Sound bite
Sound bite

Hi and welcome to In Scope.

I'm Lauren Moraski, director and editor in Chief of Global Communications.

I'm pleased to be joined today by Carl Seager, Strim Senior Vice President and Chief Talent officer, to talk all about our new hybrid working model.

Carl it's so great to have you here.

Hi Lauren, it's great to be here.

We all received the communications about our new global hybrid working model and a lot of people are wondering what does this mean for me?

How would you describe it?

Well, first of all, I'm excited that we have a chance to communicate to our broader workforce how we think about the workplace in the future.

One way I tend to think about this.

Is and all is changing around us in the world.

But one thing that's not changing is a disease and the types of diseases that plague humans around the world or they are commitment to science.

But outside that, everything is is something we have to think about as being subject to change, so we have to move with the times.

Last year we learned.

A lot, yeah, we learned what's frustrating and not working with working virtually, but we also learned what we can do when we work remotely.

So for me this is really taking the things that worked well and try to think about how we are more productive in the future, how we're more flexible and how we get the best out of our people.

So specifically, can you talk a little bit about how this model will help teams become more agile and productive?

Yes, so first of all, the work we do.

It has a lot of different types of work and if you're one of the essential staff that we're working in in a lab setting.

Or you're working on a manufacturing line, or a bioreactor, or in a warehouse, or working with our customers in the field that your job might not change that much 'cause there's there's physical assets you need access to it to do your work, but for the office based employees, I do believe teams will have a chance here to really dissect the work.

And figure out what part of work requires face to face interaction to get the most out of the innovation collaboration capability.

Today and what work would you define as routine or more focused work that you might as well do remotely and and I say remotely might be from home.

It might be somewhere else and we all know different types of work requires different facilities, so teams really have to figure out what the best rhythm is.

And I do believe we are all going to learn.

And teams going to learn what the best patterns are for.

Their work, it's interesting 'cause I actually started remotely and I haven't met yet.

My colleagues and I'm really excited to have that team collaboration and meet people face to face.

To face.

And you're not alone there, Lauren.

We have between 3 and 4000 people have started during the last 15 months.

Never set foot in an office.

Yeah, which is remarkable, but in a way.

It creates a level playing field, everybody being virtual, so your ability to interact has been just as good as mine over the last couple of months, but but it's good.

It's going to create some unique challenges when we come back and make sure you build those personal connections with your colleagues, absolutely.

Related, can you talk a little bit about how you hope the new hybrid working model will attract and retain diverse top talent?

Yes, I believe it's a.

It's a big opportunity and I I see this in two different ways.

One is a hybrid model whilst you're still tide to a physical location or aside more flexibility, allow us to hunt for talent in bigger territories and what's an acceptable commuting distance.

It's very different if you're in two days a week versus if it's five days.

Like so we can reach into different parts of the areas we're in and we can reach more diverse pools.

We can reach better talent.

We can reach areas we previously haven't been hunting for talent in, so that that's a huge human capital opportunity.

At the same time, I would argue most of our competitors are doing the same thing, so.

If we didn't do this, it would swing the other way around.

We would see competitors Hunt for power talent and they offer better flexibility than we do, so I think it's both kind of a a defensive or offensive move, but but ultimately access to talent is a big driver for this.

Together with productivity and innovation and employee engage.

Makes a lot of sense, so Carl.

We also asked employees around the world for their questions and would love to get to a few.

Kicking it off with John McKenna in Pennsylvania and many others.

Actually, who wrote in, we'd like to know will there be set days that you could be in the office?

For example, if you're coming into the office twice a week, would it have to be the same days?

A lot of questions around that?

Yeah, hi John and thanks for the question no, uh over time we do expect that teams figure out their collaboration patterns.

And that's something that is really hard to define centrally, because it's so unique and driven by the nature of the work, we also have to be mindful of the our facilities footprint in the utilization.

If if every team decides we're gonna be in on Wednesdays, we're gonna have a pretty inefficient usage of our office footprint, so we gotta keep an eye on that and teams. Have to figure out I don't believe we're going to have all the answers immediately.

We're going to learn over time how this best works.

I would suspect that teams come to different conclusions that there could be certain meetings or certain days or certain.

Weeks when you try to be physically together and then you spread it into the other weeks or days where you actually work virtually, so it's going to come down to teams planning well together.

How to maximize both productivity and collaboration and FaceTime.

Got it another one from Benjamin Claire who is based in Switzerland, points out MSDI is a great company to work for.

Mainly thanks to the great connection between people.

But what will happen in the future if no one meets each other anymore or much less and management is more distant, how can we maintain the sense of belonging to Team MSD?

Great question.

We do cordless surveys and one of the items we we survey for is the belonging people feel to the company and it's really interesting that we've seen over the last year record levels of belonging, right?

So we we've seen belonging to the company increase during a time where only our essential staff has been.

Insights the rest happen, right?

So essentially this you can belong to a company.

You can create connections without being in the same.

Office, but I do believe the premise of the question is right.

What is the company if you don't have a place to go and meet so they they roll out the workplace in carrying your culture, carrying your history and a place where you come and meet your colleagues?

It's important and I would argue that's exactly why we went for a hybrid workplace model as opposed to completely virtualized if people meet.

When they need to meet and.

Don't meet when they don't need to meet I.

I think you can create that balance.

The challenge and the opportunity in this model is to find the right collaboration patterns to to do just that.

