a horse today. This is my joy!” 

Perhaps it’s no surprise then that she loves all things outdoors and being in the sun. 

“I love being in nature and riding with both my dogs and horse. I take my two little ones along for the ride, hoping they’ll develop the same passion for animals as I do. I have two dogs – one giant bullmastiff and one tiny chihuahua. I say they represent both sides of my personality: calm and feisty.” 

Barking up the right tree 

As GAP Operations Manager, does she get to interact much with greyhounds? Yes – a lot!

Workplace flexibility

“I enjoy being constantly surrounded by dogs. They always greet me happily, tails wagging, no matter the time of day. They’re always inside the office with me, near me in the kennels as I work, or enjoying a walk with me on my lunch break. They occupy every bit of space and I love it!” 

The fulfilment she achieves from her role is because of the dogs – plain and simple: “Everyone is here for them. I could never see myself anywhere that didn’t have dogs.” 

Digging flexible work policies 

For Rachael, another great treat about working for GRV is having flexible work options, which are available to all team members with respect to their roles and team requirements. The organization has supported her transition from being a full-time worker without children, through parental leave, to returning part-time and transitioning to full-time work with two children.  

“Having children is a big life adjustment, and along with a career, it’s a hard balance to strike, that’s for sure! GRV has given me the flexibility I need to be a present, reliable mother and employee.” 

GRV enables her to work when and where she needs to, including at her home including at her home, GAP Seymour (regional Victoria), and GAP in Melbourne. 

“My daughter recently began her first year at school, so I was figuring out how to navigate this new responsibility. GRV granted me the opportunity to leave work before our official ‘knock-off time’ to collect her from school twice a week; I could then work the rest of the day from home. I also work another day from home, which saves on commuting time. 

“It felt like a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.” 

rachel bryant

Depending on your role, team, or individual requirements, GRV has formal workplace flexibility policies including:  

  • compressed working weeks
  • flexible start and finish times
  • job sharing arrangements
  • part-time contracts
  • rostered days off
  • time-off in lieu of overtime
  • remote work options  

TasNetworks be a workplace that works for you? 

Check out their employee benefits to find out.

Her career track going forward 

Importantly, Rachael clarifies, working flexibility hasn’t impacted her career progression in any way. She understands what it’s like to be part of male-dominated workplaces where flexible working arrangements were available but weren’t encouraged culturally.

rachel bryant

“I think that’s where GRV differs, they stand behind and support these arrangements. GRV has a good balance of employees of all genders. I feel heard and understood whenever I’ve requested flexible arrangements. It makes me grateful to work in a company like this.”

In fact, many business leaders navigate childcare responsibilities and working full-time, with the full support of GRV

“Our schedules may not fit within the normal “9-5” structure, but we get the work done, and it’s done well.” 

For people interested in a role working with animals, there are plenty of opportunities to learn, explore, and be supported along the way. 

“My future is here. When the dogs leave, I’ll leave! I’m excited to continue growing in my role and learning from the amazing people around me. I love the culture, leadership, support, and the dogs. I hope to be here for a good long while.” 

Want to learn more about the benefits of a career at Greyhound Racing Victoria?

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About the Author

Jacynta Clayton’s career started in recruitment advertising and employer branding, working with global clients to create and deploy strategic and creative content. Now she combines her industry experience with the knowledge from her psychology and professional writing degrees to write unique and resounding stories. As a WORK180 storyteller she relishes the opportunity to elevate the voices and experiences of so many amazing people, while also empowering and educating audiences on how to choose a workplace where they can thrive.

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