Last week we had an interview with Lauren Lindsay on our podcast “The Growth Show”. She is not only an expert on talent recruitment but also a big advocate for remote and flexible working. 

During the interview, we discussed many different aspects of flexible working,  and Lauren had some amazing insights.

We wanted to share with you our biggest takeaways from this great conversation. 

Flexible Working: challenges, pros, and cons

Some of the biggest challenges of remote working revolve around creating a sense of connectivity, good communication, and trust within the organisation.

Obviously, not being able to share an office space has caused difficulties. But it is great to see how business leaders are bouncing back. 

Some positive outcomes Lauren mentioned during the interview were:

Business Leaders are really invested now in their people’s mental health and wellbeing. They are focused on making sure their employees are healthy, happy, and engaged. 

“Focus on people has become an essential part of business strategy.” 

They are recognising they are working with people and they need to be more conscious about their needs. So they are implementing great measures such as support services, unlimited leave, flexible hours, or long weekends, among others. 

They are also implementing new measures to improve communication and trust and they are revisiting their company cultures. 

“There has been so much uncertainty, the best thing businesses have done over the last few months is just being really open and honest with people.” 

Another great outcome is that people are creating more healthy habits and finding better work-life balance. 

Flexible Working: The Recruitment Perspective

We picked Lauren’s brain to understand a bit better what challenges people in recruitment are facing right now, and also some of her insights. 

“Seeing people who are really struggling and not being able to give them a job has been one of the biggest challenges for me,” Lauren said. 

She also mentioned that hiring people and onboarding them into a new company when they are all working remotely has been a difficult task.

But then again, great measures are starting to take place:

  • Sending company merchandise to make sure they feel part of the company. 
  • Taking part in the installation of their work environment at home.

Another positive outcome we can see is that companies are now more invested in building resilience in their employees. 

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

Even though we were running out of time, we couldn’t miss the chance to ask Lauren about how remote and flexible working will affect equality, diversity, and inclusion. 

She said that these are becoming an increasingly big part of business strategies, but not necessarily because of remote working. 

“Companies have realised the benefit of having a diverse workforce, so hopefully remote and flexible working will help make jobs more accessible.”

In addition, candidates care more about the values of the company, and whether they align with their own. They more and more often will ask about this during the interview process. 

 “The critical part is that it has to be a genuine approach. The best companies really care about this and want to change, while others are just doing it to be competitive.”

One way to make sure these values are genuine and real is having people who are real advocates of them in senior and decision-maker positions. Then this will filter into the organisation. 

She said that one positive thing about remote working is that we have fundamentally altered our perception of what work should look like. Companies are moving away from the traditional 9 to 5 working hours, opting for a more flexible way of working instead. 

“Hopefully because of that, we can start reassessing other aspects that we take for granted at the moment like what a certain applicant background has to be or how do we access talent.”

Conclusion

Like us, Lauren thinks that remote and flexible working is here to stay. We have learned so much and come so far in the last few months that we can’t go back to where we started.

You can listen to the full interview here.

What about you? Do you think remote and flexible working will be the new norm? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.