Bev White

My name is Bev White and I am the CEO of Harvey Nash Group, a $1bn global technology recruitment, IT solutions and leadership services group with 36 offices across the USA, Europe and Asia

Our fascinating new world of work

I have been thinking this week about the pattern of our working week that has become our ‘new normal way of working’. We have a good number of our offices open around the world for those who feel comfortable travelling into them, we have made them as safe and secure as possible, listening to the needs of those of us who use them. At the same time we have adopted a pattern of regular ‘work from anywhere’. There continues to be extensive travel restrictions so most of our interactions with each other and with clients and candidates are using Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google Hangouts, you name it we have probably been asked to join a meeting through one of these tools. So, our working weeks have become a combination of in-person meetings where safe to do so and work from anywhere video based for the rest.

A couple of things made me really pause and think this week about these new working patterns. Somebody in my team said that they really missed that ad hoc conversation you have when you are in an office for a day, you know where you head to make a coffee and have an unplanned conversation with somebody who makes you think, makes you laugh, just feels like a natural free flowing, no agenda chat in your working day? It’s hard to replicate this in this new MS Teams world where most of our calls are planned and structured. I have thought about this a lot, and speaking for myself I really miss that. Something to consider in how we facilitate this. If you have any ideas please do share them with me.

The second thing came up was when I was on a call with a very large business that would love to work with us. They told me about a raft of research they were doing about this new world and some of the consequences it could have on health. One simple thing they shared with me and I am now trying out, is that we find ourselves on these calls not looking at the person (the camera) but at the small window with their image. She explained that as humans we are not wired this way to have conversations with our eyes looking down. It effects our thinking and how we feel on the call. The suggestion on a 1:1 call is for both people to face side on slightly, this means we are set up in a more human way, as if we were in the same room.

There is so much being researched and published on this whole topic. I am keen to learn more to see what we should be doing to help us all adapt even better to these new ways of working. More to come in the weeks and months ahead.

As we head towards a weekend once more I wish you all a peaceful time. Keep safe and well.

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