Emma Gregory, an Alchemist Growth Executive writes about the benefits of flexible working. In our team, Emma very openly advocates for how she personally benefited from flexible working arrangements and how it helps her better manage her time.
What do you do when your work history starts to take on a chequered appearance, and one that’s not all of your own making?
Molly Johnson, flexible working advocate, Co-Founder and CEO of Flexa found herself in such a predicament. With a debilitating auto-immune disease she was sacked at the tender age of 23, after having requested some time to work from home. After later facing redundancy and then voluntarily leaving a job, she finally found herself in the flexible workplace she’d dreamt of. Her thoughts to the business were “Why don’t you publicise this? No-one can find you.”
Thus Flexa was born, as a way of enabling companies offering great working environments to be ‘heard’, amongst the noise of “very bland, boring job descriptions”. Such companies are literally put on the pedestal of Flexa’s global online directory of verified flexible companies.
Through Flexa, job and company browsers are given the power to filter as we’ve always dreamed of being able to do – by certain numbers of flexible working days, flexi hours and even dog-friendly offices. Molly describes Flexa as “flipping the hiring process on its head” and providing opportunities to access a previously “massive, under-utilised workforce”.
Although candidates can go ‘incognito’, browsing without being bothered, companies keen to list on Flexa embark on a 2-stage benchmarking process, with a host of fun questions also directed at their employees. Flexa’s product promotes information availability and transparency at its finest – all part of the future of work.
Flexibility, Molly affirms, means choice – specifically how much, and at what level being all important. She ascertains that nowadays “people care just as much about how they work, as what they do.” She describes how a future Product Manager role won’t just be about salary and experience, but instead will exist as three distinct roles – hybrid, fully remote or in-office.
Being upfront and transparent about which of the three is offered (in the original job advert) bodes for an efficient process.
Molly is of the view that people can be just as unproductive in the office, as elsewhere.
In terms of their data from peoples’ searches on Flexa, those for ‘hybrid’ make up 20-25% on a three month rolling average. 42% of searches are for ‘remote first’.
Molly suggests that an offering of flexible hours (e.g., from 11am – 3pm) is a great way for businesses to stand out. Benefits such as enhanced maternity leave or a dog-friendly office are sought after by 20% of searchers on their website. “Flexibility in a framework” is key, as is clear communication and iteration – some attrition is okay, as people choose workplaces that are better suited to them. The desired result is an increase in production.
Emma builds on Molly’s view that it’s a common misconception that the only place people can be productive is in the office. In reality, people can be just as unproductive in the office, as elsewhere. The key to being productive is not where you are, but how you work. Ultimately, by being transparent about the different types of flexible working on offer, businesses can make the application process more efficient and improve the chances of attracting top talent.
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