Linked: More women than men feel uncomfortably cold at the office, and it’s impacting their work performance
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Linked: More women than men feel uncomfortably cold at the office, and it’s impacting their work performance

Look, work from home eliminates this. So it’s clearly a diversity “plus” to let people work at a temperature they control and are most comfortable with, right? “Temperature discomfort is one of the most common sources of complaint within office environments. In particular, research suggests that excessively cold office temperatures are a frequent issue. Notably,…

Linked: Most Managers Don’t Listen Well

Linked: Most Managers Don’t Listen Well

If you aren’t even trying to listen during difficult conversations how will employees ever truly feel valued?

This does explain some of the disconnects around managers wanting to return to the office when employees don’t, or managers feeling like they’ve made the effort to support employee mental health when employees don’t agree. In order to understand that what you’re doing isn’t working, you have to actually ask people.

Linked: Work addiction is real – here’s how to kick the habit
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Linked: Work addiction is real – here’s how to kick the habit

I think this article, while helpful, also hints at a larger societal problem that many of us have been thinking about and that is what role our work plays in our overall lives and our sense of work. Working all the time isn’t just something we sometimes do. It’s part and parcel of being “important” in our society. Let’s face it, when someone tells us they disconnect in the evenings and weekends, our first thought is not “Oh how healthy”, it is much more to be “Oh you must not be very important then”.

Until that perception changes, I don’t know that we’ll make much progress, but it does need to change. Our work plays far too much of a role in our self-worth and therefore is it is far too easy to take advantage of employees.

Linked: Half of workers say they will only apply for hybrid or working from home jobs
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Linked: Half of workers say they will only apply for hybrid or working from home jobs

I think that makes sense, and it might fit for a lot of US workers too. I know in the eDiscovery industry we are seeing more desire for flexibility, and salaries going up pretty significantly. Though we aren’t seeing the same level of disinterest in looking for a new role. Does that suggest that fewer workers in our industry have found what they are looking for in terms of flexibility and money? Or do they see the reality of changing jobs for a 15-25% pay increase versus what they’d get by staying?

That’s an interesting thing to think about. Do you know how your employees feel about that? Do you know what they want to stay? What will entice them to leave?

Linked: Does your remote team really need an in-person offsite?
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Linked: Does your remote team really need an in-person offsite?

As the future of work settles in a bit, in the sense that we are now working remotely by choice more than by COVID requirement, we are seeing a large shift toward the desire to work remotely. I believe that shift is everyone listed above. For introverts, people with disabilities, people with adult or child care requirements, working remotely is bliss. (I did it even before COVID.) We can still do the other things that are important in our lives without being forced to a specific location, and we can do it without being forced to be in the same physical space as people we may or may not like.

The problem is, and we see this clearly in the discussion below, doing things in-person is how we’ve always done things. The custom of having a quarterly or annual offsite was designed in a workplace that has always catered to extroverts and people who were available to be at the office for longer and longer hours. That culture has always excluded people. Think about the after-work drinks custom. How many moms got to attend instead of hurrying home to their kids, and how many men got to attend simply because somewhere there was a mom hurrying home to take care of the kids instead of them? How many introverted employees never showed up, or showed up out of a sense of guilt, quietly sipped their drink, and left as soon as it seemed polite to do so? And don’t even get me started on the number of employees in recovery who cannot, and should not, go out drinking with the group. 

But, what did you hear about these events? They were great, we had a blast, we really got to bond with other folks from the team, etc. That feedback all comes from the minority that actually gets to go, and enjoys being in a group setting.

Linked: Our culture is great… But just don’t make any mistakes –
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Linked: Our culture is great… But just don’t make any mistakes –

You know, when I hear companies tout the performance level of their employees, I do have to wonder what sort of expectations they are setting. There isn’t a company out there, including the one I work for, that doesn’t brag about having A+ performers. So what happens when someone makes a mistake or has a C day?