Inspiring Workplaces: Adapting to the Hybrid Work Life

Published: Wed, 09/16/20

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Humor at Work ISSUE 840- Sept. 16, 2020
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    Adapting to the Hybrid Work Life
   
 
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  
            you?"
           "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 
            with?" 
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    Mike's Fun at Work Tip
 
An icebreaker (or middle-of-the-meeting-breaker) for virtual meetings: Have everyone bring a small household object and give everyone a turn to show just a small portion of the object. The rest of the participants then try to guess what the object is. I've done it a few times on virtual meetings and it has always generated uproarious guffaws (my favorite kind of guffaws, incidentally). 
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    Quote of the Week
 

"If you can laugh at it, you can live with it." Erma Bombeck
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    It's a Wacky World
 
A rather unhelpful notice was sent my way by an observant subscriber:  

"Emergency phone was taken out. Do not have an emergency here!"
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If You're Serious About Creating a Service-first, Fun, Inspiring Culture... then you need the Culture Leadership Online Academy. The early bird discount is still on and there are big savings for groups. If you're not sure this is right for you and your team, let's schedule a time to talk: mike@mikekerr.com


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