Working remotely during lockdown has been hard. There’s been the isolation, the homeschooling and the Zoom fatigue. We’ve all been missing the water-cooler moments and the camaraderie of colleagues in our office.
But as the vaccine kicks in, the numbers go down, and we start to think about returning to our workplaces, we have a chance for a big reset.
Returning to work could be exciting but…
The general consensus from our clients and our research is: working from home hasn’t been perfect, but the worst thing that could happen is that we all go back to the way it…
(This article was first published by Breathe — the HR software people.)
Do you remember your first job?
Mine is hard to forget because of the feedback I received.
My first job was in radio. I’d had so much fun at a student radio station that I joined a radio group straight after leaving University.
My boss there was a wonderful mentor, he was up for taking a chance with someone young, inexperienced and enthusiastic. He sent me to Northamptonshire to be part of a small team launching a new station. We were all in our twenties, all untested. It’s…
Read our three-part project management guide to make sure your projects go smoothly, by Moyra Scott, Capacity Building lead.
Project management is a difficult undertaking for any team. Essential tasks like ensuring the right resources are available, assigning responsibilities, spotting potential risks, and proper communication can be nerve-wracking and it’s not surprising if something or other gets forgotten and falls off the radar.
In fact, it turns out that only 2.5% of companies successfully complete 100% of their projects.
Why is this? Mainly because unexpected obstacles or events pop-up to derail and hamper the progress of the overall project.
Anna Fraser left a successful career in education to run the family business Scott Fraser Training, a tree surgery training centre in Kent. She also volunteers as a scout leader.
She says “When not working or scouting, I am a volunteer for Shout 85258, a text line for anyone who is in crisis no matter how big or small.”
Anna loves working for Shout 85258 so much that she wrote to us about her experience because she says, it shows how remote working can be done really well. …
Since remote working has become the new norm, we’ve heard leaders and managers telling us their team is communicating better than ever because they’re, “making much more of a conscious and deliberate effort to talk to each other.”
What they’re inferring is that their team is trusting each other more than they did when they were in the office.
Partly this is because people have had no choice but to get their heads around working differently with their colleagues. And in many cases, it’s working out fine.
For example, if people were homeschooling or caring for relatives they may have…
This is a marathon, not a sprint, we all need to look after our mental health in the long term and aim to be as productive as is reasonable under these conditions.
Here are some tools that may help.
The biggest issue of the moment is how you and your team adjust to the new ‘normal’ way of working, and how you manage your focus and attention.
Everybody’s different, right? Some of your teammates will love the opportunity to work from home. …
If you haven’t make the effort to connect with them, people may run into difficulties, because nobody has experienced this before, it’s unique to all of us.
It is important to acknowledge the impact lockdown has had on your team and to spend time talking about it because some of your team could be struggling.
If you do nothing else, make sure you have these kinds of conversations.
Here are some ways to do it.
Embracing the human element of remote work is hugely important at this time, so it’s a really good idea to check-in with your team at…
Whatever happens, things won’t ever be the same again — the lessons we learn now will endure. So let’s make sure we learn things that will stand us in good stead whatever may be coming , and make remote work easier, more productive, and more enjoyable.
Fundamentally, it’s about doing the basics of working well together, more diligently.
With so many ways to communicate online, such as Zoom, Hangouts, WhatsApp, Teams, Slack, email, and even old fashioned phone calls, we’ve all got enough communication channels we can possibly need and more.
The upshot: it’s not worth worrying about the tech…
Communication is a really important skill in the workplace. Pretty much everything you do — from initiating new projects to empowering staff, from sales calls to asking how team members are getting on — involves talking to someone else. And I don’t just mean communication in the broadcast sense — where you speak and I listen. I mean participative, two-way communication where people exchange meaning.
Of course, there’s never going to be 100% understanding of meaning — we’re all so different and each of us sees the world in such different ways, that we’ll likely never get that. …
You’ve probably realised that your job description is not the best representation of your role and what you do. You’re likely to be doing extra things that don’t fit the official version, and there may be ways you get things done that fall outside the ‘usual’ procedures.
The truth is that organisations don’t work in straight lines. Processes often have to be subverted in order to achieve the desired outcome — in addition, you might have a whole range of assumptions about what actually is the desired outcome.
That may not have been clearly expressed at the outset either.
we make tools for the messy stuff