Jericho Conversations

Business Life After The Virus: Good Work, Mental Health & Workplace Wellbeing

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A Big Opportunity to Change the Way We Work

Thank you so much to all those who joined the Jericho Conversation on Good Work, Mental Health & Workplace Wellbeing – with award-winning author, CEO and London Business School Professor Lynda Gratton; Bruce Daisley, author of The Joy of Work and Eat Sleep Work Repeat and former VP, Twitter; Geoff McDonald, Mental Health campaigner and former Global VP, Unilever; and Stefan Stern, journalist, commentator and author of The Myths of Management and How To Be A Better Leader.

Good work gives us autonomy, choice and
the opportunity to develop

Professor Lynda Gratton

Lynda on the future of work

“This is a fantastically interesting time. The challenges don’t have easy answers and we need to learn a great deal more about what is and isn’t working.”

“Patterns of work will change. Boundaries are blurring and blending. Are we more productive as a consequence of virtual working? We currently lack the data to be able to answer this. But a better question is: will creativity and innovation reduce as a result of going virtual?”

“We need to focus on families. Women do more work, more caring work and more domestic work. I would love this to be a time when men step-up more. Hopefully this will reflect, longer-term, in closing the gender pay gap and men taking more paternity leave.”

Bruce on pessimism for the young

“We all entered into the crisis with a myopic perspective. The experience of the CEO is vastly different to that of the average 20-something, already suffering a cost-of-housing crisis. We need to understand and respect the lived experiences of others.”

“Young workers sitting on their beds pay the price for blended work places.”

“When people work remotely, we eliminate chance encounters for creative thinking. Tech supports virtual working but creative organisations need a lot of face-to-face conversations, rather than meetings or e-mail. When people work remotely, their communication is about 90% eroded.”

“Creativity is the last free and legal aspect of competitive advantage. Seems obvious, but often gets lost in the mist.”

Watch out, young people.
Work is about to get a whole lot worse

Bruce Daisley

Geoff on health as a driver of productivity

“We must do more to prepare young people to look after and enhance their wellbeing. Teaching them how to look after their mental and emotional health is vital.”

“I don’t leave my emotions and cognitive ability at the door when I enter the workplace. Why isn’t it important in organisations? I really hope that we move the conversation for CEO’s towards making the mental, emotional and physical health of their people a strategic priority. Billions is spent on ‘Health & Safety’. But nearly all of it on Safety.”

“Companies don’t care about the health of their staff. But Health = energy = productivity = strategic priority”

“The future? There will be a more open, compassionate and empathetic approach to mental ill-health. I’ve been encouraged by how organisations have responded to this need for their people in this crisis.”

Stefan on humanity and putting people first

“Going forward, let’s be really honest and practical about what flexible working means for us all.”

“This moment has shone a light on what was already there. It has concentrated and intensified it all.”

“For genuine creativity, you need to be close to people. Serendipitous encounters matter.”

“Everything is up for grabs and this is a time for leaders to be brave. This has revealed what is possible but also how much harm can be done.”

If you would like to (re-)watch the webinar in full
you can do so here.

We hope that we can keep the conversation flowing, as we look, optimistically, to business life after the virus.

#JerichoConversations – Next Up

After a break for the May 8 Bank Holiday, Jericho Conversations returns on Friday 15 May, 12:30-1.45pm.

Ben Page, Chief Executive, Ipsos MORI, will lead the discussion. The expert panel includes Ruth Sunderland, Business Editor, Daily Mail; Paul Morrell, former Government Tsar; and Catherine Fieschi, Founder/ Director, Counterpoint. Jericho’s Matthew Gwyther will be in the Chair.

For discussion next time out: Have we really had enough of experts – or were they the unwitting victims of politicisation and a populist agenda? Are we now learning to love experts and expertise all over again? Who do we really trust when it comes to wise judgment? Is it now time to follow the evidence?

#JerichoConversations – Join In

This note is being shared with the wider Jericho community – 4,000+ business leaders, politicians & policymakers, academics and experts, activists and campaigners, media and commentators. Your participation and support is what makes it special.

Do get in touch if you have thoughts or ideas to share or would like to find out more about Jericho, including our recent survey on wellbeing and productivity during lockdown.

Keep well. Stay safe. Take care.

Robert, Becky, Becca, Roxi and Team Jericho
May 1 2020


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