Heatwaves, home working, holiday reading and taking a hiatus…
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last week or so. (And poor you if you have.) You will have noticed the earth’s climate emergency. Now whether you believe in the science and that global warming is destroying our planet. Or you don’t and wanna keep doing what we are doing.
You have to admit that it’s been a bit hot lately. Almost across the ENTIRE world. And certainly in Europe and in Portugal. Where Your FLOCK — our team engagement platform was born. And in little old England where I live and where we are now based…
IT’S HEATING UP:
It’s even HOT in Manchester. And that’s why I know something is up. So in my keynote talks to businesses I mention not only, Your FLOCK — our team engagement platform. But also ecological matters too. As talking about the future of work and remote working. So it was apt whilst doing a keynote for business advisers at Momentic that
- The f2f event was cancelled to be one where we could all work from home.
- The conference itself was online due to transport problems due to the heatwave.
- That I could wear my #ShowYourStripes shirt to do the talk.
As the shirt is all about visually showing the increase in temperature of the planet. Whilst the fact, we saved on money, travel and helped the environment.
Due to not all travelling nationally into an event space in Birmingham. Was a particular irony not lost on me.
BUT IS IT LOST ON THE WORLD.
Home working or working from home is insanely better for the environment. From a travelling and commuting POV. But is it better for us human beings? And how is the world going to change if we don’t all commute? And don’t all clamour for capitalistic success.
Which is a great point from this article, doing the rounds. Which I am very happy to say has my friend Rob Weatherhead in it.
“For nearly half his life Weatherhead, 40, was climbing the ranks in advertising, all the way to director level. That meant long days, regular travel to Manchester and London from his home in Bolton, and extended periods away from his three young children.
At the time, he accepted this as the price of his ambition. “It was always about the next thing, whether it was a promotion or another opportunity,” he says. “It’s difficult to see beyond that when you’re in that world.”
Weatherhead remembers leaving the London office late, in the lead-up to a big pitch, to find about 20 others still at work too. “They probably had commitments, children, partners,” he says in disbelief. “I was just like: what are you doing here at 11 o’clock at night?”
Rob has a fair point. And in the olden days — pre covid — many of us were having this life. Weren’t we? Now Rob is working from home and running a wine business with a friend. And I have a feeling. Rob may be a lot happier. Maybe not less stressed as he is running his own business. But a lot happier.
IS EVERYONE HAPPY WORKING FROM HOME?
But is this working from home malarkey actually better for us at home? The new Sloan Review written by Shaun Subel and Martin Stepanek. From the Vitality Research Institute makes for interesting reading.
The Vitality Research Institute focuses on advancing the science of behaviour change. By better understanding the relationship between behaviours and health, longevity, and productivity. And they interviewed and surveyed people recently only to find that:
“Working from home definitely made many people feel more productive — over half (55%) of the home-based workers we surveyed reported getting more work done. There is, however, a cost to this boost in productivity: When employees work from home, it can be difficult for them to compartmentalise their personal and professional lives, leading to a deterioration in work-life balance.”
So the narrative of the total positives from working from home are not necessarily true. True it might be better for the environment. Which is key for the planet and our species to survive. But it might not be great for us workers — working from home — for the future of work.
WHAT ABOUT OUR LEADERS?
This life work balance problem is made worse. As remote work becomes the norm for many employees. Some leaders are falling into the trap of micromanaging employees. A practice which ultimately drives down engagement, motivation, productivity and trust.
This level of micromanaging is something that breaks businesses. As it kills your company culture. And the growth of your employees. It also stops the person micro managing growing as well as it keeps them in their comfort zone.
It’s also something horrible to have to go through personally. As everyone that has been on the end of micromanaging moments can tell you.
Fear you might be a modern micromanager made worse by remote working? And your employees working from home? Gartner has some great advice here. My favourite (as a micromanager myself) being this gem:
“Repeat: “My way is not the only way.” Apply the 80/20 rule: In 80% of cases, leave an employee to approach an activity in their own way. In 20% of cases, guide the employee to do it your way.“
This is a great way to stop me (and maybe you) over managing people. And learning something new. As new leaders in this new world, learning new things is the most vital skill we can learn.
LEARNING NEW THINGS:
Events are a great way to learn new things. So if you would like to learn about the importance of marketing and employee brand. Then we have a great event for you NEXT THURSDAY 28TH JULY. With three amazing speakers.
Including Gemma Ellison. Who along with a couple of other people have inspired me to create a reading list. So below is a list of books I am reading or have read (or am planning to read myself over the holidays…)
I give you this list — as I won’t be doing a newsletter over the holidays. In an attempt at personal life work balance. But that doesn’t mean I am not going to stop learning. Just stop writing this newsletter until September.
On this list I haven’t included any audio books. Like The Messy Middle (which is excellent) as I have TOO many audio books I haven’t finished. I also don’t include in the list — any white papers or ebooks of friends of Your FLOCK like:
- Onalytica on Diversity and Inclusion in Tech.
- The Happiness Index and some of their newest findings
- This ElderMan piece all about trust.
And no podcasts like:
- Lisa Lloyd’s great business psychology podcast
- Bruce Diasley’s masterclass podcast on the future of work
- WorkLife with Adam Grant
But this is not to say they are great as well — they are.
SO SOME BOOKS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY READING LIST.
I have changed this list to bring in more women. As Toby Moore rightly pointed out on LinkedIn.
“The diversity of thinking we need only changes, when the representation of ideas we get to experience changes too.”
I never noticed HOW many books I had that were written only by blokes. Scary. Also please note some of these books are controversial and from authors that some of you might not like. I promise you — I don’t vouch for them as people or their personal opinions on everything. But at the time — they wrote some amazing books. Relevant for now…
Remote: Office Not Required. By Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson:
The Long-Distance Leader. Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership. By Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel:
Leading from Anywhere: The Essential Guide to Managing Remote Teams. By David Burkus
The New Corner Office: How the Most Successful People Work from Home. By Laura Vanderkam
Working From Home: Making the New Normal Work for You by Karen Mangia
The Inner CEO: Unleashing leaders at all levels by Jeremy Blain
Working remotely: Secrets to Success for Employees on Distributed Teams by Teresa Douglas
Work Rules! (Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead) by Laszlo Bock
Delivering Happiness.A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh Buy
Leaders Eat Last. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek.
Humanocracy Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them by by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini
The Culture Book: When Culture Clicks by Weeva and Culturati, Patty McCord, et al
The Insider’s Guide to Culture Change. The Insider’s Guide to Culture Change: Creating a Workplace That Delivers, Grows, and Adapts by Siobhan McHale
Radical Candor by Kim Malone Scott
The Nowhere Office: Reinventing Work and the Workplace of the Future by Julia Hobsbawm
They are also cracking books…
Enjoy happy holidays and happy learnings…
References for the piece:
About the Author: Dan Sodergren
Keynote and TedxTalk speaker. Expert / guest on national TV / radio and podcasts. Dan talks about the:
- Future Of Work.
- Digital Marketing