5 minutes with… Greg Williams

Greg Williams is Editor in Chief at WIRED UK, a magazine that explores how emerging technologies affect culture, politics and the economy.

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He has interviewed Tony Blair, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, former CEO of LinkedIn Jeff Weiner, and many other founders, entrepreneurs and thought leaders.

An experienced journalist and author, Greg meets the innovators, thinkers, scientists and creatives who are changing the world and writes on a variety of subjects, including innovation, technology and business.

As a natural storyteller, Greg will be joining us as a Keynote speaker at simplyIC next month, to share his thoughts on the future of work, the power of data and AI.

What's your view on the working week? How do you think we’ll be working in a year from now or five years from now?

I have a lot of people on my team who are millennials or have young families. My view is that we're never going back to five days a week in the office, I think those days are over. Most teams now function in a very different way – people will choose the hours they want to work; they will choose the days they want to come into the office, and I think office spaces will change.

What do you think will happen to office spaces?

Technology companies are building offices in Central London and are completely rethinking the interior of their buildings; in the way that those buildings work, the function of them and what people go into work for. There have been many predictions about the end of WeWork and shared working spaces, but I think those kinds of environments will be the ones that’ll come out of this quite strongly and I'm really intrigued to see what happens with commercial real estate in the coming years.

Do you think it’ll be a difficult transition?

Really tricky. The big macro trend is people looking for more space and there is a demand for detached houses, particularly outside of large cities. People are realigning their priorities on a personal and professional basis and a social contract is opening up between employers and employees without conformity, which is quite a loaded word for the idea that an employer would demand your presence in a physical space five days a week. I think when HR departments are recruiting and onboarding, they will be having conversations about well-being and time management. What's interesting is the shift in search for local services and jobs as people are looking to support their local community. Where I live in London, we couldn't get supermarket deliveries. It was the corner stores that were serving us and I think people won't forget that.

A lot of our audience are people responsible for the company magazine or newsletter. How did the pandemic affect your relationship between you as a magazine and your readership?

We've seen a move towards community. If you’re doing the legwork, reporting on facts and science and publishing content that has veracity, then you will do well in this environment. I think that building trust is crucial to all publishers and the idea of expertise in trust is something that we always strive for. We were being ranked as a trusted source by Google and the pandemic offered an opportunity to amplify that and to serve readers in a way that was meaningful to them.

You can find out more about Greg ahead of simplyIC on our event page.

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