I know many of you have returned to your physical workplaces. And many of you have shared your approaches to adapting to a hybrid work model, where some employees are working from home while others go into the office. Here are a few thoughts to help you manage and adapt to "hybrid living":
- Be intentional about communicating more. Create guidelines around how you communicate. Is text okay? How responsive are you expected to be when working from home? How many times do you need to check in? Is it okay to use interpretive dance to convey your frustrations on your next video call? (I vote 'yes' on this one.)
- Be intentional about giving everyone a voice to express their concerns and have their questions answered.
- To avoid "Zoom fatigue," a Harvard Business Review article suggests that people avoid multitasking while on calls (hard to do, I know), use plain backgrounds to reduce distractions, and periodically turn off your video feed.
- If people are getting tired of being on video, remember, not every meeting needs to be on video! We still have these wonderful devices call telephones, so mix it up with some retro 1990's-style phone meetings.
- A KPMG study found that 54% of Canadians are afraid to go back to work, so be sensitive about how your colleagues might be feeling. Be patient. Be kind. To help your colleagues feel as comfortable as possible, follow the health protocols that have been put in place, even if you feel they are overkill.
- Check in on colleagues on a regular basis. Especially those employees that might get forgotten or the employees you think are fine because they always seem to have everything under control. You never know what's going on under the surface.
- Be careful not to create camps between the "homers" and the "officers." Work to intentionally unite everyone as one team. Don't judge people for making a choice that they feel is the best for them. Make sure the homers feel included by keeping them well-informed about everything going on at the office - consider a weekly video meeting where the
homers can catch up on relevant office information, including any personal news.
- Keep the social element alive. Consider random virtual coffee dates matching a homer with an officer, or hold a virtual trivia contest every second Friday.
- To guide some constructive conversations, go back to the frameworks I've shared with you previously:
"Is there anything I can stop doing or start doing that would make this transition easier for
"Is there anything I need to know that would help me help you?"
"What do we collectively need to start doing, stop doing, continue doing, and just learn to live