Julien Jardelot, Head of Europe Government Relations and Regulatory Strategy at London Stock Exchange Group
What’s one significant way coronavirus has affected your work?
We are all affected to different degrees, either in terms of health or economically. I have friends and family whose jobs have been significantly impacted by the effects of the lockdown or ‘shelter in place’. Overall, I feel very lucky to be able to be able to continue working despite the circumstances.
One very notable change is to business travel. I used to travel on a weekly basis to meetings and conferences. As a result of travel restrictions, all sorts of interaction suddenly disappeared. I remember coming back from Frankfurt in February, thinking it might be the last trip I would make in a while. It turns out I was right! After a few weeks everybody seemed to have adapted to the ‘new normal’ and meetings now take place as calls or video conferences. However, I still believe in the value of face-to-face discussion and dearly miss these exchanges of views, whether formal or informal.What’s a typical day like for you right now as we “shelter in place”?
Surprisingly, I found the adaptation was relatively seamless. I am used to working from home and had an office set up with a decent screen and chair. My working pattern tends to be more structured than before as I am no longer travelling and spending less time in airports and train stations. This should be good news, but I now have less time to read and I miss it!
My typical day starts early (as many parents of young children will know) and I spend my time in my office mainly on calls or doing more analytical work. We have all found ways to communicate efficiently and I feel that we have a good balance between staying in touch and conducting analysis. My team ensures that we have regular catchups with colleagues inside and outside LSEG. The usual informal discussions with colleagues have turned into calls and texts but they still happen. I take advantage of a quiet house and empty agenda in the evening to catch-up on emails.
The good news about not having to spend two hours commuting daily is that I have a proper break in the evenings to spend some time with my family or do a bit of exercise. It is nice to have dinner all together and spending so much time with my fast-growing four-month-old baby is a real silver-lining to the situation.
What’s something that has given you hope for the future after this pandemic?
We are now seeing a more personal side to people and discuss openly about how this pandemic is affecting us, how we are managing to work and how we are dealing with our young children! I’ve lost count of the times I have heard colleagues’ kids in the background of calls or video conferences. My 3-year-old typically likes to interrupt my calls and yell ‘play with me Papa’ asking me to participate in the latest game he has invented. People react well and these ‘interruptions’ act as a good reminder that we are all human beings behind titles and jobs and that we all are having to cope despite these challenging conditions. This sense of unity is bringing the best out of people.
Overall, I am impressed by how we have all adapted to this new ‘normal’. I feel lucky to be part of the population that still has a job and can continue working almost seamlessly. Most of us have quickly adapted to a situation which, unfortunately, seems to be here for some time to come. On the whole, we are doing more than simply keeping our business running and can take pride in how we are achieving our objectives. We seem to be managing well ‘through the fire’ and passing an unprecedented test of resilience.