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Jamie Lawrence


Insights Director

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90 minutes of football gets staff a free pass, so why doesn’t this moment of seismic upheaval?


Employers around the country are happy to give staff a free pass to watch the football, yet in the aftermath of one of the biggest day's in the history of the UK and Europe, why is it business-as-usual in most organisations?

It's hard to overstate just how prominent the UK's decision to exit the EU will be when the history of the world is written.

Hours after the result was announced, other European countries are suggesting they may hold referendums on their continued membership of the EU.

There's also talk of Scotland holding a second independence referendum and of Northern Ireland and Ireland forming a separate entity to share trade distinct from the UK.

Two people this morning have told me they are "close to tears." 

As reaction to the UK's decision continues to pour in, there is little doubt that the world will never look the same again. 

But while the media analyses the macro-level changes, and what these could mean, it strikes me that there's a lack of focus on what all this upheaval is doing to us as individuals.

Two people this morning have told me they are "close to tears." One talked of feeling like he's "living in a bubble."

Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian summarised the level of upheaval well, arguing that we have "woken up in a different country."

He added: "That physical geography [of the UK] has not changed, but the psychological geography has."

The emotion is raw and unprecedented for everyone. As organisations we cannot ignore what people are going through. In the aftermath of a British vote to exit the EU, in which the country stands divided, it's never been more important for our businesses to be compassionate and inclusive.

Hargreaves Lansdown, among others, have come out and said it's "business-as-usual" for UK companies. But that could not be further from the truth. People are hurting on all sides.

It's not business-as-usual. So please don't pretend it is.

Author Profile Picture
Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence

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