66 STASHED IDEAS
Collaboration and communication are essential in the workspace, as well as social connections. But a balance is required between focused productivity and connectedness.
Meetings, email, real-time chat are all habits. And habits can be changed. Changing one keystone habit can start a chain reaction in how a team approaches everything about their work.
For many corporations, task switching has become a requirement of the job.
It is commonly known that when our attention is divided, it's harder to get things done. What's surprising is that so few of us use this common idea in our workdays.
It's not just productivity that suffers when workers are constantly interrupted, but research found that people will attempt to compensate by working faster, leading to more stress and effort. Take email as an example. In one study, email was removed from a group of civil workers for five days. Workers stress reduced over that time, and they reported feeling more in control of the workday.
On average, employees who do the majority of their work on computers are distracted almost every ten minutes.
Most of the interruptions are external - an incoming email or a colleague stopping by to chat. But a significant proportion also comes from the individuals who voluntarily switch tasks.
In order to identify your employee's me-strengths, ask them:
In order to identify your employee's we-strengths, ask them:
When we celebrate our employee's strengths they will feel valued and special, thus making them much more willing to exercise that strength again in the future.
However, it is important to keep in mind that every employee has different strengths where their we-strength could be intrinsically different from their me-strength.
Trust makes us feel psychologically safe at the workplace. One can focus on creative, collaborative work where there is a free flow of ideas and everyone is benefiting from each other’s energy. One can freely ask for support, test new ideas, and be oneself without any fear of judgement.
Trustworthy colleagues result in a positive, safe and comfortable work environment that translates into better work. There is less stress, faster decision making and more innovation.
One can take cues from how coworkers trust each other by their body language, the way they interact on Slack, or how relaxed and casual they are around each other.
If help is sought after, and clarifications are prompt, even during virtual (Zoom calls) environments, one can gauge the level of trust in the workplace.
A strong foundation of trust needs to be laid as early as possible. Create a ‘shield of goodwill’ to minimize any miscommunication.
Building trust will ensure that even if there is ambiguity, the words and actions are coming with good intentions.
Communication is the magic key for building trust. Body language, expressions, tone are all important.
A new joinee has to showcase the skills he possesses and at the same time, build the foundation of a good relationship with the new coworkers.
Establishing trust is important to ensure success in one’s new job role.
Trustworthiness is a combination of competence and warmth. Great leaders are loved and respected, but also feared at the same time.
One has to strike the right balance between love and fear to appear authentic, vulnerable and credible. To start things off, be compassionate and warm.
Virtual teams and WFH policies have complicated and muddled the communication that happens in a physical office. We need to provide remote team members with the benefit of the doubt while interpreting their behaviour. There is much less context to access what is meant by their words and actions.
The least we can do is watch our tone, and be as polite and generous in the initial months as possible. It always pays to be warm, friendly and human.
Don't let a petty comment discourage you. Do not succumb to the negativity because at the end of the day what people say about you don't matter.
Your actions have more significance than what anyone else say.
It's inevitable running into negative nancy at work or those who choose to undermine your capabilities. However, you get to decide how to handle people like them. You can either fight them or let them talk and not be bothered by what they say.
Every situation can be handled with grace as long as you let yourself do so. Take a deep breath and remember that what people say about you is ultimately a reflection of them and not you.
If your fight mode has been activated when dealing with someone that is undermining your work, don't let it eat you up entirely, instead, try to ask what they meant by their backhanded compliment.
Keep focused on staying calm so that you can address the root of the problem and not add gasoline to the fire. If they still do not want to change their mind about you, smile, move on, and be the bigger person.
Remote-ish teams should adopt asynchronous communication as the primary source of correspondence.
Hybrid companies function best when the entire company is optimized for remote work. Successful hybrid teams set up processes to help their remote workers thrive alongside their office teammates.
Leadership must acknowledge the various challenges remote workers face and create solutions. Create a remote work policy that keeps remote workers and contractors from feeling like second class team members. Remote workers should feel fully connected and not missing a thing.
While these opportunities are costly and require coordination, they pay ongoing dividends.
Most companies embracing remote work also have dedicated headquarters. But remote-ish teams have even more communication and collaboration challenges than fully remote teams.
For example, in hybrid teams, remote employees are often left in the dark. Office workers are often heard, recognized, and promoted, while remote workers are forgotten.
Video calls and other forms of synchronous communication still serves a function. However, synchronous communication should be made available asynchronously:
While treating both remote and office employees fairly, they don't necessarily need to be treated the same. Consider the unique needs of each group and create policies and perks that address them.
Create an explicit work-from-home policy for office employees that extends the benefits of remote work to office employees. Clearly outline the expectations of remote workers in documentation.
Ensure your guideline answers the following questions:
The single biggest mistake companies can make is to opt to be remote-friendly instead of remote-first. Companies often accept the idea that remote is the future of work without creating an inclusive culture to ensure it works for everyone.
A few important areas where centralized and accessible documentation should exist:
Clear and concise documentation is crucial to empower individuals and teams with the information needed to do their work. It allows remote individuals to work more independently without having to wait for an answer.