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It has become impossible for companies to compete for talent in the iGaming industry if they do not offer a hybrid or remote working policy.

Those are the thoughts of Aspire Global CEO Tsachi Maimon, who was speaking on the CEO Roulette panel at iGaming NEXT Valletta 2022.

PressEnter CEO and session moderator Lahcene Merzoug posed several controversial questions during the panel, including this one: “Can you be competitive if you don’t offer a hybrid work system?”

“No, it would be impossible,” came the resounding response from Maimon. “That train has left the station.”

Hybrid and remote working structures are a lasting impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, when many organisations had to pivot in a matter of days to working from home.

Aspire Global CEO Tscachi Maimon: “We need to see how to do it [remote working] better because we are not as efficient as before.”

While Maimon acknowledges that flexibility is essential for hiring top talent, he argues the policy is not without drawbacks, particularly in terms of efficiency and communication.

“We need to see how to do it better because I think we are not as efficient as before,” commented the CEO, who now leads Aspire as part of the NeoGames group.

“Now it is more cold, technical tasks, instead of engagement to see how we can do things better.

“We are still [doing the work] and ticking the boxes, but we are no longer exploring how to make it better or how to take things in a different direction.

“It can also mean employees deliver less commitment to the company, because they don’t see their manager physically with their eyes,” he added.

Skywind Group chairperson and CEO Hilary Stewart-Jones was also in attendance as a panellist and she disagreed with Maimon on that last point.

Skywind Group chairperson and CEO Hilary Stewart-Jones: “If you sent that Zoom invite, you expected someone at home to see it immediately and it was actually a harsher regime.”

She argued that there was sometimes more pressure on remote staff, because they were often expected to answer calls and emails 24/7 as the lines between work and homelife became increasingly blurred in the depths of the pandemic.

“I was slightly concerned about the exploitation of people working at home full time,” said Stewart-Jones.

“If you sent that Zoom invite, you expected someone at home to see it immediately and it was actually a harsher regime.

“Whereas when someone was in the office, they could take an hour for their lunchtime or enjoy a cup of coffee, but because they were actually there and being seen, they’re deemed to be “on”, whereas at home, they were just expected to pick up the phone for multiple calls and that burnt people out,” she argued.

Earlier this month, iGaming NEXT asked senior HR leaders whether the iGaming industry should explore further flexibility by embracing a four-day workweek.

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