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Tuesday saw our masterclass in association with Microsoft, this time focusing on the future of work. Rob Belgrave of Wirehive hosted the session, with Hasan Javed from Microsoft, BIMA President Natalie Gross, & MD of BIMA Holly Hall providing crucial insight on what has made the difference for their business in lockdown, and how this new normal has impacted the future of working:
1. Which positives do we want to take forward from lockdown?
Rob – “I recently spoke with someone who was trying to digitise all health records within the NHS 12 years ago, and chatting to him about some of the changes in the last three months in the NHS as well as Microsoft’s big rollout of Teams across the service is a good indication that the gloves are off. I think the lasting positive change to work over the next few years is you can’t put some of this stuff back in the bottle, once people get a taste for this for these new ways of working it’s a one-way street and we’ll enable a whole new wave of innovation”
Hasan – “I think the biggest impact from all of this is people have had to stop and think. When working with technology, the pace of everything is so so rapid and this whole situation has made everyone stop, pause, reflect and actually reset the goals of what it is that we’re trying to achieve with our tech”
Natalie – “I think one big positive is that we have seen signals of how a reduction in how we live our lives can impact the environment, which is a very real issue, and seeing light in regards to how we actually deal with climate change. There are things happening in governments around the world that would suggest we might not learn and we might not heed the lessons that we can clearly take out of pandemic but its a huge positive opportunity for us.”
2. What have been our key learnings?
Rob – “I think it’s not about whether you just let people work remotely or not, I think it’s about having the players who can work in that way and can be productive without you know needing oversight all the time paired with having a culture that can support it, a culture that still works when people aren’t necessarily all in the same building”
Hasan – “Trust has been the main thing when it comes to the changes businesses have been making, actually trusting people as you work on outputs. People who work in project teams for example know it’s a very very fluid environment, you’ve got to do a lot of things quickly, you need to be in constant communication, so how do you take that environment put it online and then trust the people and empower them with the right technology to actually go and deliver the projects they’ve said they’re going to deliver”
Natalie – “I think we talked a lot about tools, but actually the tools are there to facilitate us as leaders. It’s about Finding new ways to operate our companies and I think that that’s been really really interesting, and seeing the willingness to learn in a very transparent way, how to actually use the tooling that we have at our disposal to structure our businesses and lead in different ways and share in different ways and deliver in different ways has been has been really key”
3. “Breaking up your days effectively”
Hasan – “We’ve got a bunch of well-being tools that we’re building into Outlook & Teams called MyAnalytics and every week it sends out information based on how much time you’ve spent in meetings, how many emails you send and how many you’ve read. It’s all anonymous data but can give you an insight into how much time certain tasks are taking up and allow you to segment and refocus your goals to see where you can spend time actually getting things done. ”
Natalie – “I think, as a leader, making sure that your work and your projects can support a less linear way of working that will, for example, enable team members to be offline in the morning and be online late (or vice versa) is super important right now. It’s probably the most useful thing that we’ve been doing because it enables people to structure their time in a way that works for them”
The group also mentioned businesses that are shining examples of the future of work in action, including the amazing virtual GP vendors Vala Health & Offset Earth, a practical and innovative service to help you become carbon positive
If you want to view the entire session, you can here.