In celebration of the C&C Search Flex Pledge Campaign and National Work Life Week, we are hosting an exclusive event with our most high-profile panel to date. The event is titled: ‘Let’s Flex!’

Our inspirational panel of leaders – hosted by Lucy Chamberlain, Founder of C&C Search – will share their stories around redefining traditional working patterns and how embracing flexible working can create a happier and healthier workforce.

We’re so excited to announce that Steph Douglas, will be joining our panel for ‘Let’s Flex!’

Steph left a career in brand and marketing to start thoughtful gift company Don’t Buy Her Flowers in 2014. The idea came after she had her first baby and was inundated with bouquets that were beautiful but required looking after at a time when she was feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

Using social media, collaborations, PR and minimal budget initially, Don’t Buy Her Flowers has grown month on month since launch, starting in Steph’s house and now in premises with an ever-growing team.

The business now caters for many different occasions including a collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer, and increasingly in the corporate gift market. Steph also writes an honest blog about motherhood and relationships, believing that we’re all in it together as none of us really knows what we’re doing. Steph is married to Doug and they have three children.

We introduce Steph with our quickfire questions below:

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I left a career in brand and marketing to start thoughtful gift company Don’t Buy Her Flowers in 2014. Originally set up as gifts for new mums, the business now caters for many different occasions from birthdays to bereavement and any time someone needs some TLC. I have three kids and I’m married to Doug.

What does flexible working mean to you?

I think work that acknowledges that life outside of work exists! People have families or pets or hobbies and things that might need attention between the hours of 9am and 5pm, so is it possible to make work ‘work’ outside of traditional working hours? My view is that in a lot of cases it is, and it leads to a happier workforce who are more excited about their work, feel respected and therefore give more to their job anyway. It really is a no brainer.

When it comes to flexible working what is your message to employers?

It just doesn’t make sense – are you employing someone to sit at a desk for a certain number of hours – is that going to be enough to motivate them and get great work out of them – or to do a job? If we don’t think someone is able to do a job if they’re not made to sit at a desk for specific hours, we probably need to question our hiring process!

How do we change the attitudes that continue to prevail against flexible working?

I love how Anna (Whitehouse) uses facts and figures – you can’t argue with increased productivity in places that have introduced flexibility. I think there is a generation coming who will absolutely expect it, and it’s an older tier of people in managerial positions holding things back in many cases – people who worked in a time before the internet and smartphones and can’t shake how ‘hard work’ has been perceived to look. It will change in time because it has to. It’s not about a free for all and different hours every week – there’s a difference between flexible work and freelancing, for example. I think it’s important within the argument to show an understanding of business from the employers POV, not just shouting ‘we need to be more flexible’ at them. If they need someone sat in a role for certain hours, for example, a doctor or a teacher, can we think about flexibility differently/ It’s not just about hours.

What inspires you?

A desire to enjoy life more?! I’ve just been on holiday with my family and came home thinking ‘how do I hold on to that feeling?’. Laughing more easily, giving my head some space, getting more sleep. It’s a work in progress but I do love the clarity you get when you have a break.

What’s next for you?

We’ve just grown the sales and marketing team at Don’t Buy Her Flowers so I’m excited to see the impact that has as we reach more people. We’ve also developed our corporate and workplace gifts offer as we’d been getting more and more enquiries from businesses wanting to send better gifts. Everything is in place now in terms of Operations, the team and what we can offer to really grow so it feels like we’re ready to hit that next level.


This event is strictly invitation only for HR professionals and will be held at the brand new Morton Society on Thursday 10th October 2019.

For more information on how you can attend please get in