Focusing “more on outcomes and less on hours” can play an important role in evening the playing field when it comes to flexible work, LVLY co-founder and chief executive Hannah Spilva believes.
During this year’s B&T Women in Media Awards, presented by Bauer Media, we’ll be recognising exceptional people who have achieved success in their professional arenas, celebrating their invaluable contribution to their industry through leadership, innovation and courage.
A recent story of success, Hannah Spilva—who picked up the ‘Entrepreneur’ award at the 2019 Women in Media Awards—believes the industry must face-up to “outdated ideals”, in a move that would play a part in solving the inequality of flexible work, which remains between the sexes.
In pushing against the strict nine to five office ideal, which she described as “outdated”, Spilva tells B&T embracing a “work from anywhere” philosophy could be a way forward.
It’s also a philosophy her company has adopted, to great success.
“What a crisis like a global pandemic does when it throws everything up in the air, is allow you to start to re-evaluate how everything works,” she tells B&T.
“I think there’s been some clear opportunities for businesses to rethink the whole workforce in general—how we employ people, what level of flexibility we give people—so I think now is as good a time as any to rethink how we treat both genders in the workplace.”
Her company, the start-up personalised gifting service LVLY, has been one of a few great stories of success during the coronavirus pandemic—recording as much as 400 per cent year-on-year growth in recent months, and having increased its workforce from 12 to more than 50 employees, at its peak.
Allowing her team to work where they are most productive—either from home or in their office—on a rotating basis, Spilva says, has played a big part in this, and has had a lasting impact on LVLY.
“I personally spent six weeks straight working from home as I’m pregnant at the moment,” she says, adding that nearly her entire workforce were able to fulfill their work obligations from home.
As a result of what LVLY has experienced over the last three months, the company is now in the process of rewriting all of its employment contracts to build in “much more flexibility” around how it encourages and enables its employees to fulfill their roles.
Spilva believes the coronavirus pandemic has proven that flexible working arrangements—which have been welcomed, wholesale, across her entire company and improved productivity—are not only doable, but beneficial for both sexes in the long term.
“You can work smart, you can work remotely, you can be productive—you can be flexible with your days and hours,” she tells B&T. “If people focused more on outcomes and less on hours, I think that alone would be a good start moving forward.”
However, Spilva insists that employers and employees each have a responsibility to make it work.
“Everyone has a role in making sure that change is adopted—certainly, leaders in business have to champion that change,” she says.
“But equally, employees have a responsibility to drive that change by making it work … it only works if employees are passionate, accountable and productive when given that flexibility and autonomy to work from everywhere, so it’s a joint responsibility.”
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Other key information
On-time deadline: Friday 21 August 2020 (5pm AEST)
Late entries deadline: Friday 28 August 2020 (5pm AEST)
Shortlist announced: Wednesday 23 September 2020.
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