Working From Home

Working From Home requires different type of leadership and lots of different routines and practices

Synopsis of an article from Forbes, by Joe McKendrick Published, 21 July 2020 This article references a recent study Microsoft completed on their employees and how they were coping with working from newly working from home. The team analysed a department of 350 people to better understand what impact mandated working from home was having on the way they worked. some of the key findings included: Longer but choppier work days The work day and the work week was longer with employees tending to work an additional four hours a week starting earlier and finishing later. However this was somewhat offset by more time spent on managing personal priorities such as homeschooling and childcare. More but shorter meetings Lots more meetings especially short 30 minute meetings. Very protective managers Senior managers increased their communication and collaboration. Managers increased messaging 115% as they worked to remain connected to dispersed remote teams.Continue Reading

Synopsis of an article from Inc. by Anne Gherini, Published 15th July 2020 This article points out that EQ or Emotional Intelligence has been recognised as more powerful predictor of an individual’s success as a leader than IQ. As we continue to work fully remotely what do you need to do to dial up the EQ. “High EQ individuals who display empathy, confidence, and comfort with their own limitations will be able to thrive and emerge as leaders in the pack.“ Human Centric Management Empathy – being aware of how others are feeling and coping. For some working from home can be lonely and feel overwhelming. Not everyone has the best home office set up, they may have to share it with others or have to manage home schooling – be aware. Anne points out that you need to make time for check-ins, with out an agenda to have a basis forContinue Reading

Synopsis of an article from Harvard Business Review, by by Justin Hale and Joseph Grenny, Published 9th March 2020 The authors make the argument that too often meeting attendees check out. When everyone is in the same room there are techniques we all use to bring the attention back to the speaker but how do you do that on a virtual meeting. Here are 5 rules that can really help sharpen the focus in your next virtual meeting. The 60 second rule – In the first minute of the meeting do something with the group to make them experience the problem. It might be a dramatic story, compelling statistics or a powerful analogy. The goal is to ensure that the group understands the problem before you discuss or try to solve it. The responsibility rule – when attending a meeting we all have a role, you need to provide clarity on the engagementContinue Reading

Twenty five years ago I almost ended up working with the Danish Wunderkind Martin Lindstrom (at the beginning of the dotcom bubble) in what was one of the first Digital Agencies, but I ended up taking a different path. Today Martin is recognised as a global leader in Digital Brand Marketing, with numerous books to his name, he is a regular columnist with Fast Company, Time Magazine and Harvard Business Review. This is a synopsis of an article on LinkedIn by Matin Lindstrom published 25th June 2020. With approximately 100 million users now logging into MSFT Teams every day (and many more on Zoom) the consideration that this way of working from home is the new normal has reached leaders at all levels of organisations around the world. Microsoft however, had been through the same experience four years ago, and the biggest issue was the loss of corporate culture. AContinue Reading

Tough Leadership

Synopsis of an article from McKinsey By Homayoun Hatami, Pal Erik Sjatil, and Kevin Sneader Published 28th May 2020 CEOs (and all leaders) need to take care of themselvesWith so much to focus on right now, focusing on yourself might not be top of mind, but if you are tired you lose your ability to be effective, you stop processing information as well and your moods may suffer. The authors suggest tips on ways to avoid burnout and tap into new sources of energy. – Call a friend or colleague you like for an early afternoon chat– Take a walk outside, exercise is a tested way to restore energy– Stop Friday afternoon meetings– Consider getting an early night on Thursday to go into the weekend fresh Break out of your isolationGetting unfiltered information and contradictory viewpoints requires finding sources of objective, trustworthy and quality information. Making contact directly with individuals and teams toContinue Reading

Article from Gallup by Jim Harter, published 1st May 2020 This article focuses on three key areas In three weeks, the percentage of US remote workers jumped from 31% to 62% Returning employees will be influenced by many factors Your remote work policies and decisions will affect employee engagement A key Gallup Research finding has been that more than half those surveyed would prefer to continue working remotely as much as possible once restrictions are lifted. There is a complex relationship between ‘remote work’ and ’employee engagement’. Employers with remote work options have the highest employee engagement. “This does not mean that high or low engagement is guaranteed in any situation. The right approach to performance development is key to optimising the employee experience, performance and wellbeing, in all situations.” https://www.gallup.com/workplace/309620/coronavirus-change-next-normal-workplace.aspxContinue Reading

Article from Inc. By Suzanne Lucas. Published 12th May 2020 “Working from home can cause a different kind of burnout. One where you don’t know when work begins and ends, and where you never really have any time off. You’re always at the office, so therefore you are always working.” This article provides some practical advice for managers on how to be supportive. It’s almost never an emergency, so don’t play that card unless it really is. Maintain an office like schedule – make it clear what expectations are and that employees are not expected to respond to messages at all hours day and night. Communicate frequently to keep everyone up to date – its much less stressful to know what is going on than to sit and wonder what is coming next. Read the whole article here: https://www.inc.com/suzanne-lucas/your-work-from-home-employees-are-burning-out-you-can-help.htmlContinue Reading

Article from HBR by Mark Mortensen & Constance Noonan Hadley, Published May 22, 2020 Before CoVID-19 there was no playbook on how to transition a team to 100% virtual (in a matter of days), no one has ever done anything like this before. Yet this year its been done by companies all over the world and some found their Business Continuity Planning (BCP) had some gaps, some teams and individuals have found the transition easy and successful other found it extremely hard. This article points out that Teamwork has Gotten Harder – having a sense of the connectedness across teams is crucial. “Teams that have unclear missions, inconsistent social norms, low common identity, unclear roles and unstable membership – are recipe for team disasters.” The result a lack of productivity, low levels of engagement and frustration. Mark & Constance offer some guidance. Start with Triage – identify the critical teamContinue Reading

Increasing organisational resilience in the face of CoVID-19. A perspectives piece from Deloitte providing insights for organisations to explore new ways of working. The Deloitte team describe a series of actions that organisations can take to enable resilience and maintain virtual business operations. Firstly respond to the virus. This requires two approaches, a Human Centred Response and a Organisational Preparedness response.Human Centred is to engage with stakeholders creating tailored solutions that meet specific needs of each impacted group. Promote virtual work, use tools that support collaboration productivity and culture continuity. Own the narrative through strong and consistent communication. Increase support for help desks, that help those with different levels of digital fluency. Drive customer communications, create or enhance customer support channels to manage and overcome potential temporary disruptions. Organisational Preparedness (or Crisis Management) should Institute a Central Response Team, Monitor Regulatory and Health Updates, Assess Market and Financial Impacts andContinue Reading

fear to return to the office

No matter what governments might think, you cannot just open the economy by press release and policy. Citizens need to feel safe in going about their usual day to day activities and its possible that many people including your employees are not there yet. In this article from Inc.com Magazine Managing Editor, Lindsay Blake talks to Peter Newell (CEO of Innovation and Problem Solving company BMNT) about how leaders might tackle this challenge. You can’t manage people’s fears but you can support them. Everyone’s situation and individual concerns and fears are different. Go deep on what returning to work looks like and all of its ramifications. Understand how people get to work including the implications of public transport. How will your company handle face to face meetings? What about employees with children that need to be monitored for home schooling? Directly address the stress your employees are going through. HaveContinue Reading