Yeah, it seems very individualized per team, but there are options, which is great.

Yeah, so Frank Alissandra from New Jersey asks, given the flexibilities employees will now have to set their own schedules.

Some employees may find themselves coming into the office more or less than some of their peers.

How can we ensure that employees will be evaluated by their performance?

How can we?

And not their attendance.

I think overall if if you're gonna go into a hybrid work model, it really comes down to the what in the outcome when you think about performance management and think about how you while you look at what were the results you created and the how in terms of how you did it, but not the process you apply to get there.

So whether you did that work.

In the office or not, should matter less if the how and the what was right.

And then I fully expect there to be big differences between different type of job families in how after you need to go into the office.

We previously used example of production operators at this point in time you need to be at the site to do your work.

There's there's really no way around.

If you're a support staff that supports the plant, most likely your work patterns will follow your clients and you'll be there more often, so I think we're going to see very different interpretations, and they're always driven by the team and the work at the end of the day, as as managers, we have to look for the outcomes and how you got it done as opposed to the the process to getting there.

Our last question from an employee comes from Tom Lucking of Germany.

Who's wondering are there any ideas or discussions to advance the concept of teams independent of sites?

Certainly there are already teams that can and do work completely virtually and efficiently independent of a site that they belong to.

Do the company would probably gain further attractiveness by promoting and expanding such virtual settings or quote unquote virtual sites?

Any thoughts there?

Yeah, great question and we had certain roles and certain teams are completely virtualized.

I totally expect this to be something we do more in the future as well, but for the vast majority you still be in a hybrid model.

Side to side certain jobs.

If you exclusively deal with global colleagues or you00:01:15 Lauren Moraski So specifically, can you talk a little bit about how this model will help teams become more agile and productive?

You have no reason to go in and and collaborate, all your work is done virtually or remotely.

We can hire people wherever you happen to be and it opens up opportunities for us when we centrally dissected our work and what we do, we realize that these type of roles will still be marginal compared to.

The bulk of our workforce, but we will have it.

But nevertheless there's a lot for us to learn.

Our learning and development team are working on a better curriculum to help teams operate in the virtual.

The way I think our technology is improving every day and I think we're all learning how to use teams or other technologies to do really good interactive sessions and and I would say Lauren at some of the kind of Co creation sessions or brainstorming sessions I've had with my team the last year has been amongst the best we ever had because you're all at the same platform.

All, uh, square on a box.

There's no hierarchy or implied structures to this.

And then you can.

You can use polling or you can work on a document together.

Some of those things are frankly not possible if you're in an office, so this big opportunity is here, and I think we only begun to appreciate what spot.

It's a really interesting point.

I love the team brainstorming, so I'm all for different ways to do that in person and virtually yeah.

On a personal note, we'd love to get to know you a little bit more with a couple of questions about yourself, so I hear you're an avid cyclist.

Where have you found the time to fit that in with the busy schedule and where do you love riding the most?

Cycling or kind of endurance sports has been my my sanity is kind of a in little therapy.

This is my way to to disconnect and and just do something on my own during lockdown.

Actually had more chances to do it because I could go in the morning before work, or if I could cut back on my commute time I I could get some time while it's daylight and frankly in the beginning of the pandemic there was very little traffic on the roads, so it was was just made for cycling.

I do all kinds of bike riding.

I used to race bikes and I I love mountain biking.

In Rd riding and right now I'm I'm over in Europe and I have my gravel bike with me and I'm trying to find the perfect Swedish back country gravel Rd.

That's kind of my happy place.

Awesome alright so.

Have you by chance picked up any new skills or interests over the past year during lockdown?

I learned to to mix a really good Manhattan at home, so that's something I take great pride in at work.

I think I become much better at working, but actually I learned a lot about both how to kind of connect when you're not in the same room, but frankly, I also think I learned to appreciate the importance of mental health.

I think the last year has been more taxing.

And demanding for all of us than.

Any other year and the the focus, and in particular the manager to make that extra effort to check in or think about the well being in your team.

It's really a new big demand of leadership that I think will be here to stay.

Lastly, you love to travel, apparently, which are a bucket list destination.

Yeah, it's a really good question.

I love places where I can go and live and experience what it's like living their day-to-day.

So my my family and I have lived in five different countries and during winter we moved down to Miami and we.

We lived there for five years.

Once to figure that out.

Once you're in a place a little bit longer than your normal vacation, you start to understand what it's like to live there the the day-to-day lives.

Or you know what it's like to go shopping or how do you socialize with people?

What do you do on the weekend?

And I really enjoy that kind of experiencing the day-to-day life in a new location so.

I don't know where I would.

Go next these days I end up missing London a lot.

I always used to have a reason to go there and I haven't been for a long time so maybe.

If I have to go somewhere tomorrow, that's where I go.

All right, we'll hope you make it there at some point soon.

This has been such a great conversation and we really appreciate your time.

People have more questions on the new hybrid working model.

Where should they go?

Who should they connect with?

Well, they can reach out to me or they can reach out to their manager.

They can reach out to their HR partner or what I found through the last 15 months.

I had a few colleagues that have now been working remotely for years, and you learn all the time.

So I've found a couple of people in my network that had this figured out and have been on this journey for 10 years.

And there was invaluable lessons from them as well.

So keep learning, keeping curious and and ask people around you.

All right, thanks so much.


Really appreciate your time.

Thank you, it's a.

Pleasure, alright, thanks for listening to In Scope.