.....and how to avoid them!
Now 2020 might have been a bit of a fuck-up of a year for many....yet now is the time to prepare for what life will look like for the rest of 2021 and beyond!
I expect that many leadership teams are debating on how best to manage their working environment and bolster their company culture in the foreseeable future.
What has become evident is that ‘HYBRID’ seems to be the buzz term that everyone is gravitated towards. A survey in May 2020, showed that 55% of US workers want a mixture of home and office working. In the UK, employers expect the proportion of regular home workers to double, from 18% pre-pandemic to 37% post-pandemic. In China, employment expert Alicia Tung has predicted that in 10 years’ time, there will be a 60/40 split of onsite/remote work.
Cambridge Dictionary definition of ‘Hybrid’ - something that is a mixture of two very different things.
Here, I would like to emphasise the term ‘two very different things’. Working from home is very different from working in the office. We are trying to mix the routine and structure of working in an office with the flexibility and freedom of working from home. How can we create one system to accommodate the expectations of both working styles?
The number of ways companies embrace hybrid working is limitless yet the ultimate goal remains fairly constant: to dramatically adapt to the virtual flexible working environment, whilst maintaining productivity. Below I have listed the 3 Potential Fuck Ups and 3 Focus solutions to help avoid them.
Fuck Up #1 - Meet in Office
Many companies are planning to designate certain days for in-office meetings and collaboration, and remote days for work involving individual focus. Yet I think this could be the first biggest Fuck Up teams could make when embracing this new way of working.
Currently, up to, 80% of managers’ time is spent in remote meetings!
How are managers suddenly going to reduce significantly and consolidate the number of meetings to the certain days you are in the office? It is simply not going to work - you will end up having even more ineffective meetings both in and out of the office leading to more resentment to your rather ineffective meeting culture.
Fuck Up #2 - No Systems
The second biggest fuck-up that leads to an under-performing and ineffective meeting culture is not implementing any systems to effectively manage productivity whilst offering a flexible remote/hybrid work culture. Due to the explosion in daily zoom calls, managers are left little time to actually get any practical work done. Impacting the physical and mental well-being of your most valuable asset - your people.
What used to be a can i grab 5 minutes of your time to discuss a point has turned into a 60 minute zoom call.
Fuck Up #3 - Meeting Room + Zoom Call
The third biggest fuck up is aiming to adopt a half-baked system/solution when it comes to meeting management. What I mean by that is those in the office will head to the meeting room and those not in the office will be beamed in on the ‘big screen’. In my mind, this is like aiming to play a game of cards yet the people on the screen cannot lay their cards on the table! They are quickly going to become disengaged and not that interested in the game!! That is not even taking into consideration the different time zones you between those in the office and those working remotely. A recent article about zoom fatigue on the BBC highlighted that for many, the pressure of ensuring, not only themselves but also, their backgrounds are presentable is creating stress.
Will you be happy all your imperfections being magnified on a 60inch flat screen on the meeting room wall?
How to solve these challenges.
Focus #1 - Invest in Meeting Management Solutions Companies making the transition to hybrid or even fully remote working are going to have to invest more into meeting management…ensuring that relationships develop in the same way as they might inside and outside of the office. Communication has to be transparent (I am a great believer in the term - transparency is the currency of trust) and companies are going to have to make a greater effort to avoid unintentional exclusion of remote workers.
Meeting management solutions, such as GetFocused, will help teams be consistent in their approach to meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page and has an equal footing.
Focus #2 - Meeting Rhythms Set you Free GetFocused meeting routines and rhythms promote quality, not quantity, mindset to time spent, and make it easy to replicate so that people do not waste time trying to figure out where they are in the meeting process. Meetings are important, and giving value to this time, and even calculating the respective cost of this time, encourages all participants to work towards ensuring the meeting is “time well spent” and hence has a positive return on investment for the company.
GetFocused has narrowed down the types of meetings to six key types, to make planning effective meetings simpler, quicker and more intuitive.
Many people are becoming terribly lonely. Should you want to encourage even more collaboration and reduce the feeling of being a 'lone-ranger', why not create a virtual Co-Working routine? Simply work in one another’s (virtual) presence via zoom. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review suggests as little as 30 minutes or an hour for those new to the practice, but some co-work virtually for half a day at a time. “Having people around lets me focus more. Then, if I want to stop and ask a question, I can.”
Virtual co-working allows members to focus on their independent work while also benefitting from reduced social isolation and increased opportunity for spontaneous collaboration.
Focus #3 - If all the team are not present, play on a level playing field. Even those physically in the office should take meetings on their own devices, so everyone is communicating in the same way. This ensures that everyone has an equal stand and drives more effective and meaningful engagement from all those present. IT will also help create optimal times for all team members.
One key recommendation is to aim to create teams in similar time zones to avoid major disruption.
Recommendation Why not take our 3-minute scorecard and get actionable steps you can start using TODAY to improve your meetings!
By enhancing your meeting effectiveness, you will not only improve the health of the organisation’s meeting culture but also each employee accordingly.
Freeing up the time to spend on the things that really matter. Whether it be focused on work, time with family/friends, or staying physically and mentally well well...whether it be in the office or working from home.
Our Mission: to connect people with purpose. Ben Horrowitz states - “Sometimes an organisation doesn’t need a solution; it just needs clarity.” GetFocused is the solution that brings clarity on what matters.
GetFocused is set to become a key player in the booming workplace productivity space and is seeking early adopters to begin a continuous improvement program. This includes:
full use of the software,
a 2-hour effective meeting design workshop for team-leads and
a deep-dive into how best to unlock your culture for growth.
Our promise to you a 20% improvement in meeting performance for your leadership team meetings within 3 months.
The ‘seed’ version of GetFocused is free to use: www.getfocused.team and feel free to download The 7 Habits for Highly Focused Meetings ebook. Please contact the GetFocused Team should you would like to take part in the exclusive pilot program.
As the late great Steve Jobs stated.
“It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time”.
...are you investing it wisely in your current meeting culture? Might it be time to adapt and embrace these amazing times we are living in? Giving you and your people the sense of freedom & belonging you envisaged when starting the business!