13 episodes

Whether you’re the boss, the deputy or on your way up, we’re shaking up the way the world works. This is the podcast about doing work differently. Join host Isabel Berwick every Wednesday for expert analysis and watercooler chat about ahead-of-the-curve workplace trends, the big ideas shaping work today - and the old habits we need to leave behind. Brought to you by the Financial Times.

Working It Financial Times

    • Business

Whether you’re the boss, the deputy or on your way up, we’re shaking up the way the world works. This is the podcast about doing work differently. Join host Isabel Berwick every Wednesday for expert analysis and watercooler chat about ahead-of-the-curve workplace trends, the big ideas shaping work today - and the old habits we need to leave behind. Brought to you by the Financial Times.

    Help, my team have all got side hustles!

    Help, my team have all got side hustles!

    This week, we are stepping outside the 9 to 5. Side hustles, second jobs, crafting and more have boomed as millions of workers embraced working from home during the pandemic. Isabel talks to Tim Fung, co-founder of Airtasker, a platform for buying and selling services and skills, used by many as a way to earn extra cash. How does he cope with his own staff’s side hustles?


    Taylor Nicole Rogers, the FT’s US labour and equality correspondent, explains that many people have two jobs because of shortfalls in pay. But during the pandemic many of us lost touch with our workplaces and focused on developing a sense of personal purpose and identity. Building an Etsy business or sock-selling empire is one expression of that - and having tasted freedom, it’s easier to walk away from a main job.


    Isabel and Taylor come up with strategies for managers dealing with staff side hustles.    


    Want to read more? 


    Follow Taylor Nicole Rogers on FT.com for her reporting on employment trends https://www.ft.com/taylor-nicole-rogers


    The banker turned bamboo socks seller  https://www.ft.com/content/5f0e6c76-7cda-4b62-bb2f-36fd4771efaa


    Financial influencer Ken Okoroafor on how his side hustle TheHumblePenny.com became a big business https://www.ft.com/content/27eff0d1-e2d0-4e41-afaf-c2aadf437873


    We love to hear from you. What do you like (or not)? What topics should we tackle in 2022? Email the team at workingit@ft.com or Isabel directly at isabel.berwick@ft.com. Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter 


    Subscribe to Working It wherever you get your podcasts - please listen, rate and subscribe!


    Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction from Renée Kaplan. Assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Novel.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 12 min
    From Gen X to Gen Z: bridging the workplace generation gap

    From Gen X to Gen Z: bridging the workplace generation gap

    Many of us work with - and manage - people 30 years older or younger than we are. And sometimes it can feel like there's a bit of dissonance between the "wisdom and experience" that Gen X and Boomers can bring, and the "innovative energy" of those in their twenties and thirties. So what, and how, can both learn from each other?
     
    Isabel (Gen X) explores how reverse mentoring programmes are bridging the generation gaps in a growing number of organisations. She talks to Alvaro Romero Artigas, a (Gen X) senior manager at Santander, the bank, and to his mentor, Philippa Whelan (a young Millennial) who have been in a reverse mentoring partnership since 2018. 
     
    Josh Chaffin, the FT’s New York correspondent (Gen X), talks about the different expectations of younger colleagues and the importance of making an effort to know colleagues with different cultural reference points - and that’s not just an age thing. 
     
    Plus, Josh challenges Isabel’s fixed ideas about corporate culture. He says that younger staff and new staff can help change culture from the bottom up - it’s not just about older people passing on their institutional knowledge.
     


    Want to read more ? 


    Tips for managers in a multi-generational workplace, by former Google executive Sarah Drinkwater https://www.ft.com/content/f56d6a1b-9d64-4380-ac84-a44cb1bebb0f


    The return of the corporate handbook, helping to create workplace culture for everyone. By Emma Jacobs https://www.ft.com/content/b69d4fb7-9b6b-4507-bb0e-ac9a02de37ba


    Why reverse mentoring works and how to get it right - from Harvard Business Review https://hbr.org/2019/10/why-reverse-mentoring-works-and-how-to-do-it-right


    What younger staff expect from their managers - tl;dr - they want a LOT of information and feedback. This is a really useful survey from IMD business school https://www.imd.org/research-knowledge/articles/making-generational-differences-work-what-empirical-research-reveals-about-leading-millennials/


    We love to hear from you. What do you like (or not)? What topics should we tackle in 2022? Email the team at workingit@ft.com or Isabel directly at isabel.berwick@ft.com. Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter 


    Subscribe to Working It wherever you get your podcasts - please listen, rate and subscribe!


    Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction from Renée Kaplan. Assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Novel.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 15 min
    Driving diggers and other corporate awaydays

    Driving diggers and other corporate awaydays

    Team building sessions and awaydays have always been a part of office culture. But in a post-pandemic world, where we meet our colleagues IRL, or even in the virtual metaverse, will the awayday survive? 


    Isabel explores the appeal of the awayday with Ed Mumm, who owns Dig This, a ‘super sized sandbox’ for adults in Las Vegas. Driving Ed’s giant diggers is a popular team day out, giving staff the chance to let loose and compete for prizes. 


    Andrew Hill, FT management editor, talks about more ‘out there’ awaydays - including geese herding and Hunger Games reenactments - and what staff get out of them. Research on the topic is scant, but it’s likely that the impact is short-term and focuses [can an impact focus on?] on improved interpersonal relations.


    The serious version of the awayday is the corporate offsite, where leaders gather to discuss strategy or do a course. There’s a long history of big companies having their own ‘campuses’ for training and retreats - famously GE’s Crotonville in New York State. That might be coming back into vogue - Salesforce’s Marc Benioff has talked about buying a ranch for his employees. 


    Finally, Andrew and Isabel discuss what might be next for team building and strategy days. Aside from ayahuasca journeys - favoured by some out-there start-ups - the metaverse offers a lot of potential for remote teams to gather in one place, joined via headsets.  




    Want to read more ? 


    Andrew Hill on working in the metaverse ttps://www.ft.com/content/61ce8588-5233-44d0-aa12-ce9ed60fb314 ... and on strategy awaydays ttps://www.ft.com/content/4aa19b24-6935-11e6-a0b1-d87a9fea034f


    GE’s own fascinating history of Crotonville - established in the ‘Mad Men’ era, and still going strong https://www.ge.com/news/reports/inside-crotonville-ges-corporate-vault-unlocked


    Ed Mumm’s Dig This in Las Vegas, where you can watch your boss drive a giant digger https://digthisvegas.com/


    From our colleagues at the tech news site Sifted, strange stories of taking psychedelics on team awaydays https://sifted.eu/articles/psychedelic-retreat/


    We love to hear from you. What do you like (or not)? What topics should we tackle in 2022? Email us at workingit@ft.com or Isabel directly at isabel.berwick@ft.com. Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter or Instagram.


    Subscribe to Working It wherever you get your podcasts - please listen, rate and subscribe!


    Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction from Renée Kaplan. Assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Novel.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 14 min
    Can you be too kind to your colleagues?

    Can you be too kind to your colleagues?

    Empathy has been one of the buzzwords of the pandemic, with managers under pressure to listen to employees’ woes and understand what they are going through. But what do we mean by empathy at work, and how much is too much when it comes to caring?


    Isabel talks to Belinda Parmar, founder of consultancy The Empathy Business, about small changes that can make a workplace more empathetic, and why that’s often a good thing. She finds that more empathy leads to higher productivity and engagement. 


    The downside to empathy is that it’s easy for senior staff to burn out when they give too much of themselves to others. Isabel and Brooke Masters, the FT’s chief business commentator, find some possible solutions [like listening to - but not crying with - your staff]. 


    Finally, Belinda gives tips on how to support team members and colleagues, and the power of having a best friend at work. Isabel and Brooke talk about their experiences of friendship at work - it might even stop you burning out. 


    Want to read more? 


