HR on the weekend: An Inspector Calls, Will Self @ The British Library & Lea Valley Walk

HR on the weekend: An Inspector Calls, Will Self @ The British Library & Lea Valley Walk

As today is the first day of Spring, many of us will, now, be genuinely looking forward to longer evenings that are able to be utilised for more than just huddling beneath blankets and watching Channel 5 re-runs of bad, early-career Ben Affleck movies.

Whilst we all have different wintertime cruxes and shouldn’t judge each other for them - ahem! - there’s every reason to look forward to what’s going on outside the house as the daylight hours are increasing and opportunities to become a culture-vulture, or even enjoy a relaxing stroll, are becoming more realistic.

So, what are this week’s options?

See: An Inspector Calls at the Playhouse Theatre

JB Priestley’s classic thriller returns to London at the Playhouse Theatre. With effects and set that have been called absolutely entertaining this reworking of a favourite will have viewers gasping in both horror and delight.

For those who enjoy the historical significance of things, this current iteration of Stephen Daldry’s multi-award winning production of An Inspector Calls is returning to the West End, exactly 70 years after it was first staged in the UK.

Daldry said of the production’s return to London: “Each time we have mounted this production it seems more relevant than the last, with the refugee crisis, the European referendum debate and American elections, you can’t fail to see the genius of Priestley’s writing.”

With the play’s events surrounding the apparent suicide of a young woman, for the HR audience it highlights the importance of wellbeing amongst staff.

Denise Lynn, SVP of People at Virgin Atlantic, told HR Grapevine: “As we work to enhance employee engagement we are increasing our focus on our wellbeing offerings, as employee wellbeing and engagement are interlinked and one will invariably influence the other.

Listen: Will Self at the British Library

Polarising contemporary novelist and journalist Will Self will be questioned on the importance, and impact, of his life’s works being archived at The British Library at 7pm on 24 March.

Known for his verbose nature, Self will, most likely, provide the garrulous charm and anecdotal run-through with which he has become known for during his public speaking engagements.

Legacy - for novelist, leader or executive - is increasingly important. How does one judge the impact of one’s tenure? Were the changes they were employed to implement actually put in place?

Alison Esse, Managing Director at The Storytellers, explains to HR Grapevine that great leaders, like great novelists, have a strong, transparent legacy that reaches out to many people.

She said: “Great leaders are those who listen, make people feel that their contribution is valued, include them in dialogue rather than 'telling' them what to do, and above all hold true to an unwavering vision for the future. And by connecting people’s own experiences to that vision will inspire people to follow them.”

Image courtesy of Wikipedia user JMiall.

Do: Walking the Lea Valley route

What better way to enjoy early Spring than a leisurely stroll along the Lea Valley route. Although it's 50 miles from Leagrave to Limehouse Basin, but there’s no need to go full Emile Hirsh in Into the Wild.

The route can be split up: from Ware (Hertfordshire) to Waltham Abbey, there’s an ‘Artworks route’, a ‘Dragonfly Discovery Trail’ and an ‘Otter Discovery Trail’. For a more manageable gander, try the ‘Three Hidden Gems’, a two-and-a-half-mile walk from Canning Town Station finishing at East India DLR, and you’ll pass Bow Creek Ecology Park along the way.

Outdoor walking is also a great way to decompress from stressful work environments. Although gym memberships are now a popular way to get the endorphins flowing, not everyone wants to keep fit  indoors.

In fact, Matt Gregson, SVP - Data & Analytics at Thomsons Online Benefits, told HR Grapevine that: “If everyone got a gym membership [as part of a wellbeing package] you’d soon see that fail as vast swathes of the workforce, even if they were fit and healthy, would never engage with going to the gym. They might want to walk 20 miles over hills and vales at the weekend, instead.”

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