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A Day in the life of...


Harriet Shurville

 
 

Global Chief People Officer, Iris


For Harriet Shurville, Global Chief People Officer at Iris, most work mornings start with a look at the news and a scan of HR blogs. Below, Harriet gives us an insight into what an average day is like working for the marketing and advertising firm, which can consist of anything from completing tasks that deliver the ‘People Powered’ strategy to meeting with Mental Health First Aiders groups…

 

Morning - 6:30am


I like to start my day early around 6:30am. Before I switch on my emails and get stuck into work, I read through the news and HR blogs on my phone to get an overview of what’s going on around the [globe]. This has been particularly important over the last two years, to understand how the pandemic could be affecting people in different ways, and how we can support everyone across Iris offices globally.

By 7am I’m logged on to the WithU app (a fitness app we provide to all our employees), to choose my workout for the day. I find that exercising first thing in the morning (before I have had a chance to talk myself out of it) gets me in the right headspace for the rest of the day, ensuring I’m wide awake and thinking clearly.

 

8am


I open up my emails and Teams chat to scan through anything urgent while I’m having a coffee and eating my breakfast. By then our agencies in APAC are in full swing so there are often some emails and messages from that side of the globe that I need to respond to before their day is over.

Before I switch on my emails and get stuck into work, I read through the news and HR blogs on my phone to get an overview of what’s going on around the [globe]

 

9am


In HR it’s really easy to be overtaken with reactive tasks (particularly during times of crisis like a pandemic) but I always dedicate the first few hours of my day to tasks that are delivering our ‘People Powered’ strategy and driving forward proactive and progressive people initiatives for every region.

My days vary massively, I could be working on an initiative to launch our employee value proposition, working with our exec Board on our global strategy, sitting with heads of department to discuss their career progressions, or meeting with our DE&I team or Mental Health First Aiders groups.

 

Lunch - 12pm


I like to have my lunch early; it helps with my concentration. When I’m at home this is with my partner, I’m lucky that he enjoys cooking (I don’t) so he usually rustles something up for us both. I aim to spend 30 mins away from my laptop and phone. I eat, speak to my partner and listen to the radio.

Last year we introduced ‘Core Hours’ at Iris, ensuring that people book meetings between 10-4pm...

 

Afternoon - 2pm


In the afternoons I spend time catching up with people within the business. I have a brilliant team, with incredibly talented and positive people leads in each of the regions, as well as specialists in key areas. I also love that I get to work closely with stakeholders across the network, helping them to solve business problems with people solutions. I try to take some of these calls while walking to ensure that I get out of the house and get some fresh air.

In the afternoons I spend time catching up with people within the business

 

4pm


Last year we introduced ‘Core Hours’ at Iris, ensuring that people book meetings between 10-4pm so by 4pm my meetings have usually ended and I have focused time to work.

 

Evening - 5:30pm


Around 5:30pm I start to finish up for the day. I ensure I’m clear on my priorities for the next day. It’s easy to get pulled into everything but I’m lucky I have a team of HR, L&D, recruitment and culture experts, so I can put my focus on where I will make the most impact to the business.

If I still have the energy I will attend a yoga class in the evening, or catch up with friends and family.

 

End of the day

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