    Brooke Masters on the long hours culture and burnout in Wall Street
    https://www.ft.com/content/19a14cad-b5fc-4fc3-aa5a-ca306af5b831


    Isabel’s column on the importance of friendship at work https://www.ft.com/content/62b2db86-60e7-11e9-b285-3acd5d43599e


    McKinsey’s in-depth report on burnout in the pandemic - tl;dr? It’s still under-reported and burnt out people are … less likely to respond to surveys about burnout.
    https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/coronavirus-leading-through-the-crisis/charting-the-path-to-the-next-normal/employee-burnout-is-ubiquitous-alarming-and-still-underreported


    Belinda Parmar’s consultancy The Empathy Business, including the Empathy Index she mentions in the podcast [published in 2016 in the Harvard Business Review] 
    https://theempathybusiness.com/


    https://hbr.org/2016/12/the-most-and-least-empathetic-companies-2016


    We love to hear from you. What do you like (or not)? What topics should we tackle in 2022? Email us at workingit@ft.com or Isabel directly at isabel.berwick@ft.com. Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter or Instagram.


    Subscribe to Working It wherever you get your podcasts - please listen, rate and subscribe !


    Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction from Renée Kaplan. Assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Novel.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 17 min
    Say goodbye to the weekend

    Say goodbye to the weekend

    Spreading your working hours over five, six or seven days is now an option for thousands of employees at Arup, a global design and engineering company, based in London. In this episode, Isabel talks to Diane Thornhill, Arup's director of people for UK, India, Middle East and Africa, about the company’s “Work Unbound” seven-day work week experiment in Australia and the UK. Diane talks about the importance of senior leaders ‘leaving loudly’ themselves. That means signalling publicly that it’s OK to step away from the desk and take flexible time off.


    But how does a seven-day work week affect teams’ communication and collaboration? And do people really want to be able to work all the time? Isabel chats to the FT’s Emma Jacobs, who has written on Arup, about the perks and pitfalls of an always-on work week. Plus, the importance of transparency - in a flexible workplace, it’s vital to be open with our teams about where and when we are working. Is that always a good thing?


    We love to hear from you: email us at workingit@ft.com or Isabel directly at isabel.berwick@ft.com. Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter or Instagram.


    Mentioned in the podcast: 


    Emma’s article on Arup’s seven-day work week 
    https://www.ft.com/content/1405cb93-6625-4834-ac07-09e4062e7aa7


    Arup’s own website https://www.arup.com/news-and-events/arups-new-hybrid-work-model-allows-6000-uk-employees-to-choose-their-working-days


    The FT’s Sarah O’ Connor on the mysterious decline of our leisure time 
    https://www.ft.com/content/9df289b9-d425-49e6-899f-c963b458625f


    Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction from Renée Kaplan. Assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Novel.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 16 min
    Getting personal on LinkedIn

    Getting personal on LinkedIn

    Using social media for work is blurring the boundaries between our professional and personal lives. Do employers really want us to bring ‘our whole selves’ to a job or is there a chance that being very open in public might impact on our careers? 


    When Jonathan Frostick had a heart attack, he posted his thoughts about how he planned to change his life on LinkedIn. That post went viral -  and Jonathan heard from people all over the world who said his inspiring words had helped them re-assess their work/life balance. 


    Isabel talks to him about what happened next. She is also joined by the FT’s Emma Jacobs who has written a lot about the ways we use LinkedIn, TikTok and other social media to talk about our work, our lives - and even call out bad employers, and how this is all evolving. 


    We would love to hear from you - email us at workingit@ft.com. Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter or email her direct at isabel.berwick@ft.com


    Mentioned in the podcast:


    Emma Jacobs on Jonathan Frostick and how LinkedIn got personal 
    https://www.ft.com/content/8d910754-3568-412c-8a10-9e4806a83b11


    And Emma on staff who shine on TikTok
    https://www.ft.com/content/c7f8fb0e-8f1a-4829-b818-cb9fe90352fa


    A first-person account from a lawyer about how he came out to his network on LinkedIn
    https://www.ft.com/content/624efffd-acb5-400d-ae9e-ee207840fa34




    Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction from Renée Kaplan. Assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Novel.
     
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 14 min

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