South Australian Business News

Why would an IT services company hire a schoolteacher?

Anthony Caldwell
Tuesday, July 25th 2023

Listen to the full interview with Matt Fabri on the new ThirtyNiners podcast.

During a recent interview for the ThirtyNiners podcast, Matt Fabri, the Founder of OpSys Australia, revealed a remarkable decision he made during the pandemic that showcased his dedication to supporting his team. 

OpSys, a multi-disciplined organisation offering secure digital solutions for businesses, was classified as an essential service, necessitating its employees to work in the office while schools remained closed, and children learned from home.

Nobody knew how long this COVID shutdown was going to last,” Matt said. 

Matt realised the immense stress his staff would face, juggling work responsibilities and childcare commitments at home, all while being isolated from the outside world. 

Determined to find a solution, he wondered how he could help his team cope with these challenges.

Fabri, father of two had a moment of realisation. 

We put a thing up on LinkedIn” … We said, hey Teachers!”

Through a friend’s referral, he was able to onboard a casual teacher to work inside OpSys, taking care of, and teaching the children of his staff members. 

I remember we headed out to Officeworks to buy paper, pens, books, games etc.

She then came in with a curriculum and really stuck to it and the kids loved it.”

The unique arrangement provided a much-needed sense of relief to the OpSys employees, enabling them to focus on their work without the added chaos of children at home.

According to a 2020 report by PwC, school-led remote learning came with considerable challenges for children including: 

  • Reduced one-to-one engagement with teachers
  • Difficulty in ascertaining engagement levels of students
  • Restricted ability to monitor individual student progresses

In contrast, OpSys was able to offer its employees a supportive and dynamic work environment amidst the pandemic’s uncertainty. 

One study out of the United States declared 78% of essential workers were no longer able to use their previous childcare arrangements and 63% said they couldn’t find care for their children. 

For many, these situations created additional anxiety and job insecurity. 

During the 40-minute conversation with the South Australian Business Chamber’s Tim Lavis, Matt Fabri emphasised OpSys’s unique approach to leadership, highlighting that they do things differently from other organisations. 

They say leaders learn from what they see. I think I’ve seen a fair bit of bad management in my time.

Why can’t we give back? Why can’t we support people in the way they need to be supported.”

Matt’s growing team enjoy incredible creature comforts” in the office at OpSys. Whether it’s their massage chairs where they can go and relax, Friday drinks for unwinding, or even the companionship of an office French Bulldog named Frankie. 

Whilst we are extremely professional in our jobs, and in what we provide to our customers, we also like to have fun.

I suppose one of the ethos I speak of is that business should be fun. If it’s not fun, what’s the point of doing it? 

I could go off and get a job, and probably earn more money, but it wouldn’t be fun. 

Everybody looks forward to turning up to work. We’ve got a really good culture where everyone has a bit of fun”.

As businesses grapple with the balance between remote and in-office work, OpSys Australia serves as a shining example of how leadership can foster employee satisfaction and productivity. 

By providing support and creating a fun-filled environment, Matt Fabri has demonstrated that innovative solutions and a people-centric approach are pivotal to overcoming challenges. 

OpSys’s success in building a cohesive team, marked by high job satisfaction and retention rates, should serve as a model for other organisations striving to create a thriving workplace.

Author

Anthony Caldwell

Manager, Marketing, Media, Communications
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