Mark Manson’s hit the nail on the head in his recent newsletter. I think this explains why we have so many politicians who seem utterly incapable of writing, let alone passing, a bill. But they do this in spades:
I think a little anxiety and anger are appropriate now. Being distracted from your work should actually be a pretty normal reaction to what is going on in the world. Just replace your own national politics for the UK in that survey and can you really say that something hasn’t prevented you from being your best at work during the last couple of years? I’m in the US, I think it’s crazy that there are people going about their work as if nothing is happening, but I also know that is the corporate culture for many of us as well. For the hours you are “at” work, that’s our time. Spend your own time worrying about the world, grieving for lost loved ones, caring for your family, or your own needs, etc.
This is wrong on so many levels. Your people are not hours of labor on a spreadsheet, they are human beings, and human beings should absolutely be affected by what is going on in the world. Expecting them not to be during work hours tells me a lot more about the management team than it does about the workforce.
It surely doesn’t say anything good about the management team either.
I don’t particularly know why, but I came across an article out of Australia last week that caught my eye and got me thinking about working at our “passion” jobs. The reason I headed in that direction mentally was the description of what life is like for these various politicians after they lose an election….
I’m making an example of the Times because they like to consider themselves America’s “Paper of Record”, and even they are now using fear and outrage to gain attention, no better than a Twitter or Facebook troll, but it’s happening everywhere. It’s also no surprise that it’s becoming popular among all media outlets because it works. If we’ve learned anything from fake news sites, biased cable channels, YouTube “experts” and social media influencers it’s that you will never lose an audience by making people afraid. You will get their attention, you will stimulate a fear-based response that causes their brain to kick into survival mode and become hyperalert to dangers, which you are happy to continue to feed them.
Regarding technology flattening the organization, I would agree with Ed. Where I’m going to disagree is in assuming every workplace has figured that out and taken advantage of it.
Bad managers are still bad managers, even if they are remote. If the management style at your company is to measure work by, what Ed calls, the “appearance of work”, you’ve probably struggled with remote work. Or, you’ve got everyone in meetings, or at least available online all day, every day. On the other hand, if you’ve switched to remote work and also switched the way you measure your directs, you’ve probably been very successful and might even be willing to accept remote work permanently. It’s all about understanding that what we do with teams when they work in-person doesn’t work with remote teams and adjusting.
Remote work isn’t compatible with management that measures workers by the hours they spend at their desks or how many people like you. Those measurements kind of go out the window. So it would be best if you had new, better measurements. I’d argue that you need the measurement you should have always been using, but I digress.
I wish I could take credit for the line in the title. But, I can’t. It has, however, been rumbling around in my brain for the past couple of days since I heard John Amaechi say it on a recent episode of Adam Grant’s podcast “Worklife” (Go listen to the whole episode, it’s very thought-provoking)
In an episode about how to build an anti-racist workplace, this was the line that sort of stopped not only me, but Adam as well. And, I think it applies to much more than anti-racism.