Propel goes flexible after twenty-one years…

31 Jan 2023

Ben Dalzell, Chief Operations Officer of Propel:

Goodbye Greek Street, hello flexible working…

In Propel’s twenty-one years of existence, Soho has always been our home (and will continue to be our home). It is where our Founder, Melina found the perfect place to lay down roots for her very own recruitment business. Propel has overcome many challenges, just like any other business, during recessions and pandemics, but it’s the resilience shown throughout that has allowed the company to flourish and we are super proud of where we are. We have had many internal and external changes over the years, but this may be our biggest change yet as a company. The worlds evolving and with that, Propel is evolving too.

I’m excited to announce that from next year we are offering ‘True Flexibility’ to all our employees. But, what does true flexibility actually mean? The world of five days a week in the office is over. The pandemic may have given us the push, but we realised just how impactful trust and autonomy can be on our employees and that it’s no longer an ‘all one size fits all’ scenario. We are a forward-thinking business catering to every employee’s needs, giving them the opportunity to allow for the perfect work/life balance.


Why does now feel like the right time for Propel to go flexible as a company?

Everything we do is around output, we understand that the level of what we put in affects the outcome of the business. We are super proud of what we have achieved so far, we have reached a high-performing, transparent and mature culture within the business. Now feels like the right time to go truly flexible. We have access to the best tech available, utilising the best recruitment and collaboration tools.

Some people would say that what we are doing is a brave move but we don’t see it as that. We’ve listened to every person in the business and taken into consideration their life circumstances. We have talked through this model in detail, offering true transparency around our decision and how it affects them both personally and professionally, and we feel this is the right decision for everyone. We are offering everyone in the business a WeWork all-access pass to anywhere internationally. This means they can choose how often they work from home or from an office at their convenience. We are also giving employees the opportunity to work abroad, within a 6-hour time difference (keeping to all legalities that come with this).

Propel together is still our core vision and at the forefront of our values. We will be together at least once a month in the Groucho as our HQ enjoying lovely company breakfasts and lunches as well as company updates via presentations for each division within the business. This way allows us to all stay fully connected on a company level but also a personal level too.

I am also excited to say we have hired a Community and Growth Manager. This position is a crucial hire for the business to ensure our culture stays at the forefront of our priorities. Alongside our brilliant Operations team, and leaders who really care about the business, it’s the perfect storm for our cultural development as a flexible working recruitment company.

What does this mean for the future of Propel?

One thing that we are not arrogant enough to say, is that this won’t be challenging. But what I can say is that we are fully committed to keeping together this brilliant culture we have created. Everyone at Propel is at the forefront of our priorities, and we really do mean it. The future is going to evolve, this is just phase one of the approach. We have so many exciting plans to maximise our professional working environment. We have benefits that we will constantly evolve and review, people really are everything to Propel. Our community means everything.

We want this opportunity to promote happiness and flexibility within the workplace but it comes with a high amount of responsibility for each of our employees to uphold that right balance of work and life. We truly believe that if we can offer our employees a more flexible work/life balance, hard work will follow.

I can’t say for sure what these changes may look like for Propel in a year’s time, but what I can say is there will be lots of learnings along the way. We have the right infrastructure for this to be super successful. Our senior leadership team and our future leaders are all accountable for building and supporting this change in our culture and I am confident within a year we will have a very clear idea of where we need to continue to evolve. As a business, we aren’t going to stand still – we are just getting started.

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