Good Old Fashioned British Collaboration
On most days in the Havas Media London office, there is a constant buzz on every floor with colleagues chatting with each other primarily at their individual desks. Meetings tend to be a bit more informal here than over in the U.S. which is great for a constant, open dialogue between colleagues across departments. People are having conversations in English, Spanish, French, and every other language in between. I can barely understand English over here with different accents and sayings let alone all of these other languages. Different British metaphors do not quite translate when you come from across the pond. Also I think “Cheers” means “Thanks” here sometimes.
Everyone here is very approachable and willing to meet to answer questions, brainstorm ideas, or just share knowledge. Meetings with the people I have met here have usually occurred at someone’s desk, at a nearby coffee shop, or over a pint (or two) at the pub later in the day. Everyone always wants to chat over coffee, but I am not sure if that’s because I am American, and they really want to meet over tea or if it’s just a saying. Although, I did find out on my first day here that not everyone drinks tea and you will not be an outcast if you don’t drink it. Meetings outside of the office occur on those pleasant, sunny summer days which are apparently pretty rare around these parts.
Side note: I have talked about the weather more in the past few weeks than I have in my entire life.
Internal meetings are held to discuss similar challenges and ideas across markets in order to better help clients meet their marketing and business objectives. Although meeting topics are similar, there is a pretty stark contrast between the New York and London offices in terms of how and where meetings are held. There are many more conference rooms and huddle rooms in New York than in London. In New York, we will sometimes chat quickly at our desk as others around are trying to get work done. We usually grab a quick huddle room for an extended discussion to make sure we are not disturbing others around us. Our internal meetings are usually a bit more pre-planned as well instead of the spontaneous meetings that occur in the UK. Most people in New York are focused on their day-to-day tasks with earbuds in their ears and their blinders on. We probably do not take as much time as we should, myself included, to chat with other team members across different client accounts about how to approach a task or their experience with different tools. We typically try to figure it out on our own so that we do not bother others because we realize that everyone is quite busy with their own work.
I greatly appreciate the collaboration that happens every day London. It is important to take time out of your day to meet with other team members to gain a different perspective on a problem. I hope to take some of the Good Old Fashioned British Collaboration home with me when I go back to New York.
Although, it may be difficult to find a pub that pours a proper pint!